How do I deal with this whole "Single Mom" thing?

Norma - posted on 04/26/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My ex and I just separated..I am a mother of a 1 year old and a 2 year old..I have a lot of family and friend support..I am really confused..I feel lost..not knowing where to start..my boys keep me going..I just want to move on..but it's hard because I'll still be seeing him once he starts picking up my boys..where should I start..?? How can I tell my 2 year old that his daddy won't be back?? =[

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Elisha - posted on 05/06/2011

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I'm a single mommy and have been almost from day one. When my son started day care around the age of 2, I got bombarded with these questions. When they are so young, you may want to give them the details but it's better for both the child and you that you go with the focus that you will always be there for them regardless of who else is around. I have treated this delicate situation with the same approach as I use when asked "Where do babies come from?" Clearly, you could go into the juicy details but even at the age of 6, I keep it simple.. "They are born in a Hospital. And both the mommy and daddy love the baby a lot." At this point, the conversation will typically go onto another direction cause the question was answered. If you approach the situation with short & simple answers, this will make it easier for you and your little ones. There will be hard questions to answer as they get older but the most important thing is that they are happy. Give them as little information as they need and not too much. As adults we tend to want to give too much but it's really okay for the little ones.
I actually asked the courts to also ensure that should there be any visitation, it would be supervised. This is really easy to get and it takes the worry off your shoulder as to what the other parent could say to you child which could negatively impact the child. Just be careful not to talk bad about the other parent as kids pick up on this quickly. Go with the "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything about him/her when the kids are present." thought and you will be fine. It can be tough but your children need you more than anything and they are and will continue to be your strength. Trust me... I've been there, done that and it has its challenges but in the end, you as the parent fighting for what is best for your child will pay off in the long run. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I was common-law for many years and we had 2 children together. I left him when my children were 6 and 8 months. I found it hard at first but managed. He was seeing them every 2nd weekend but then when I married he had to marry and his wife was so jealous whenever the kids went there and him and her would fight to the point where it got physical in front of the kids. My husband and I got a lawyer and served him with papers so he can't see them without surpervision and he hasn't even tried since last June. My chilldren have asked when they can see him and all I tell them is that I'm just waiting for him to figure out what he wants to do. My kids are now 11 and 6 that I had with him and we have a new baby now and everything is great. I hope one day there dad will try harder to try to see them but until them we take one day at a time.

[deleted account]

Hi Norma : )
Maybe, for now, rather than gocusing on how to tell your son "daddy won't be back" focus on how "Mommy is always here - Mommy's got you, Mommy loves you and I'm so happy and lucky to be here. Everything is wonderful and exciting and no matter what we are going to have so much fun and great adventures." I found sometimes focusing on all the good we have we have far more fun than thinking anything is "missing." The great news, you aren't alone, lots of us are doing it (raising great and amazing souls on our own) and we know it's going to be great for you. Traditions taught us we are "broken" if we don't have another "half" but I truly think you are whole, perfect and complete - you are exactly the right person to do this right. Sometimes part of "moving on" is simply focusing on the good that is and knowing more good is coming. It's like gratitude that grows somehow. The past is wonderfully gone, and the more we allow ourselves to feel good now we end up with a string of moments and memories of feeling good. I hope this helps as you allow yourself to feel good, confident and peaceful with what is and know that what is coming has to be good. "God is subtle, but He's not malicious."

Sharon - posted on 05/03/2011

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Good luck sweetie - It is hard. Wonderful to hear that you have so much support, but sometimes that isn't enough to keep you from crying into your pillow when you're all alone at night. I am lucky in the aspect that my 4yr old has never asked about his father - he knows his friends have a daddy and a mommy - and he knows his grandparents are my mom and dad, but he just accepts that mommy is mommy AND daddy. He doesn't think he is missing anything, so he just accepts it.

Is your lil guy going to see his daddy - or is the connection completely severed? Your 2 year old may be fine and not even notice that daddy picking him up is different from daddy living at home. At that age they adjust very easily. It is definately going to be harder for you than them. Good luck.

Josefina - posted on 05/03/2011

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WELL YOU DON'T TELL THEM ANYTHING. IN MY OPINION ANYWAY!! AT THIS AGE ITS VERY EASY FOR THEM TO KINDA DO AWAY WITH THE IDEA THAT DADDY WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. I DON'T KNOW THE DADDY, FOR ALL WE KNOW HE MIGHT BE ONE OF THOSE DADS WHO ACTUALLY CARE, BUT WE WILL LEAVE THAT OPEN. I EVENTUALLY YOUR SON WILL NOTICE DADDY JUST WON'T BE AROUND AS MUCH. KIDS ARE MORE INTELLIGENT THAN WE TEND TO GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR. HELL MY KIDS DON'T KNOW WHO THERE FATHER IS, AND THAT IS FINE BY ME, WE DON'T NEED HIM, HE IS NOT IN AND OUT OF THERE LIVES SO I CAN HONESTLY SAY WE LUCKED OUT@@
BUT NORMA HONESTLY THERE IS NOT CORRECT WAY TO PREPARE YOUR TWO YEAR FOR DADDY NOT COMING BACK. INSTEAD MAYBE PREPARE FOR HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HANDLE DADDY NOT BEING BACK, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD WHEN HE IS EXPECTING HIS DAD AND DAD DOESN'T SHOW UP, HOW DO U PLAN TO NOT SET UR CHILD UP FOR FAILURE. WELCOME TO BEING A SINGLE MOMMY. WHERE THE BEST YEARS ARE FASTLY APPROACHING

Jane - posted on 04/26/2011

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I lost my husband recently to death, a different situation I know, but with some similarities. After he died I, too, felt lost and had to explain what happened to my kids.



In your case, their Daddy isn't gone forever. He is only going to live in a separate house and he will be back to see them on a regular schedule. So don't tell your two-year-old that Daddy won't be back. He will, but he won't live in the same house anymore.



Simply tell them that its is time for you and their dad to live in separate places. Make sure they know that it has NOTHING to do with them, that both of you still love them and always will.



Even if he tries to do it on his end, do NOT try to turn the kids against him or use the kids to relay messages. Let them be kids. After watching how my brother's divorce has played out over the years, I know you will thank yourself many times over for keeping adult business adult and not burdening the kids with stuff they don't need to worry about.



Make sure to repeat often that it has nothing to do with the kids, that both you and their Daddy still love them to busy yourself with daily life, child care, work, and so on, but let your thoughts about where you want to go and what you want to do simmer. After a few months it will dawn on you what direction in which you wish to go. You will have a chance to make new friends and do things your husband didn't want to do.



If you have a group of girl friends I suggest you get together with them on a regular basis just to be able to talk to grown ups, and maybe bitch about your ex if you need to do so.



The easiest way to move on is to become involved in something else, a job, a hobby, a group of friends, anything that will let you experience joy.



Good luck! Take the high road every time and look to the future.

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