Forced to give up your kids…Could you imagine anything worse?
It’s on the front pages of all the papers and on all the television and radio news reports.
The mum on the Sunshine Coast being forced by the courts to give up her four children and send them to live in Italy with a father they claim is abusive.
At the moment the girls are in hiding with their grandmother and aunt but the two women have been ordered to front court to reveal the children’s location.
So that they can be put on a plane to Italy.
It is the most traumatic of circumstances.
When you go through a divorce there is terrific heart break at losing some of your time with your children, a lot or a little, depending on how you work out custodial agreements with your ex partner.
I struggled, wanting to keep my two daughters fulltime with me.
But realising the reality of divorce and knowing the girls needed time with their father as well, we worked out an arrangement and the girls see their father an awful lot. Around three nights a week.
I still struggle not having them with me everyday but I make an effort to see them even on the days they are with their dad, as he lives close by and they play sport.
But I couldn’t fathom a life where they would be in another country and I could only see them very, very infrequently if at all. It would be hell.
Then there are those parents who willing want to see less of their kids, which I find even more inexplicable.
A friend of my husband’s is now a fulltime step-parent because the mother of her partner has decided to up and move interstate. She now will have two young children to take care of fulltime, as well as her full-on fulltime career and a relationship that is still developing.
It is an enormous responsibility and an enormous job.
One I know only too well, as that also was my new life when my step-daughters mother moved two hours away and only saw them randomly during the school term and for holidays. I will never get it.
I understand how parents crave a break from the kids, but fail to comprehend the permanence of re-location by choice.
To my husband’s friend I will say there is plenty of pain to come, but also plenty of pleasure.
She will be tested and frustrated, tried and infuriated, but she will get to see them daily as they strive and achieve, laugh and grow.
All the extraordinarily wonderful and extremely difficult moments that this Sunshine Coast mother now faces losing indefinitely and not by design.
From now on I’ll try and keep more of the pleasurable bits of parenting front of mind and think about the Sunshine Coast mum who will potentially and very soon not have her kids to parent at all.