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Can parents please explain something to me……

  • Elle
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27 Mar 10 #194660 by Elle
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Kimmi wrote:

I know divorce is difficult (I’ve been there now) but why, why could they not put their petty hatreds of each to one side for the sake of us kids?

I am asking you this now as a child, not as an ex wife, a woman etc, I am asking the question to parents, as a child.

My dearest darling Kimmi, it is more than likely because they could not as opposed to would not and I see this as a failing of theirs and not their child(ren)...of which you are one...and what a one...you are a remarkable woman, however I shall answer as you request...parent to child...aware you respect that parents make mistakes...albeit some are bigger than others (both mistakes and parents)

As a parent that parented her parents and siblings when a child and was subsequently "alienated" from parenting her sons I chose to avoid the games/courts/antagonisms/wotevers that would put the children I birthed "in the mix/at the forefront".

I do not believe anyone can detemine/judge fruitfully whether I was right or wrong with this choice. I now live comfortably with the choice and resent those that cried "having a daughter would have made matters easier for me. "It" was not about making matters easier for me, it was about our children, but there was no support forthcoming from the 100s I approached to help us...but as a parent I rest easy in that I sought help....unlike my own whom were unaware that they needed help...at least for their kids.

So as a parent to a child, Kimmi I am proud of you, I have my failings as do you...I can live with my failings as a parent and I do not use the excuse I parented with what I had so I am off the hook...I made mistakes...they were mine...not our kids...I love them unconditionally...kids IMHO fair better from that.

Aw ra best lass

  • Deedum
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27 Mar 10 #194692 by Deedum
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It is both wonderful to be a parent and also an enormous and daunting responsibility once you are there. Being a single parent is extremely difficult especially when the absent parent is not supportive. I have brought my daughter up now to age 16 without support from her father. I am now divorced from the father of my 12 year old son.

My daughter has a place at a boarding school sixth form from this september as I felt it would be best for her to have some good role models and support there and I have found it increasingly difficult to cope with her on my own with boyfriends etc. I am now seriously considering sending my son to the lower half of this boarding school as his dad wants less and less contact with him (his gf and her kids are more important). I did feel quite mean about this, but reading you post about how your parents emotions so badly affected you I now think this may be the best option for my son and he would have his sister at the school.

  • foresterhill
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27 Mar 10 #194700 by foresterhill
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I was so moved by your story i had to reply.Being a mum is the most wonderful feeling and privledge giving to someone.I love my two boys now 30 and 26 and believe me it is not plain sailing but my love for them get you through all the bad bits as well as the good bits.I am so proud of them and have great respect of what they have done in their lives but i also know they are hurting when they see me hurting and i wish i could save them from this.Just because they are adults does not make it any easier.

  • Kimmi
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27 Mar 10 #194718 by Kimmi
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Thank you all for your replies,

It's just something that plays on my mind.

I forgave mum and dad a long time, it was easier than trying to understand them. Before dad died we talked a bit, but he could never see how his actions had affected me. Mum and I have spoken to and she apologised for things, but I still didn't understand.

I chatted to my sister the last night about this, she has two kids, the father of her eldest one pays maintenance but refuses to see his son because my sister wouldn't marry him!! She is in a relationship with the youngest's dad and he has taken an active role in parenting the eldest and although she has written to the eldest's dad and begged him to come and see his son, he refuses... and this I don't understand.
My brother has a little girl, her mum denied access to him when they split up and my brother refused to pay any maintenance, he hasn't seen her in about 8 years and doesn't seem to care.

I know that my parents divorce was caused by an awful lot of problems. Dad had a major heart attack at 29 and mum had nearly died having a baby and dad had to make the decision whether to save my mum or the baby. 3 kids to look after too, it must have been hard for both of them, I just never understood how their hatred for each other ended with total disregard for us and how we were always told by both mum and dad that everything they did was in our best interests.

