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growing up without dad around

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  • growing up without dad around

    Hi, I was just wondering if there are any single moms here that can give me some advice on how they've dealt with raising a child without dad around. My 2yr old has been learning at school that families are made up of mom and dads and has been asking for her dad. (Actually, every guy she sees she asks if that is "dad". I just say no, that is a "guy" or "man"...).

    My daughter has her grandpa and uncle as male-figures, her paternal grandpa is also around. However it breaks my heart that her dad doesn't care to see her... I know I am thinking way into the future but I dread the day she will ask, where is my dad? or, why he doesn't come see me? I have no idea what I will say to that. I know I cannot protect her from everything but I just don't want her to blame herself or something like that....

    just wondering how other's have dealt with this issues.....

  • #2
    wow! that's tough! i'm not a single mom, so can't offer advice here, but want to offer support. parenting is hard enough w/2 parents. i give all the kudos to single moms! and i think it's awesome that you are encouraging her relationship w/other family male figures.

    hopefully other single mammas will chime in here!


    • #3
      Are you interested in obtaining access to the Divorce & Custody forum? There are single mommas that post in the forum (and single dads) and it might be a good place to get more information, even if you aren't looking for divorce or custody-specific information.

      If you want access, just send me a PM or post here and I'll add it.


      • #4
        I am a soon to be single mom, who knows other single moms.

        You have such a good heart for your daughter, and you were wise to find good male role models for her!

        My advice to you is to always be open to your daughters questions, and focus on the positive. There are, sadly, those of us out here who have not-so-good daddies in their kids lives. You are fortunate not to be one. It sounds like she realizes that she doesn't have a daddy at home, and she feels comfortable asking you. She's bright, inquisitive, and knows to trust you. That's great!! I would give her as much information as she asks, age-specific. That will fill her curiosity, and deepen her trust in you. Reassure her that she always has you, and how much you love her!

        You are wise to know to tell your daughter as often as she wants/needs to hear that it isn't anything to do with her that her daddy isn't around. He just isn't, and you will always be honest with her (you can tell her).

        Oh, second advice would be to find good AP books on your situation, and get her to therapy to understand. We are all different! Some of us have blue eyes, some are tall, some don't have daddies at home.



        • #5
          I grew up with a very absentee father.. He didn't even send cards or call for most of my life!
          I too had a wonderful Grandpa... and that helped a lot.
          My mom worked hard, but I missed her because she had to work so much. When we were really little and lived close, Grandma picked us up at school ( I was in Kindergarten) and we would stay with her untill my mom was out of work. She had some issues with her parents and later that arrangement ended. When she remarried it was a difficult transition ( I was in 3nd grade) and we were entirely too young to be latch key kids! (My sister was a year older)

          Sorry for the ramble..
          I know I wish my mom would have been slightly more forthcoming about my father's behavior. I was really given no information! She had read that a divorced couple should not talk bad about the other to the kids.... I agree with that... but maybe a " I felt like he was not supporting us" etc -Not blaming- but 'I' statements
          Of course all this at older ages!

          Maybe NVC (non-violent communication) would be a good resource for this subject?


          • #6
            Thank you so much for all the support and wonderful advice!! I am happy I finally posted my question. Reading your posts I agree that the best will always be to be honest with her and not avoid the topic. I also realized that I am scared to talk about this so maybe my issues with this play a part on why I am confused on how to deal with the situation with my daughter.

            You've inspired me to carefully consider how I will respond to her when she asks, there are many ways to tell the truth and I want to be honest but not hurtful or talk bad about her dad. NVC is a great suggestion, I use it for other situations but didn't think to apply it here. I like the idea of talking about this in terms of how I feel without judging him.

            I agree with you apmommy, I am convinced that is for the best that he is not around her. I've known him for 15 yrs but feel like I don't know him at all right now when I see the things he is doing (hard core drugs/alcohol).... This may sound weird but I was not in love with him when I got pregnant (he was not in love with me either), we were not even in a relationship and this is a big part of what scares me when I think what will I tell her. Should I lie and say we loved each other very much or be honest and say we didn't love each other?? aaaahhhhhhh As I said, these are my demons and I have to deal with them.

            Thank you all again for your posts!!!


