A Truly Momentous Day

For those of you who have been reading my blog since the early days you would already know that relations between Milo's father and I have been a tad on the tumultuous side over the years. I've never gone into too much major detail (and lucky for you, I wasn't writing through the pregnancy and breast feeding days as the emotional outbursts would have made for rather drab reading!) but to give a slight overview; we broke up before I found out I was pregnant and then tried to get to know each other during the 10 months before Milo turned up on the scene. The following 2 years after learning that I was pregnant were filled with shouting, frustration, many a shed tear and alot of upset. This time 7 months ago I was being threatened with being taken to court as I never gave Milo's father legal shared custody rights following much advice from various sources. The law here is that if the Mother and Father aren't married, then the Mother has automatic full legal custody and she has to sign something to give ''das Sorgerecht'' (right of custody) to the Father which you would obviously do if you were in a loving relationship with the father of your child (at least you'd hope so otherwise something's not quite right there?!). Anyway, I decided towards the end of my pregnancy, after many months of thinking it through and discussing it with various people in many life, to not give Milo's Dad part legal custody. It was a decision I didn't take lightly as I knew there would be pretty terrible consequences to that decision (and there were, boy oh boy were there!) but I felt it was the best decision for Milo and myself and I always knew I could change my mind about it some day. So, flash back a year ago or so, the laws changed here in Germany, for Father's, giving them the right to take the Mother's of their children to court to fight for shared custody of their children (before this wasn't an option). Milo's dad of course followed this closely and from that point on I was regularly put under the pressure of threats to be taken to court. It was on and off for 7 months or so and to be honest it really stressed me out. Not long after I started dating 'The Lawyer' and found out that despite the change in the laws, it didn't actually make all that much difference and the likelihood of the court voting against me would be pretty slim. Phewwwww. Every once in a while Milo's father and I would attempt to sit down and have a conversation about Milo, his development and of course the issue of custody. At one point he finally turned around and asked me what I would need in order to give him shared legal custody. He took it in. He reacted negatively. We talked again and then something changed. I was aware that he was nervous to make the changes and then have me turn around and not give it to him anyway but he finally went for it and took the risk to trust me (in his eyes of course, not mine) and things improved. Boy have they improved. I can only remember about 2 or 3 fights in the last 6 months (which for any parents is pretty amazing, let alone for two people who were full of loathing for each other) and we now manage to discuss Milo without the other getting offended or irate and we even manage to have a laugh every once in a while. Is it perfect? absolutely not. Does it make us think we should make a go of parenting as a couple? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But is it working? ABSOLUTELY. I am relieved beyond explanation and the final boxes were ticked yesterday when I spoke with him about the possibility of moving in the near future and my wish for Milo to go to a bi-lingual school. He listened to what I had to say and we discussed it. That may seem small fish but for me that was the last sign I needed to see that things were well and truly different. That all said, today I told him that I am going to give him legal shared custody of Milo. A day I honestly never thought I'd see. A truly momentous day. I love to read your comments so please feel free to let me know what you think over at my blog Check out my blog at: http://workingberlinmum.blogspot.com/?spref=fb

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