Divorce made me not see my kids at Easter.
I sat up, the fluffy duvet covering my legs, the AC chilling my nose, and looked around the quiet room. I started crying. Softly. Slowly. Privately. I didn’t know exactly why. In fact, I knew I shouldn’t be crying! I was in a beautiful hotel room but I was depressed. I missed my kids and I felt like there had just been a robbery like something valuable had just been abruptly taken from me. The sudden feeling of emptiness as the background soul music was playing, I was left sitting there, stunned. How could I do any of it without them? Without watching the Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn with the three of them on the couch beside me, without helping them get dressed up and fighting over their outfits, without brushing their hair, without the youngest sitting on my lap during dinner. I couldn’t face the day without them. What a lonely Easter? I said to myself.
Knowing that so many other people were spending the day with their children and that I couldn’t spend it with mine unleashed some sort of biological craving in me, like the inside of my womb could feel the distance between the kids and me. I wanted to howl. It was a guttural, instinctual feeling. A deep ache. Irrational. Biological.
It has been three years, since my husband called quits after he met a new woman, his Coworker and the two decided to engage in a serious relationship. It was a tough and painful experience that I had to go through while My children were still young. My husbands’ company had made a lot of money that year, then he decided to buy a new house and moved in with his new girlfriend. While I was still on shock, he filled for a divorce and came for my kids and took them away with him.
Our court systems are very corrupt, they gave him full custody of our children. Lorna was seven years, Linah was five and Leah was three. I get to see my kids once in a while
“You okay, dear?” She put her hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye. “I – I – I miss my kids!” I sobbed like a baby, covering my face. She sighed, looked down at the floor, and then gave me a hug. “Me too,” she said sadly. “I miss my Bambinos too.” We stood there like that, holding onto each other, mothers united by what we both lacked that holiday.
I had decided to spend the whole three days. From Good Friday to Easter Sunday at one of the flashy hotels. Thought that would have been better than staying at home alone without kids.
Divorce sucks. Amicable or acrimonious. One-sided or mutual. No matter how it all plays out, it’s mentally and physically exhausting—and doesn’t just come to a screeching halt when the ink on the divorce papers dry.
I met Stella, also a single parent of two sons. Her story was a bit different from mine. Stella left her two young children with their father and went abroad to pursue her master’s degree. She got a scholarship six months after she delivered her twins. Her husband had refused for her to leave. But she thought of the opportunity. It was just 18 months program and with this opportunity, there were great career opportunities ahead of her. She then chose to leave for the studies in Canada and had brought her cousin sister to assist her with young kids.
Six months later, she found out that the cousin sister and her husband became an item. She had asked some external investigators to investigate if what she heard was true. Stella got photos and more information about her husband and the sister’s affair. She did not know how to handle or what to do. She was far and when she tried to address to her husband, he did not deny. He simply told her that, she was no longer welcomed in their matrimonial house. That when she graduates, she should find a different house to go and live.
The pain and anger made Stella work so hard on her papers and ended up getting a great job at a multi-international company. The job allowed Stella to travel the world and stay at expensive luxury hotels. She had just come back to Tanzania and went straight to check-in the hotel and was planning how to go facing her betrayer sister and husband and her two lovely twins, whom she ended up seeing them on photos.
Women do suffer a lot when it comes to getting their children custody or the right to live with their children. The law does not allow children under seven years to live with their male parents, however, there are many cases where custody is given to a male parent, even when the children are under six years old due to cash bribe or use false lies to assassinate the character of the female parent, and the court ends up giving that custody to fathers.
I believe if priorities will be given to the female parent up until the child is 18 years old when the child has grown to an adult and can decide on their own. It would have been a fare. The only time that fathers should be given custody, should be when the mother is insane and unfit to raise a child. May be due to drug abuse, sickness or other ill actions which can be proven.