'We're getting divorced I don't want custody of our kids'
OUR divorce has been a long time coming. I guess you could call it death by a thousand cuts, but by the time our boys were eight and six, I'd had enough. My husband Simon and I had been growing apart since our eldest son, Will, was born.
You know how sometimes a baby brings couples together? With us, it did the opposite. I don't ever want Will or our younger son, Aiden, to feel responsible for their parents divorcing, but the sleepless nights and the divide in lifestyle that was created when they were born were just too great for Simon and me to get past.
I spent a good four years just being tired all the time, and I resented Simon for his ability to get up in the morning, have a shower and go off to the office for the day. I'd given up my career as a radio journalist so I could stay home while the boys were little, but it wasn't a natural fit for me. I missed my work, and I hated being a stay-at-home mum. I just didn't know what to do with myself so I spent a lot of time sitting around doing not much, simmering with bitterness.
I'm the first to admit I should have handled it better, but on the flip side of that, Simon seemed to be spending longer and longer hours at the office. He was travelling for work a lot and accepted a promotion that required even more time away from us - without even discussing it with me. ("I thought you'd be pleased for me.")
So our marriage disintegrated. We were both at fault, and I wish Simon only good things, but I just can't live with him anymore.
We've sat our boys down and told them we'll be living separately, and they took it pretty well. There have been questions about whether we'll get back together (no), and whose fault it is (nobody's, but especially not theirs), and whether they'll have to change schools (absolutely not).
But the one question I'm struggling with is where the boys will live. I know as the mother I'm expected to want custody, or at least to want to share them 50/50, but there is this voice inside that is whispering, "What if things could be different?"
Our boys have always favoured their dad. It's not something that bothers me, it's just that they're all into typically 'boy' stuff like Aussie Rules football, fishing, dirt bikes and Lego - all things that bore me to snores.
To be honest, when I'm alone with the boys I'm never quite sure what to do with them. They spend a lot of time playing with each other and I wonder what value I can add to their lives, apart from being the woman who makes their dinner and washes their clothes.
I don't see that I do much for them, and the whole situation makes me feel like a failure.
Eight years after I gave up my career for my family, I see a possible light at the end of the tunnel that could make us all happier. What if I could get something back for me? What if I could do something where I would be useful? And what if the boys could be truly happy every day?
I'm not suggesting I exit their lives completely, but I think I'd be a much better weekend mum than I am a full-time mum.
Whatever happens as Simon and I divorce, I'm going to have to go back to work anyway. The boys will be using after-school care for the first time, and we'll be relying on the help of friends and family to care for them. I just feel like the boys would be better off spending the precious time they have at home with their dad.
And maybe it's time for me to focus on doing something I'm good at for a change. I think we'd all be better off.
This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.