The Bad Parent

Hi, I’m the bad parent. I have been called this name by many people that don’t know me.

Four years ago, I divorced my ex after only a few years into marriage. After the divorce, I had to make a life-changing decision to let my daughter go live with my ex-in-laws because I did not have the financial stability needed to provide for her. As a parent, having your little one away from you is an excruciating place to be, but I knew it was the best for her.

Do you know what it is like to have a full-time job that only pays you $8/hr and have to pay for mortgage, car, car insurance, utilities, and everything that may come your way? Plus, study full time to obtain your bachelor’s. Well, it is something impossible to do. So, the first year after my divorce, I worked three jobs to maintain the lifestyle that was left to me.

I had to take care of my mother and brother during the second year after my divorce when my grandma died of four-stage cancer. I had no help, no choice, but I was still the bad parent.

During these past four years, I have done everything to keep a healthy relationship with my daughter despite the long distance. I have worked like a dog, so I could save just enough money to spend a week or two with her at least three times a year. I ask about her twice a week and talk to her as much as my ex-in-laws allow me. But, I am still the bad parent.

I have cried so many nights because I miss her, but I know that having her suffer hardships with me is not what I wanted for her. So I choose to be the bad parent.

No matter the sacrifices I make to build the future my daughter deserves, people will only judge by what they see. I will always face the consequences caused by my actions and decisions head-on, but while I encounter them, I will crumble a few times along the way because I am far from perfect.

Today I am fighting for my daughter’s custody since my ex-in-laws want to adopt her against my will. But today, I can give her the financial stability I couldn’t give her four years ago. Today I can win this battle. But If I lose, I pray that one day she grows and looks for her own answers and know that I was more than just the bad parent.

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