            • #7
              Oh my mom NEVER mentioned love when she talked about my father, she said how intriguing and charismatic he was. He was those things, even with addiction issues!
              Using the word 'love' as a way of simplifying a romantic relationship dosn't always work, as you mentioned.
              "we liked talking together"
              "we enjoyed each other's company"
              Don't worry about soiling a perception that 'love' is for making babies, lying about feelings is never good!

              Although its not specific to separated parents, Connection Parenting by Pam Leo has a lot of introspective exercises that might be useful.
              I did them and really cleared up some 'stuff' in my head about my parents relationship..... I SOOO recommend it!


              • #8
                Thank you Naomi for your post, it is really helping me figure out where I want to go with this. You are really giving me a new perspective on this and giving me hope that I can really be honest without a negative lookout on things. I've read Pam Leo's book but maybe I should go back to it again (I am currently reading Raising our children, raising ourselves... awesome book!!)

                Ive been thinking about this all day, I think I feel like I want to protect my daughter from feeling she was "not wanted", it was an oops after all. That is why I am worried about the "love" thing. I am really scared that she will blame me although I know in my heart I have done everything I can for him to see her and for his parents to have a relationship with her (I've succeeded with the grandparents).

                I love her with all my heart and have done the best I can with AP, unconditional and attraction parenting and I need to trust that all will be fine. I feel so guilty that I try to overcompensate for him not being around and it is exhausting. I've realized with all this posts that I really need to deal with this issues. Thank you for reading, thank you for replying and all the support and advice. It has been VERY helpful!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lumena View Post
                  Ive been thinking about this all day, I think I feel like I want to protect my daughter from feeling she was "not wanted", it was an oops after all.
                  i can't apply this to my children, but the things that have brought me the most joy in life were an "oops". you could maybe present it to her that, although she wasn't planned, she's been the most amazing, surprising gift.


                  • #10
                    I applaud you.
                    You're seeking answers to questions I've had floating around in my head for nearly three years, but couldn't express.
                    It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job of taking care of yourself and your little one.
                    As far as the "oops!" issue goes, I might have an answer to that. It worked for me and my little one. Maybe it will give you inspiration for you and your little one.
                    I don't view her as an "oops!" She's a surprise - a whopper, too! We were on TWO kinds of birth control when I got pregnant! So, boy was I surprised when I was told that I was pregnant. I tell her that, although I didn't plan on getting pregnant, she was a welcome surprise. She's nearly three, so to put it on her level I relate it to going to the grocery store. We plan on just getting groceries, but sometimes we get a surprise when the check-out clerk gives her a balloon. It wasn't planned, but it's great when it happens!

                    She's a very verbal nearly-three, so she is asking all the questions I dread answering about our family situation. After all, I'm not sure I have the answers, myself; much less the answers on a toddler level.

                    To all the women who have answered Lumena's questions - thank you. You've answered mine, too.


                    • #11
                      Dear Lumena,
                      I also applaud you for seeking help with these questions. My mom was a single mother too and I believe her intentions were good and that she didn't want to say anything bad about my father (who I did have contact with). So when I reached the age where I was wondering why my family didn't have a daddy around, I asked her why they were divorced. Her reply was: "well, you'll have to ask your father" since he was the one who left.

                      Since I was never close to my father asking him was out of the question and being left to come up with the answers all by myself created ALL sorts of problems that followed me most of my life and that required YEARS of therapy. At 34 yrs old I finally confronted my father with all my questions and it was a great experience but it's almost like my life didn't really start until then, I was finally free from all the guilt and the questions. Not surprisingly we finally got pregnant, after years of trying, the week after I confronted him!

                      Good luck. It sounds like your LO is already blessed with a very loving and caring mama.


                      • #12
                        I just wanted to say that I was an accident without a father around too, but it never mattered to me because I knew my mom loved me sooooo much! I'm sure your daughter knows how much you love her too. Everybody is different of course, but I didn't want a father in my life. My dad tried to be a part of our lives when I was six and I didn't want anything to do with him. I was really close to my mom and I didn't want anything to interfere with that, but I don't remember if I wanted a dad around when I was younger. I don't have answers for you as to how to answer her questions, but I just wanted to tell you that as long as your daughter has your love she will be fine.