Rebecca - posted on 03/26/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )
School holidays start today, so my 3 year old is going to her dad from today till next thursday (he is picking her up from nursery which finishes early today). I must say i always find the separation hard, and I always tell my daughter I will miss her (so that she knows she is missed). it's been 6 months since i broke up with her dad, and i don't want him back, but i do wish i could give her a non-broken family.
The whole week she has been excited about going there and because winter is on its way and the weather is changing i bought her a whole lot of new clothes yesterday, and she was excited packing her bag with new clothes. we spoke about how much fun she was going to have there (i try to be positive about it for her sake) but as usual i said i would miss her. her response was 'i don't know how to choose.' i was taken aback and said 'my darling you don't have to choose; you can love your daddy and your mommy, and we both love you very much.' i then went on to give her a whole list of people she can love and that she doesn't have to choose between any of them.
then she said something about another little girl we know, Sophia, whose parents are getting divorced and it's very ugly and my daughter overheard a conversation we were having about Sophia feeling forced to choose and how hard this is on her, and she seems to have got the impression that she is supposed to choose. i reassured her that this is definitely not the case and that she was allowed to enjoy her time with daddy and enjoy her time with mummy.
she seemed ok after that, but this morning when i was trying to get her breakfasted and dressed she was really dragging her feet and saying she was too tired etc. i tried to get her excited about going to daddy and ouma, but it didn't work. she just stared at me; eventually i asked her: 'don't you want to go visit daddy and ouma?'and she said she didn't.
i pointed out that she had been excited all week and that she would have fun there and a few minutes later she said she was missing ouma (her dad's mother). i said well, you can see ouma just now, you just need to have breakfast and get dressed. eventually she did.
i tried to call her dad to explain that she was feeling vulnerable and he didn't answer his phone. i decided to try again shortly, but when the phone rang, i thought it was him. it wasn't - it was my daughter phoning on my husband's phone, which is something that's never ever happened before. apparently she told my husband she wanted me, so he suggested she call me. i again reassured her that we would survive without her, but of course we loved her and she mustn't feel bad about spending time with her daddy.
after the phone conversation with her, i tried to phone her dad again to tell him what is going on, but since he wasn't answering i called his mother and explained to her. i told her she is obviously feeling really vulnerable and to please let her call me if she is feeling sad or missing me. his mother asked if i wanted to cancel it, and i said no, but if things get really bad let's play it by ear and talk and figure it out together.
however, i am sitting here alone and just feeling awful on behalf of my daughter. she clearly doesn't want to leave me, but she is also clearly missing them. i don't know if she is just realising now that we are NOT going to get back together this time; our relationship has been unstable and there have been break ups that we patched up in the past (starting from when she was 3 months old).
i just don't know if i am handling things correctly or if there's anything more i can do, or something i should not do or etc. i want my daughter to grow up confident and loved, and this is obviously causing her a great deal of confusion and insecurity.
i have had many people tell me kids are resilient and they bounce back etc but i honestly can't stop crying about it right now. even tho he is the one who walked out on us, i still wish i could have held our relationship together for her sake.
(you can see my earlier post to understand why i have a husband who is my older child's father and my ex-(non-legal)-husband.)