I am a single mum of a boy 9 and girl 7. My 9 year old has physical and mental disabilities and when their father learned of the diagnosis he was out of our lives within 8 weeks and then last seen 6 years ago. My daughter always had questions even from nursery age – why don’t I have a daddy? Does my daddy not love me? Why does he not love you? I’ve always taken the approach of being honest whilst not speaking negatively as I have always worried this may affect her in later life. Two and a half years ago I began another relationship and thought I had finally found somebody I could settle down with and who could be a father to my children. My daughter and son instantly warmed to him and 6 months later he moved in, not long after that my daughter wanted to call him dad without any prompting from us and he was over the moon to accept not able to have children of his own. Long story short this person is now my ex after becoming violent with me on a few occasions, the last one being 2 months ago where strangulation occurred and was unfortunately witnessed by both children – (first time they ever saw anything other than heated words). Clearly under the circumstances I have ended the relationship leaving my daughter very confused and upset. The majority of the time he was a brilliant Dad to her and now she has seen something that scared her to her core and she doesn’t know how to feel about it. There were lots of tears and talking through and I regularly check in with her to ask her whether she wants to talk and I get an even response to this. For the last couple of weeks she has been getting so upset – saying things like ‘why do all my dads leave me’ ‘I just want a dad to take care of us’ ‘I want a daddy like xxxx’. Ive always been fiercely independent and as much I would love a 2.4 family I am confident and able to be a single parent. This is the first time I have gone through this though and had to manage a child’s emotions too and I could really do with some positive advice on how I can get her to see that having a ‘perfect family’ isn’t the only way to be happy – how can I get her to see me and us bring a single parent family as ok? Can s as my body recommend any child friendly literature as I think she now sees this as a double abandonment and seems to worry about me too. I feel so sad for her x
There’s a beautiful book I got on Amazon called Mum and Dad Glue-it’s a rhyming book that sees a little child wanting to glue his parents back together so he goes to a glue shop where the owner sits with him and explains that mummy and daddy can’t be glued back together BUT they still love HIM and still think of HIM. Worth a look
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