Call me Del Boy – Divorce and Children
“You know, I think I’d prefer to be a 4×4 – it makes you think of a Sloane ranger driving their Range Rover Vogue through Chelsea. If I ended up having another baby, I’d be a 3×3. A Reliant fucking Robin. If it’s a boy, I’ll call it Rodney” – Me, keeping it classy as always.
Calling a woman who has children by different men names is appalling. Who cares who the fathers of the children are as long as everybody is happy? Well, everyone does care.
So far, I have clocked up two children by two men (husbands – I’m not quite daytime TV fodder yet) and it’s actually really obvious because of the eleven year age gap. If it’s not immediately obvious – my children both inherited strong Irish genes so both have sandy hair, pale skin and green eyes and look strikingly similar to each other – I am always asked why I have such a large age gap. I could lie, but I can’t be bothered, so on a good day, they will get “my son’s father and I split up and I remarried” and on a bad day they will get “I am fucking shit at keeping a relationship together and my knickers on, so I fucked up and ran off with someone else”.
I find that the second answer shuts them up sharpish.
Guess what? In the words of Britney, oops I did it again. Well, almost, it’s early days and regardless of what happens with this one, I don’t think I am done with babies yet. Which means I could possibly end up a 3×3, or a Reliant Robin, which takes the piss really, as three children by three different men would mark me out as anything but reliant.
I actually don’t care. My children are my children regardless of who their fathers are, and let’s face it, in 100 years time I will be dead, buried and forgotten about so why does it really matter.
The only thing about splitting up and having children with someone else is being separated from those children regularly when they are spending time with the other parent.
My son was 8 when his father and I divorced and sending him off every other weekend and half of the holidays (his father lives a couple of hundred miles away) nearly killed me at first. Having been with my son 24 hours a day since the day he was born, being away from him was really tough.
Divorce is brutal.
It doesn’t have to be, but it usually is. In an ideal world, you’d just part as friends if you have children and be civil and not fight about the smallest detail. But it’s never like that. There is always some degree of anger on both sides, mainly on the side of the person who didn’t want the divorce and is feeling hurt and betrayed.
Getting divorced or splitting up with a long-term partner when you have children is the most hellish thing you can ever do. The spurned one always tries to use the children as a pawn in their game of “you hurt me, so now I will hurt you” and no matter how many times you tell them that life is too short, they still carry on.
It’s always the children that suffer most when adults can’t act reasonably and not argue.
My toddler was supposed to be the child that I didn’t ever have to be away from. I didn’t have to send her away every other weekend, I didn’t have to argue over petty things because her father was angry at me for leaving him, but almost three years down the line, I am facing that prospect and it’s terrifying.
People say you shouldn’t stay in a marriage just for the sake of the children, but what about when it’s for your own sake, because you can’t bear the thought of being apart from your children? I don’t care what people say about me, I care about not being with my daughter everyday. I don’t want to be away from her, but I also want to be happy, which makes me feel like a monster. I have been there and done that with her brother, and look how that one worked out. There is always that nagging voice asking “what if this time is the same?” no matter how many times I convince myself that I know it’s different.