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….