Do I have a daddy?

As Father’s Day gets ever closer I find myself getting slightly anxious for my little boy. His father hasn’t seen him since he was 9 months old and he’s now three and a half. He’s at that age where he questions everything, so naturally the inevitable questions have started  – “Do I have a daddy?” and “Where is my daddy?”

These questions break my heart and they always come out of the blue. I still don’t know if I said the right thing the first time I was asked. It was one of our daily walks home from nursery after a day at work and there it was, out of nowhere, “Mummy, I don’t have a daddy do I?

Looking into those innocent big blue eyes of his, what could I say? As my heart broke into a million pieces, before I had time to think I said “Of course you have a daddy sweetheart, he just lives a long way away”.

Was this the right thing to say? Because in my mind he doesn’t actually have a daddy. Isn’t a daddy someone who is there to care, love and protect their child?

He has a biological father, sure but not a daddy.

He then asked “Can you take me to see him then?”

Again, fumbling for what to say, I simply said it was too far and maybe one day. I couldn’t look him in the eye and say that his daddy actually didn’t want to see him, despite for over a year me trying to make it happen.

I know he still asks questions very innocently as he is observing and becoming aware of differences. But how long before this does become painful for him? Or maybe he won’t ever feel that pain and it’s just in my adult brain that I think this will cause him pain. At some point I will have to tell him the truth about why his daddy and I aren’t together and somehow make him realise his daddy not wanting to see him, is by no way a reflection on him, it’s all about his daddy and his issues in life.

So, Father’s Day is fast approaching, a time when media, shops, nurseries and schools are all talking about fathers, dads and daddy’s. A time of year I dread and would happily fast forward. I just want to pop my son into a little bubble and transport him away for a couple of weeks until it’s all calmed down.

Just thinking of all of the children in his nursery class making cards for their Dad’s and him sitting there, feeling left out, doesn’t bear thinking about. I know people say, “Well, he can make one for his Grandad or Uncle” which he did when he was younger and I’m sure he’ll do again this year, but It’s not the same is it and he’ll realise that, won’t he?

I know the questions will start again and I need to consider carefully my answers…

To my darling little boy, I love you with all of my heart and I try to be both your mummy and your daddy but I know there are certain times that maybe, that’s not enough.


Have you had to deal with this before? If so, how did you manage it?

Did you ask for professional advise and what did they say?

I’d love to hear from you….

Mum-Work-Repeat X


35 thoughts on “Do I have a daddy?

  1. Julia @ Rainbeaubelle says:

    Oh I am dreading Father’s Day too! It will be the first one since my husband died and I just hope the kids can manage ok. And me for that matter! I think you’ve given a good answer as you never know what might happen in the future. Sometimes you just have to be kind don’t you. Lots of love xx

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. In some ways, at least my son knows no different but for all of you…that’s a different matter. I hope you all draw strength from each other xxx

  2. Jennie says:

    Been through this exact thing. I sought professional advice when my son was 2.5 and started asking about his daddy. You hit the nail on the head with your answer. That’s all you can say, that all families are different and not everyone lives with/sees their daddy, and remind him that you work just great as a family of two! I had all the same anxieties as you for years (and still do). My son is 11 now and he got in touch with his dad earlier this year. After an initial rejection from his dad they did begin texting but it fizzled out after a few weeks. I still think it must be hurtful but my son seems genuinely unperturbed. Just keep doing what you’re doing, sounds like you’re doing a great job! x

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Thank you so much for your comment Jennie, it’s re-assuring to know that I answered as a professional would have recommended. Also nice to hear from someone who has gone and is going through similar and appears your son hasn’t been harmed by it all. It means a lot, thank you so much x

  3. Luisa T says:

    I am in the same situation. I dread Father’s Day and Mother’s Day come to that. My three year old twins ask daily about their daddy, who they have not seen since they were 18months old. My heart breaks and inside I crumple every time the question is asked. I simply reply he lives in another country but isn’t well, he will call us when he gets better. I don’t know where it came from, I suppose the hope that maybe one day he will want to see them . I used to talk about him and what we did as babies to try and keep him alive so they didn’t feel different but now I am being advised by their nursery to tell them the truth. It is hard to know what is right and what will do them the least damage. But I think as a mother you instinctively do what is best for your children.
    I will be thinking of you over Father’s Day.

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      It’s so hard to know what to say for the best isn’t it. All we want is to protect them from ever feeling any pain and know that their daddy’s not being in their lives is no reflection on them. Still can’t get my head around how any parent could walk away from their child but hey, that’s maybe another post! I’ve also pondered showing him pictures from when we were all still together as a family but I thought it would probably just make him think about him even more and want to see him. Life can be cruel sometimes. I’ll be thinking of you too x

  4. laura dove says:

    Oh gosh that must be so hard, I can’t even imagine. It sounds as though you have enough love for the both of you and the answer you gave him was perfect. #MarvMondays

  5. Twolittlepiggles says:

    Such an honestly written post. Never doubt yourself, you are doing a great job and I don’t believe children need a conventional family set up to feel loved, safe and contented. Your family in its own shape and form will provide that. I was much older when it became clear I didn’t have a dad but my mum and others in my family have more than made up for this fact. Keep up the fab mummying x #marvmondays

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Thank you so much, that’s lovely to read and from someone who has been in the same situation as my son x

  6. Single mum since 21 says:

    In some ways I’m jealous of your situation. My daughter is 3 or 3 1/2 as she keeps telling me. She knows her daddy and spends time with her daddy but what she doesn’t know is that her daddy lets her down at least once a week with stupid excuses like I’m working late I’ll see her next week or I’m away with my new gf. She thinks her daddy is the king of the world. I dread the day she’s old enough to know what he is really like.

