You could have fought for them. You could have kept on fighting and never stopped.
And if you had, your children would have grown up in a hellish tug of war they could not possibly have comprehended all those times they begged to live with you.
Instead, you did the HARDEST thing you could do. You let them go.
As hard as it was for them to miss you, I know it was even harder for you. You had to miss them and live with the knowledge that you might never get a chance to make this up to them.
I know this because I, too, had to make such a decision. In my case, it only lasted 6 months before their dad and I began working back towards 50/50 custody ( though that took longer than an additional year).
I am glad you have the chance to mend the past and be the mother you wanted to be before, but I think that it was during those absent years that your mommy star shone brightest.
It’s easy to put our children first when it elevates us as well…it is infinitely more difficult when placing them first means the joy will be leached from our lives, robbing from us our very reason for continuing to breathe.
You did that.
You were always a good mom.
Sometimes that just looks different than we expect it should.