Hey. My ex moved 270 miles away, 3 years ago after i left after a mentally abusive marriage. He has very little input into my children’s lives. They are 7, a boy and my 9 year old daughter. My father stepped into the father fishies role with ease and never let them down. He was my childcare as I struggled to hold down a full time job. He had retired and loved it. My dad died suddenly at Christmas and has devastated us all. My son especially has this sadness I cannot bare to see him with, it’s like and air of just pure sadness, they were beat friends. Their dad has not stepped up at all, during lockdown I refused them going all that way. He picks them up fortnightly and travels back to his home with them, something I don’t agree with as it’s so far however I have always tried to encourage contact. During lockdown I have been strong to his demands and this is because both my children are in the at risk category after being born prematurely and also, his job is classed as being high risk of him getting the virus. I have agreed that if lockdown measures are relaxed, they can go mid June. I have asked him about Father’s Day and that he is welcome to have them then too and he’s said he’s working. It’s astonishing that he hasn’t planned to try and have leave or make provisions especially on the one important day of the year. I am now gutted for my children that 6 month to the day that their grandfather died, they won’t even see their dad. How do I explain this to a little boy who is already heartbroken?! My daughter knows and she shrugged her shoulders, I think reality is already with her and her father is becoming more and more of an unsurprising disappointment to her. What do I do? On a day I am going to struggle anyway, how do I console a little boy that will see fathers everywhere with their kids?! Thank you for reading. I want to add that I have never bad mouthed their dad to my children and I have done everything in my power to encourage him to be a better dad. Since my father passed though, I have given up trying.
I’m so sorry for your loss. My dad died a long time ago but I still remember the raw pain.
My son is older, but set up sounds similar.
i would suggest be honest with your son, say dad is working. Maybe they won’t be at school up until Father’s Day so he may not see / hear friends talking about the day. I also think adults see more than kids do in terms of family set ups when out etc.
Maybe ask him to make a card for dad you can post beforehand. Could he FaceTime his dad in the evening?
You could also ask if they want to make a card for grandad? You could either take to the cemetery or have a picnic in your garden where you remember him but then make it about the children.
Whatever you decide to do, the day will be painful, but your children will give you a reason to smile.