Parenting Heartbreak

There are those little, heartbreaking moments when you’re a parent that stay with you for a long time. I had one of those moments this past weekend with LittleMo. She’s been having a bit of a hard time lately. I’m not sure what’s going on with her, exactly. I guess she has a lot on her mind for a five year old – preschool is over, she’s likely missing the old routine of her life. School is coming up in September, which is a source of both excitement and anxiety for her.

There’s more, too, as I found out on the weekend.

LittleMo: “Mama, are you going to marry [CBG]?”

Me: “I don’t know, honey, maybe.”

LittleMo: “I wish you and daddy weren’t separate.”

Sucker punch…right to the gut.

I asked her if she’d be sad if I DID marry CBG, and she shook her head no with a smile. So I know that it’s about her dad and I, not about CBG.

I explained to her that I was sorry that daddy and I were separate, but that we both really really loved her and that we would always be there for her. There was really nothing left that I could say.

Wow…this single-parenting-coparenting-stepparenting thing really gets pretty complicated after a while. I wonder, some days, if it will ever feel easy.

8 Responses

  1. I had a similar conversation yesterday with my son. He told me there is still time for me to get back together with daddy. So tough.

  2. Ouch, talk about a sucker punch. It sounds like a big fat challenge. But as long as you know you did the right thing and are honest with your kids like you have been, then I think it will work out. My guess is that it will just take some time all around.

  3. 😦 Wow that is not easy. You did the best thing by being honest.

  4. Honesty is key and what kid doesn’t want the picket fence dream of parents. Heck mine were married and I wanted mine to love each other more.

  5. I’ve had a similar conversation with my son. I think he understands why we’re no longer married but the conflict is that having divorced parents makes him different from many of his friends. It’s that cultural perception about what makes a family that somehow gets communicated to our children whether we like it or not. Doing my best to broaden that perception … we’re still a family, we just look a little different.

  6. I went through this when my daughter was 7 and my son was 4. They are now 28 and 25. Their little world’s were torn in half and they often felt that they had been torn in half along with it. The choices made by the adults, however justified are not within the control of the children and they feel like their lives have gone out of control. Something I did to offset their feelings of powerlessness and loss of control was to ensure that those areas that they did have control over I did not interfere with and I gave over as much control to them as was possible given their ages. An example would be that I would always give them choices such as would you like a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch or a hot dog. When we went shopping I let them chose the kind of granola bars they wanted, their own cereal (some were off limits because of sugar content), what they wore and the items I bought them to wear were chosen by them. The power of choice that I gave them helped them to differentiate between what was within their control and what was not. One of the biggest fears of children of divorced parents is that if mummy and daddy can stop loving each other than it (to them) is possible that mummy and daddy might “fall out of love” with them too. It is important to let them express how they feel without interruption and without telling them it’s okay when it’s not. You can tell them that you understand. Time, age and life experience take care of the rest but it is painful to watch them go through it. Lots and lots of hugs. From you to your daughter and from me to both of you. Parenting under any circumstances is not the easy job in the world by far but it is certainly, in my view, the most rewarding.

  7. […] they were taking it all in stride and doing okay. Small things have come up recently, particularly a recent conversation with LittleMo, that have caused me to consider […]

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