Consuelo T., a Circle of Moms community member, knows firsthand the stigma society associates with moms who are not the custodial parents of their children following divorce.
“My son moved in with his dad and I see he is doing just fine and has a great step mom...but the animosity kills me,” writes Consuelo, who adds that though she and her son have a close relationship, others have been hurtful and very immature to her.
“I am not the enemy,” says Consuelo, who says she wishes others would realize that.”My son hears the comments and passes them on to me. What do I do?”
Whether that stigma is real or just felt, the debate about custodial mothers rages on. Many Circle of Moms community members are reaching out to the community here for help in coping with the negative stigma. Others believe the stigma is deserved.
“My ex and I have chosen that he remain the custodial parent for a variety of reasons,” says Crystal A. “I am looking for a group that may have experience with this non-traditional divorce arrangement. Can anyone point me in a direction? “
But Kelly M. writes: “Our families and our country are suffering from an epidemic that can be stopped. Too many non-custodial parents have abandoned the children that they produced and are willfully neglecting them emotionally and financially. We cannot force these people to be there for our children emotionally.”
We’ve all heard this accusatory assumption about non-custodial moms: “There must be something wrong with her, because the mom never loses her kids in divorce.” The underlying belief is that she’s a drug addict, has mental issues, or is selfish and walked away. Any mother that leaves her children must have something wrong with her, the litany goes.
But that’s not true, says writer Lee Block on the The Huffington Post, explaining that despite feminism, we’ve been programmed to think that it is the woman’s job to rear the children.
“When a father is non-custodial, we picture this guy who is out working really hard and just doesn't have the time to raise his children on his own,” says Block. “He is noble and kind and pays his child support on time. And, when he does take those kids for his three days at a time, we applaud him for doing it on his own. Why can't the non-custodial mother be viewed the same way?
Block adds: “The decisions these women made to not be the primary custodian did not come easily or lightly, but in the end, their only concern was what was best for the kids. None of them have split parenting time, they all have standard visitation. And, with that being said, they all not only feel a closer bond to their children, who confide in them more during their quality time, they have a better co-parenting relationship with their ex-husbands.”
Looking for support on how to navigate as a non-custodial parent?
Visit Circle of Mom’s group Non-Custodial Moms.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.