While HJ and I were riding the bike to the park the other night, the inevitable question came. “Mommy, why me no have a daddy?”
I was huffing and puffing pulling his trailer on the bike. We were on a stretch affectionately referred to as “the hill”, so I was hardly able to talk. This forced me to give a short answer while thousands of thoughts went through my head. “Because you just have a mommy.”
“Yeah,” he said, “I have a mommy!”
And that was it. I need to remember that he is only 3. As he gets older, more information will be needed, but for now, short and sweet was perfect. He hasn’t brought it up again, but it has crossed my mind numerous times. My thoughts on how to answer were all over the board. Here are some of thoughts I had…

All families are different. Some have just a mommy, some just a daddy, some have 2 mommies or 2 daddies and some have one of each. And then there are those who have step-parents, step-siblings, half siblings, surrogates, oh dear lord the list goes on and on. All families are different.

Your mommy loves you so very much, and that is all you need.

Your father is not man enough to be a daddy. Any guy can be a father, it takes someone special to be a daddy.

Your father loves you very much, he just couldn’t be with us.

It’s because of me. Your father dislikes me so much, it has nothing to do with you. You, my sweet boy, are perfect.

You see, I fear for the moment when this starts to bother HJ. I won’t be able to stand seeing him hurt. I don’t want his dad to break his heart like he did to me. I hope that I am giving HJ the information he needs for his age. I hope I never keep or hide things from him, but at the same time, I hope it never hurts him.

I feel sorry for your father, HJ. He will never know how amazing you are. He doesn’t know how much you like to help, or act goofy with your friends. He doesn’t know that when you are tired you like to cuddle up and play with my hair. He doesn’t realize how much you would love to ride in his truck or look at the motorcycle. He doesn’t know that you would love his dogs. He doesn’t know that you have memorized the names of construction trucks, and that you think mommy should trade in her car for a BIG truck.
He doesn’t see how you crawl into my bed every morning and talk to me while I get ready.
He doesn’t know that you will eat an entire container of blueberries in one sitting. Or that you call blueberries juicy-s. He doesn’t know your weak spot is for chocolate and cookies.
He doesn’t know that you love playing with your friend’s dads. When they give you attention, you swoon, laugh and do anything to keep their attention. Your dad doesn’t know that you ask to play with your friend’s dads, which makes my heart sad.
HJ, he doesn’t know what he is missing out on.
He doesn’t know that you have his eyes. You look a lot like him.
He will never know how wonderful you are. He doesn’t deserve you, sweet boy.

20 Thoughts on “Why Don’t I Have a Daddy?

  1. Do you think his father would ever be open to a relationship with him? Or has that ship sailed? You’re right – he is the one missing out on this wonderful little boy. And I think the answer you gave him right now was perfectly age appropriate. Well done.

    • sliceofmudpie@gmail.com on July 2, 2013 at 8:36 am said:

      Every time I have spoke to his father, I let him know he he welcome to be a part of his son’s life. I tell him that he can be involved as much as he wants, and offer to send pictures or information if all he wants is an email. Every time, he tells me it is not a good time to try and start a relationship with him and he prefers to leave things how they are. Every time, it breaks my heart.

  2. Oh Hun, I feel for you! Been there with that question. It gets easier and harder as they get older. With my girl at that age I used to tell her that her daddy lived far away (which was true), and that was enough. As she got older and asked more questions I’ve gently revealed the truth a little bit at a time. My biggest advice – DON’T LIE – not even a tiny bit. You want him to know you can be trusted, and if you lie, he’ll eventually figure it out and then he will be angry with you. XX

    • sliceofmudpie@gmail.com on July 2, 2013 at 8:37 am said:

      I have always said I will be honest with him. You are right, I need to make sure not to reveal to much at a young age.

  3. Suzanne on July 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm said:

    Beautifully written. HJ is lucky to have you for his Mama.

