One Saturday evening my Son was with his Father, and I was at my parents house.

After walking the dog with my Step-Dad we returned home and I checked my phone, five missed calls from my brother. Huh! five missed calls is a little unusual! I instantly called him back. He informed me that there was a man waiting for me! “I’m not expecting anyone, especially a man on a Saturday evening!!”

I raced home to find that I had recieved a Court Order!! I was shaking, I’m scared both for me and my Son, I couldn’t help it, I burst into tears.

I raced back to my Mum’s to show her what I had been served!! “Can you believe it! on a Saturday evening”.

I only quickly scanned over the documents. I see that the Court location, date and time was in another State! I couldn’t believe it, that is wasn’t local, but it’s where the documents were filled!

I instantly started thinking how will I make it to Court, especially in another State. I have my Son to look after, who will watch him for me while I’m away? How will I get there? What time will I get back? I had a million thoughts that ran through my mind. another one was “How will this all end up?

The stress was all too overwhelming. Our relationship was never easy, but this was the straw that broke the camels back. I thought to myself, I could easily give up and my Ex could have my Son full time and that would end everything! I have friends whose children live with their father, I could do the same and just give up. I knew that this thinking was the stress taking over.

How much more could can I take? Should I fight or just give up? Giving up seemed like the easy option. At times it was tempting to take that easy option, it just didn’t seem fair. I never did anything wrong. He just wanted our Son for himself.

After a while my shock turned into anger. My fight or flight instincts stepped in, I decided that I am going to fight. I am not giving up! Why should my Son & I suffer just so that he could get his own way! 

I contacted a lawyer to arrange an appointment. She asks if I have read the Documents! I told her that I had just skimmed over them, that I was far too emotional to read them!”. I told her that I had noticed that there were a few lies in the documents. Unfortunately. I didnt’t have any proof that they were lies, nor did I have any documentation that the lies were factual.

I’ve have now learnt to take photo’s (and screenshots on my phone) of the date and time of events so I can use them as evdience and as proof.

I admit, I had became complacent because things were going ok between my Ex & I! I didn’t think we were going to have any problems sharing our Son and started to relax a little, and look what’s happened! I’ve learnt to never underestimate a situation.

Our relationship was never based on strong communication. Because of this, no issues were ever really raised. Now, all communication was going through his Lawyer. It’s incredible to think that after everything we went through I didn’t have any direct communication with him anymore, I only heard directly from his lawyer.

Last year, when our son was just 2 years old, he called me to discuss taking him away for 5 days and 4 nights, to a completely different state.

I was told to think about it and no time line was given. I was in a constant battle with myself should/shouldn’t I let him go. Why didn’t I want him to go? Was it my fears and insecurities? In all our discussions, conversations and arguements my Ex and I never spoke about our Son being raised and taken interstate.  This was something that was never raised until now… when I recieved the Court Order!

I felt helpless. I thought, how will my Son cope at such a young age, he was only getting used to being away from me and staying with his father. This would be is too much of a big change for my Son.

I can’t exactly remember how it all happened but I was advised if I was to let our Son go with his father Interstate that my he would drop the court case.

I found dealing with the Lawyers stressful, I thought do we really want the Lawyers to be involved in every decision in our lives moving foward and all future  communication to go through them? To me, that’s where this was all heading. Once Lawyers and Judges become involved how could we come back from that?

Couldn’t we just get back to communicating like two adults again? Why do we need four people involved in every conversation? How is this going to benefit the most important person in all our Son. The child is the most important person, the child comes first, parents second.

In the end we agreed, our Son’s happiness was what was the most important. We asked him, and he wanted to go. My son ended up going Interstate and had a fantastic time. I was sent photo’s and shared some Skype time with him. He loved going on a plane. 

The Court case was dropped, we are still trying to finalised everything. My Ex and I are working on our communication. It hasn’t always been easy.

I now document everything, I mean everything, and keep a record of all our communications. It doesn’t always go to plan, but I am glad I fought and never gave up. Parenting is not always pleasant nor is it easy. If you’re a single mum I hope my story shows you that no matter what your struggles are, that you’re not on your own. Issues like this, are all too common.

The biggest lesson I learnt, is that communication is the key and the child comes first. Talk about the hard stuff, the what if’s, when’s and maybe’s. Even if think those difficult situations will never eventuate, they can and they do.

You may also like to read:

Talking to Kids about the Hard Stuff

10 Useful Rules for a Single Parent Household