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Estranged mom seeks custody after 5 years globe-trotting; ex says no. + Response from kids' caregiver

Estranged mom seeks custody after 5 years globe-trotting; ex says no. + Response from kids' caregiver


"AITA for trying to get back into my kids lives?"


I (28F) have three kids with my ex (30M). We were never married, but we dated while I was in college. My senior year, I got pregnant and had twins (both boys). He moved me in with him and we were raising our kids together.

14 months after giving birth to the boys, I had a girl. Immediately after I had postpartum depression. I wasn't doing well and I decided to go back home to my parents to try to clear my head.

Once home, I saw my old bedroom, my old things and was kind of reminded of what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to take a gap year to travel, but I had gotten a scholarship to my first choice school and it seemed silly to pass it up.

I decided then, this is what I needed to get in the right mental state. I called BD and told him I'm going to Europe for a couple of months. He was incensed and tried to talk me out of it. I explained this is what I needed to go back to being myself and be a better parent and partner.

So I went. He called me the first couple of months and kept asking if I was coming back. Eventually he stopped calling. About six months in, my parents told me that he had filed to get full custody of the kids.

I was mad he didn't tell me before doing it, but I thought I'd at least take full advantage and really see the world and get it out of my system. I traveled for a little over two years and visited every continent.

When I was done, I really wanted to see my kids, but I felt guilty for not being present in their lives and I didn't want to face my ex. One of the friends I made in my travels offered me a gig as an English teacher in a private school in Thailand. I took the opportunity and spent the next three years doing that.

This year, I returned stateside and stayed with my parents. They showed me pictures of the kids and told me, my ex let them see the kids a couple of times. I got in touch with him, telling him I was ready to be involved in their lives and he flat out refused.

I threatened to sue for custody and he just replied, "Good luck with that" and sent my pictures of me partying in Europe. They are not flattering. My parents want to see their grandkids more, but they tell me it's all my fault for not being able to see them. AITA for trying to see them?

One of the people who has been helping to care for the OP's kids found this post and decided to share their experience and opinion.


I know exactly who this is. I know the kids and the dad. Those kids were raised by a wolfpack. When this pathetic waste of oxygen abandoned her kids, basically anyone and everyone who had a passing relation to the dad stepped up.

His mom moved in for the first year to help with the babies. Neighbors, friends and relatives all donated or bought kids stuff for them. Clothes, diapers, toys, anything he needed. One of his friends manages a restaurant and he brought them unused food almost every night.

I work at a bank, so I had nothing useful to contribute other than money and time. One of our buddies runs an MMA gym, and he has a kids class that starts after school, so he will take them in after school until their dad gets off work.

Whenever the kids need a babysitter, two or three rowdy men show up ready to be horseys or punching bags for the boys and tea party guests for the little girl. One of our other friends is a lawyer, he helped him gaining custody and advised him though the process. OP's parents are rich and they always offer money to help.

On the advise of our lawyer friend, he always refuses. That way they can't use that in any future custody battle. He didn't even let them introduce themselves as their grandparents, so they can't claim a relationship.

Their dad is doing well now, those kids don't want for anything. Every Sunday night, he hosts us to watch football and hang out with the kids. His daughter delights in serving everyone "wheat juice." Their so much better of without this witch.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


I can understand needing a break, but "a couple of months in Europe" is already pretty excessive when you're leaving three kids, but to then hear at six months that her ex is going for custody and her response us to YOLO it into a five or six year adventure?

There cannot be any possible way she rationally expected to be back in the kids' lives. Especially if she contests it now and has it on record that she was spending much of it partying in an "unflattering" way. If the second OP is legit, at least the kids don't seem to have missed out on much.


Love this. What a complete pos for thinking they can leave 3 young children and come back seamlessly into their lives. But that checks out for a narcissist. Hope she never tries to get in their life ever again.


OP is a raging narcissist. Imagine abandoning 3 kids under the age of two, taking off for five years, and thinking you can just waltz back into their lives. Her ex sounds like an absolute rock star with an amazing support system. Those are some lucky kids, both for having such an amazing family group, and for not having to know their biological mother.


I am delighted to hear that the children are healthy and happy. I want to commend all the people who stepped up to be there for the kiddos, when their selfish, narcissistic, entitled mother couldn't. YTA OP for abandoning your children. I wish the family and all the friends that helped, the best of luck in the future!


I was so outraged reading her story. The audacity of treating her kids like they should just be waiting there for her whenever she decides to be parent, after she clearly didn't think about them once in years.

But I am so happy you posted, because if this is, that makes me so happy that these kids have a village that loves them so fiercely. Being abandoned really messes kids up, making them feel rejected by the one person in the world who's supposed to love them unconditionally.

But being surrounded by so many people looking out for their interests and having a dad that so fiercely protects them... That will make all the difference to those kids. Your story def gave me the warm fuzzies, and I think someone must be cutting onions around here. To OP - YTA

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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