A letter to the moms I have worked with over the last 20 years
I have been watching you for years. I have been listening to your struggles. I have been hearing your hope. You have been teaching me strength, grit, persistence, passion, and loyalty. You have been showing me the path of motherhood and I thank you.
I see you reach for the tissue when you mention your child’s name the first time we meet in my office. I hear you struggling with the decision to disrupt your intact family for a better life in the future, but at a cost for you and your children now.
I see some of you stay in unhappy marriages for the sake of your special needs child needing structure and routine. I see some of you enduring emotional abuse that has led to physical abuse, because you cannot imagine sending your child to him alone without you there to protect.
I hear you resolve to take on yet another job to make ends meet as a single mother. I hear you sacrifice a college class so that your children can attend summer camp. I notice the time stamps of your emails in the wee hours of the morning because this is the only time after a full day of work and parenting that you can respond to me.
I see you sit in courtrooms holding back tears and managing relentless anxiety about how your children will manage the new parenting time schedule. I know you are scheduling and managing countless counseling appointments making your children a top priority as you deplete your paid-time-off account for their benefit.
I know you are biting your tongues and managing fear when the step-mom arrives. I know you are persisting despite being disadvantaged when you open your hearts to your children brought to you through a marriage.
I see you spending thousands of dollars to fight for the best interests of your sons and daughters. I hear you when you say you do not care about the property or division of retirement accounts – you just want your children to be okay.
I see you move into a new independence. I see the pictures of you and your children thriving. I hear your stories of the relief felt in your new family. How you and your kids find a new cadence in life and it is bliss-filled. I see you owning your ever-changing role of motherhood.
You are the mothers that have guided me.
I hear you. I see you. I stand by you.
With much gratitude,
Your divorce lawyer