The hardest thing since having my ex leave, is helping my girls navigate the pain associated with their abandonment. My youngest was just over a year, and my oldest was weeks away from turning 5.
Now my Little will be 4 in a few weeks and my Big is 7!
Their dad has missed many “firsts” in their lives. First day of school, first bus ride, first time tying their shoes, first time riding a bike with no training wheels…you name it, he has pretty much missed it. As a mom this breaks my heart. I truly don’t know how any parent can miss all of this.
There are so many posts you read on Social Media with the idea of not forcing anyone to be part of your children’s lives.
I get it.
I understand where it’s coming from, and when I first read it, I too agreed.
“Yeah, if you want to miss all this, that is your choice buddy!”
I mean lets be real, we’re hurt by all this too and it’s almost a solace (as sick as that is) to tell ourselves that it’s their loss.
But is it really only their loss?
I don’t think it is. Because in a single family household we all lose. But the ones that lose the most, is the kids.
Since their dad left I have encouraged my kids to call their dad every night. They have called almost every night for 2.5 years. It has been difficult for all of us. There have been times where he went camping with his friends and was out of cell service for days at a time without warning. My girls, expecting daddy to answer the phone for their goodnight talk, had their hearts crushed when they called back-to-back a few times only to hear the sound of his voicemail. There have been times due to their hurt, where they have chosen not to call at all.
As a parent there is no handbook that tells you what to do in these circumstances. But I continue to encourage, (not force) them to call.
Because through life they are going to run across people who hurt them, that is life. I’ve used this as an opportunity to talk about God’s forgiveness and how we too are undeserving. It’s also given us the chance to bond as we cry together, and hold each other on the couch. It’s allowed us to talk about how forgiving someone doesn’t mean we have to allow them to continue to hurt us, and the choice is ours of what we will continue to allow. It has been amazing to watch my girls grow in this area and to see them comfort each other in their hurt.
I never bad mouth their dad in front of them, and I don’t fight with him about it while they are in ear shot. But one thing I have promised him, is that I will never stop fighting him to be part of his kids lives.
I will never be the reason that they didn’t have a relationship. I will do whatever it takes to allow him the opportunity to be in his kids lives. His and my past junk, it exactly that….in the past. We have both moved on with our lives in different ways. But I will be darned if I will allow him to just walk out of their lives with out a fight! It is the only fight that I will continue to have with him. For my girl’s sake.
All of our situations are different, and we are all at different parts in our healing. But I encourage you, teach your kids to pray for their absent parent. Allow them to set healthy boundaries, (without your opinion or feelings getting in the way) and teach them how to forgive.