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She Decided Not To Fight for Custody of Her 3 Kids During Divorce: Does This Make Her a Bad Parent?

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A mother posted on the “Working Moms” sub-thread, narrating how she wanted to give up custody and let the father of the kids, who never cared for her three kids, take full custody. 

All she wants is to be the less stressed and fun parent for once. Is this the definition of being a bad parent?

Going Through a Nasty Divorce

The original poster (OP) and her ex-husband split in a nasty divorce. 

OP says he was a cheater and also emotionally abusive. In the divorce, OP’s ex-husband was adamant about having full custody of their three kids, who were 5, 7, and 9. 

This is ironic, as the same man never helped with the kids when they were married. He spent weekends at a golf course when OP stayed home with the kids. The man who never cared for the children now wanted their full custody. 

Take Them: You Can Have Full Custody

When they separated, he had the kids one week a month, two weekends, and one overnight a week. OP says at first, this arrangement made her guilty as a mom. 

She, however, later decided to give in and let him have full custody of the children as he wanted. Surprise! When he heard that OP had agreed to let him have full custody, he took a turn and now wants OP to have the kids all weekdays, and he takes them only on weekends. 

OP says she has already decided to give up custody of the kids. She was very much OK with her partner taking them. She says she loves her new schedule without the children and has chosen it over being the overworked and stressed parent. 

She adds that she loves her kids but never got a break to do anything else when she was a stay-at-home mom. 

She adds that she is now working and making her own money, and she likes it that way as things are now easier for her. 

So her big question was, is she wrong for wanting her ex-husband to take full custody of the kids? Will that make her a bad mom?

The Community Weigh In 

OP made many online users furious; almost everyone labeled her a bad parent. Many could not understand why she wanted a man she just called emotionally abusive to have full custody of her kids. 

One comment says, “I’m going to be a little harsh — yes, not wanting custody makes you a bad parent, just as using custody to try and hurt you made him a bad parent, and just as a father who doesn’t want custody of his kids is a bad parent. Start thinking about what is best for the kids and only what is best for the kids. Are you comfortable with your children primarily living with an emotionally abusive person who does not want them around?”

Another added, giving their experience, “My red flag, as a child of divorce, is wanting your children to grow up with an abusive parent because it’s easier for you.”

Another chimed in, saying, “You know what is best for your babies. They need their mama, especially during a nasty divorce. You have been the primary parent. They need you. Maybe a few years down the road, this can change, but right now, they need you. You will find your groove.”

Another commenter seemingly had a different perspective and chose not to crucify OP, “Kids need SAFE and EMOTIONALLY STABLE moms. Why does society push moms to be the primary parent and hold everything together while telling dads that the bare minimum is OK? She said there were so many days she broke down and was stressed. This is why many mothers end up hurting themselves or their kids because society tells them they must keep pouring from an empty cup regardless of how they feel.”

And lastly, “You both sound like bad parents. Neither of you seems to want to step up and care for these kids. They didn’t ask for a divorce! They need a steady force in their lives, not two people fighting for the role of “fun parent.” Sorry if that’s harsh, but it’s about the kids, not you two.”

Does giving up custody of your kids make you a bad parent? Is it even worse if you were their primary caregiver in the marriage? How does this affect the children?


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