Anyway, my sister and I both agreed that the one thing we wanted to hear more than anything else, was even though mum and dad didn't love each other any longer, they still loved us.
I know now as an adult that they both loved us, but we, as children, thought that not loving each other, meant not loving us. I'm sure that a few more kind words as children would have gone a long way towards less anxiety as we grew up.

See, I'm rambling again.

I'll be quiet again and give you all a chance to have some peace. :)


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27 Mar 10 #194722 by escaped
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I read your posting last night and nearly choked because it was so upsetting to hear how you were affected by your parent's behaviour/divorce.

After being separated for a year from stbx, I have tried, and am still trying to re-assure our daughter (aged nearly 5) that both mummy and daddy love her and nothing that has happened is her fault at all. I tell her every day that I love her, that I love her more than anything in the world and that my love for her will never change. She asked me if I still love her when she's naughty, and I said yes i do - just because you've been naughty doesn't mean that I don't love you.

It is the most important thing to me that she knows that she is loved, I cannot bear to see her cry and be upset and I don't want her life ruined by a stupid man that plays with her head and tells her things that aren't true - why anyone would do that to their child is disgusting.

He doesn't deserve her at all.

Best wishes to you, I hope we have all brought you some comfort, thanks for sharing your story and giving us an insight into what our children may or may not suffer as they grow up.


  • NikkiD
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28 Mar 10 #194849 by NikkiD
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What an incredibly moving post. Clearly your perception of being a parent has been thwarted by your own experiences, and that is very very sad. It is also very very sad that you are unable to have your own children, which is, I believe, a privilege.

Being a parent is one of the easiest, and hardest things to do in life. There are a myriad of emotions involved throughout raising a child, ones which I don't think are experienced elsewhere in life. The most important one, for me, however has always been unconditional love for my boys, and a deep, deep respect for their father and their love for him. From the moment that we separated (the boys were 8 and 12 at the time) I swore that I would never let what had happened between us affect them, or their relationship with the man they adored. I'm not saying that it was easy at all, far from it, but I kept my opinions to myself, and never once denigrated their father to them. How any parent can do that to the other parent I just don't know, because children do love both their parents, and love them for all of their faults. But, they do NOT need their faults pointed out to them!

How easy would it be, to tell a child how awful their other parent is, during a moment of sadness, or hatred? The thing is that when words are spoken against someone else through sadness or anger, those words do not reflect reality - they are of the moment, but their effects can last a lifetime. As a parent, it takes much more courage, fortitude and depth of character to remain above those feelings - that's what I believe anyway.

Children are a gift, not a right, and should be treated as such. They are a gift to those who conceived them - 2 parents, equals, whose love for those children should always come first and be wholly respected.

  • jemimapuddleduck
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28 Mar 10 #194872 by jemimapuddleduck
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Wow what a moving post.

I grew up in a very unhappy household, my parents didn't divorce but I blooming well wish they had. Instead my mum would shout and rage uncontrolledly, lashing out physically and verbally, and my dad would clam up shut. He should have left her years ago.

I am now a mum of 4 and fairly new to this single parenting malarky and I cannot believe what some people do when they seperate. My children are my all and my everything, and they are helpless little people who need their parents to always make sure they are safe. So many people I know cut one parent out the family when they seperate, or refuse to do things together. Yes I am blooming angry at my OH for not keeping his wobbly bits to himself, but he'll always be their dad and they need to see him and know that it's absolutely fine to love him and want to see him.

A number of people have commented on how "laid back" or "amicable" we're being with each other, well who is it that suffers if we aren't? It's not us, it's our children. No matter what I'm feeling we are still their parents.

I know that when one of us starts seeing someone else things might change, but so far so good. Yes the children would much rather daddy was at home still but they've adapted to the situation, and he's only 2 mins walk away.

We've got a holiday booked for a couple of weeks time, which we're still intending to take. We upgraded so we've got seperate bedrooms and I might have to throttle him by the end of the week, but it'll be good for the children to know we're all still family (his parents are coming too). We might not have any other holidays together after though.

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