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      I completely understand what you mean, before my son’s Dad completely vanished he did do the whole “I’m coming over at x time” I’d be waiting in and then he wouldn’t show. At that point my son was still so very young he had no idea, I can see how this would upset you now your daughter is getting old enough to get upset if he doesn’t show up. In some way’s us being on our own does definitely have it’s advantages. I hope things improve for you x

  7. themotherhubblog says:

    I have no advice, but sounds like you’re doing the right thing. All you can do is answer honestly for your situation. It’s also a reminder that a lot of these ‘celebration’ days are difficult for many people, in many different ways and we should all be mindful of that.

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      It’s definitely opened my eyes to other times of the year when people struggle too and hey, looking on the positive, it only comes around once a year! Most of the time we are both just fine 🙂 Thanks for commenting x

  8. Kaye says:

    It must be such a difficult subject to broach with such an innocent little mind, my heart goes out to you both. I think you’re doing the absolute best you can and I’m not sure there really is a right way to deal with it. Sorry I can’t offer better advice! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  9. Savannah says:

    Such an honest post.
    It sounds like you are handling it absolutely wonderfully. As you said, your little boy is innocent. I think it’s only right to preserve his innocence for as long as possible.
    When the time comes, instead of teaching him that he is different, and your family is different, maybe show him how all families are different-and that it doesn’t take a mommy and daddy to be a family <3 Sending you lots of love and strength during this time as your boy grows! #MarvMondays

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Thank you, when he was very small I bought a book called Our Family which has pictures of all different family types. I thought getting in there quickly might help him never question it as us being different, just one of many differences x

  10. A Mum Track Mind says:

    I deal with this every day unfortunately. My sons Dad bailed out when he was about 4 years old and so it was and still is painful for him. The thing I’ve learned is, unfortunately, as a Mum you cannot take this pain away for your children. It has to be accepted, faced up to as often as necessary and you teach them coping techniques to deal with it. Sometimes, you cant have all the answers or take away all the bad things for your kids and that as Mum is incredibly difficult to deal with isn’t it. I just take each day as it comes. I think I try my best not to bad mouth his father because it doesn’t really do any good. Just present the facts as appropriate and let him draw his own conclusions. Thinking of you though, its really really tough especially at this time of year. Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Thanks so much for this, I think the hard bit is knowing they might be hurting but as you say, we can’t change the situation, we just have to deal with it and help in whatever way we can. I’ll never bad mouth his father either, I don’t think that helps them in any way. x

  11. Single Mum Speaks says:

    Really interesting to read both your post and the comments underneath. I am a single mother by choice so my son was conceived by donor conception and hence does not have a dad in any sense beyond the strictly biological. He is still too young to be asking questions, but I know it’s not long until he will, so I need to think about how I will respond as I know it’s bound to catch me off guard. It sounds as though you said exactly the right thing. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Thank you, the questions do certainly catch you off guard. I’ve read your blogs before and admired you for going after what you wanted. You’ll be fine, you can tell him the truth and it’s not like he has a `Dad who didn’t want to know him. You wanted him sooo badly you did it all by yourself. 🙂

  12. Mess and Merlot says:

    When my kids bring home a card they made in school for Father’s day or Mother’s day I always think about those in your situation. Obviously no parent ever wants their child to feel ‘different’ or upset but I find children are a lot more resilient than we expect sometimes and often more accepting of things than adults! I have no experience or advice to give you but from the comments above it sounds like you are dealing with it in the best way. #fortheloveofBLOG

  13. Katy (What Katy Said) says:

    Oh I feel for you at this time, and for him of course. I have no words of advice I am afraid but I think shielding him from the truth is best for now. I’m so sorry you have to even be dealing with it, are there any other mums at school in the same position? It may help him deal with it if other kids are the same as him. #fortheloveofblog xx

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      No other children who don’t see their Dad, it’s probably quite rare, most when they separate still want some form of contact don’t they. x

  14. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    I think Jennie’s advice is really great! Every family is different & people don’t see each other for so many different reasons. I’m sure as your son gets older he will start to understand more. Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK

  15. The Positivity Mum says:

    Sorry that you’ve had to deal with this, it must be hard. I am a single mum and after almost a year we have got some consistency going with my four Children going to their dads.
    Luckily your little one has you that is there to love and protect him, and I believe their are Amazing step dads out there 🙂

  16. The Pramshed says:

    Oh lovely that must be so hard, I hope that as your Son gets older it becomes easier for him to understand. I do always wonder what happens in these situations at nursery or school. He has so much from you, and that’s all he needs. Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      I asked nursery if they could say it was Grandad’s day too, they were really good about it and all went well 🙂

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