This may not be helpful in the grand scheme of things, but make sure you’re not moving just to run away from your problems. It certainly won’t help. If anything, it’s going to be harder on you because it’ll be harder to see your daughter.[/quote]
I think this is excellent advice, as well. Chicagoland is a great place, don’t get me wrong. You could do worse.
You have some important decisions to make. The most important one, I think, is in regards to your daughter. I raised a daughter on my own, as a single mom. I won’t badmouth my ex, but he was only a sporadic presence in my daughter’s life. I remarried when she was ten, and she had known my husband since she was a baby. BUT, and it is a huge BUT…she to this day (she turns 22 in a few weeks) feels abandoned by her father. It causes a lot of issues in her life.
She was (and is) the most cherished child in the world. I doted on her, my husband spoiled her, my family lavished her with love and attention. Still, she has very low self esteem, and it shows in her choices in life, especially with men. She has made some rash decisions that did NOT turn out well. I am no psychiatrist, but I am certain in large part it is due to her lack of a solid relationship with her father.
I agree that it would be difficult to have her on weekends if you live so far away. But having her just during the summers–she would be a virtual stranger, every year, when she got there. And as she gets older, will resent leaving her friends behind every summer.
I firmly believe that kids need their parents, regardless of the parents’ relationship, or lack thereof. Divorce is hard on kids. To quote Bart Simpson, ?I never thought it was humanly possible, but this both sucks and blows.? Even in the best of circumstances.
I am not saying whether or not you should or go, just that your daughter will benefit from having you regularly in her life. And of course you will benefit from seeing her regularly as well. You did not really state what kind of relationship you have with your ex. I know in my case, I bent over backwards to have a decent relationship with mine (which was NOT easy, believe me–I had to do a lot of tongue biting and silent fuming), but maybe you can have some sort of mediation with her, to work out a beneficial visitation schedule. Maybe instead of every other weekend, you could have school holidays, or some sort of six month split, or just anything so you avoid seeing her just once a year.
Sorry to ramble on here, but I work with teenagers, as well as being the mother of the almost-22 yr old above (who, to give you an example of her insecurity, plans to marry a 38 yr old man in Aug, after having only met him a few weeks ago), I have seen how this sort of thing impacts kids.