  4. That is so hard – you are right in the answer you gave for now – it is enough. It won’t always be and I agree with Vicki totally. The relationship he will have with his father (whether in person or just the one he builds in his head) is not the same as your experiences with his father. My brother and I and my step brothers have been in HJ’s shoes with one functioning parent and another who was selfish and self-serving and did despicable things to their spouses. It doesn’t change that they are our parents and we are torn and there are feelings we can’t quite describe about who we wish they were. HJ is too young for that now but even if you do the most perfect job ever he will have questions and feelings about his father that you might not like. Honesty and trying to keep your emotion out of it will go a long way with your own relationship and how he perceives your part in his ability to have a relationship with his dad. I hope you are able to find some peace about the whole deal with your ex – some people are just not worth the energy it takes to be angry.

    • sliceofmudpie@gmail.com on July 2, 2013 at 8:39 am said:

      Part of me knows that if his father was involved, it would be sporadic. In that sense I need to remember it is best that he isn’t in his life at all. You are right, he is not worth my energy…luckily I have come to realize that in the past year, but sometimes that anger creeps back in.

  5. Well said, girl! He doesn’t deserve him! More info will be needed as he’s older but for now, I agree, short and sweet is best.

  6. I will be having this conversation eventually and i am really bummed but…at peace with it

  7. I cried so, so many tears while reading this post and then cried so many more when I read it out loud to Cory. I can’t even imagine. My heart hurts for you. What a beautifully written post. You’re right. He doesn’t deserve HJ. Your sweet boy is so lucky to have such a sweet mama. I think you handled that situation perfectly! Much better than I would have!

  8. Anonymous on July 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm said:

    I am one of those children who asked that question a million times to my mother. To this day, I still don’t know who my dad is and I’ve never met him nor heard the story that surrounds him and my mother…I’m 23 now. My advice, from the other side of things, would be to not hide anything from your son. When he starts to show a lot if interest in the subject and you know he’s ready to hear the real story, just tell him. Try to be as unbiased as possible, don’t say things like “I’m the only parent you need anyway” because it doesn’t really help make you feel better, and make sure you let him know that you love him more than anything…not just with words, but with actions. The actions you make will fill the void of the missing parent more than anything else. That much I can promise you. Best of luck to you and your son in the future :)

  9. This post brought tears to my eyes. It is so hard to know what the right thing is to say. I don’t think he will really expect detailed answers until he’s much older though. At 4, Emma still doesn’t really ask. It is heartbreaking to think about though how much they are missing out on yet don’t even seem to care. :/ aah well their loss right? Oh and by the way Emma can eat an entire thing of blueberries in one sitting too hahaha

  10. Once again you prove what an amazing mama you are!! Being in a similar situation, my son’s “father” has chosen not to be in his life. I have never kept him from him and have always said that if he wants to be in his life to let me know and we will set up times for him to visit. My son is 4 and he hasn’t yet asked why he doesn’t have a dad, I am waiting for that time to come and not really looking forward to it. When asked if he has a daddy he says No, I have a papa (that is what he calls my dad). I agree that being open and honest when the time comes to talk about it, and totally agree that it is so their loss at what they are missing out on in awesome little boys!!

  11. You are an amazing writer and an amazing mama. HJ is so blessed to have you. And now I am determined to pull the bike trailer myself – you’re making me look bad!

  12. This post just leaves me speechless. It’s the same conversation I think I’ll have with my kids when they ask why their grandpa isn’t around.

    Thanks for sharing! You seem like such a great mom.

  13. Rachel G on July 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm said:

    Oh wow, I can’t imagine how hard a conversation that would be to have with your child. His father definitely is missing out.

  14. My best friend is a single mom and she was just here with her daughter on vacation with my family of six and it broke my husband’s heart how much Jordyn (the daughter) absolutely adored him, played with him and wanted to make him happy. He wished she had a real dad in her life, to give her the same love and attention he gives our four girls. This is beautifully written, and I found you on weekend reads.

    • sliceofmudpie@gmail.com on July 8, 2013 at 9:42 am said:

      Thank you for stopping by! HJ loves when we are around dad’s. And while I am glad they give him attention that he seems to crave, it breaks my heart at the same time.

  15. I think you handled it well. As he gets older and the question gets harder, you’ll know the right way to answer it and the right ways to help him deal with the answers.

    ~Stopping by from the Facebook Love Blog hop.

  16. My prayers are with you and your little boy, lady! I can tell that you’re a wonderful, wonderful mother. You’ll do what you know in your heart to be right when the time comes, I’m sure of it.

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