This post is particularly difficult for me because I’m not sure I can express it in a way that I convey my perspective, but I’m going to give it a try.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have an awareness of things both men and women do, which don’t prioritize their children, and one thing at the top of my list is moving away from your children, OR moving your children away from their parent.
People come up with a list of reasons why they “have to” move, when they are sharing custody of their children. I need to move for work, my new spouse has to move, I can’t afford to stay here after the breakup, I need family support. All, I’m sure are valid reasons to some degree or another, depending on the circumstances, but what about your child(ren). In most cases, you can reasonably assert that you need to move to protect or provide, but here is what you miss.
When I first learned I was pregnant, the circumstances were such that I really wanted to just move away and never tell the father about my pregnancy (oh how badly I wanted to do so), but every time I thought about it, I kept trying to imagine how I would explain that to my child.
Women tend to think of their children as being “theirs”, and lets face it, there are arguments for a primary caregiver to feel like they have a right to move away. Men tend to feel like if they pay support, they have a right to drop in anytime (I can argue this too), and spend time with their child however they wish, even sometimes whisking they away, when they are a virtual stranger to their own child.
To make a long story short, living away from your children (and/or your child’s other parent) should be a last resort. No amount of child support can take the place of being there when your kid hit their first home run. No amount of child support should be more important than not obstructing your kid from having both parents there to witness their first home run, that and all the other things that you miss when you live cities apart.
I am going to further explore this issue from the perspective of children in a separate post, and in yet another post, I’ll give suggestions for those who are stuck in separate cities, it happens, I’ll give suggestions on how to make the most of it.