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2 Bumps

Anyone else feel bad their family is split up and their child doesn't have a mom and dad to tuck her in at night?

just feeling down since my daughter and i left her dads house to come home to bed and she throws a huge fit because she misses her dad and repeatedly tells me how much she hates me and wants her dad (she is 4 btw) and beyond the stress of it I do feel extremely bad that she doesn't have us both with her at home. I just grew up in the best house with my parents and I want her to have that warm loving feeling in her home and we don't. Not like how I used to feel it. Today I didn't even feel like her mom being over at her dads house for xmas she doesn't even act like she needs to listen to me because its her dads house, she doesn't want to play with me I think because when I come over it usually means she has to leave dad and it's the same when he picks her up. I just feel horrible. Does it get better? it's been 2 years and I don't even know if she remembers when we all lived together.

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dbodani

Asked by dbodani at 12:30 AM on Dec. 26, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 15 (1,925 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • The holidays often make people feel the pain that comes from the holes in their families. My daughter has a mom and dad, but she doesn't have loving grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. The best you can do is focus on what she does have, and for starters, it sounds like she has a mama who cares about her very much. That's what she'll remember.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 12:41 AM on Dec. 26, 2012

  • i split up my family.:'( i took my kids & moved back 2 utah because my husband was being abusive & turned out 2b total piece of crap. my oldest told me she hated me every single day. i was getting by on my own but it was tough & it wore me out so i needed a break and my husband wanted 2 take the girls 4 a visit. i never intended on keeping them from him, i just wanted a happy home that was safe, so i agreed 2 the "visit." he was supposed 2 bring them back 2 me in six weeks, but instead him&his mother decided 2 keep them & sue me for child support.

    oOmomaliciousOo

    Answer by oOmomaliciousOo at 7:02 AM on Dec. 26, 2012

  • . i wanted 2 die when he didnt bring them back 2 me. i lost my job 1st, then my cell phone was disconnected & so was i, i was evicted from my apartment & i've been homeless for over a yr now i started using meth. & attempted suicide twice. i was hospitalized & in & out of the neuropsychiatric unit a couple times. i've visited my kids only 3times, in feb,jun,oct. i missed my baby's b-day, thanksgiving & xmas for the 2nd yr in a row now. i feel like the worst mother in the world. i'm so depressed. my children dont deserve a junkie loser bum like me in their lives. i hate myself for breaking up my family.....so yes i feel bad that my family is split up. :'(
    oOmomaliciousOo

    Answer by oOmomaliciousOo at 7:03 AM on Dec. 26, 2012

  • No, I don't feel bad for those reasons because I am not in that situation, but those feelings totally make sense to me. I think it is a part of grieving a loss, and you can't get around it. Feeling your feelings of grief for what they are (really acknowledging them fully so you are actually experiencing them--the disappointment, the worry about what this situation might "cost" your daughter in terms of joy or security, the loneliness/emptiness, the loss, or whatever your reality is) will put you in touch with your true emotions/experience, rather than stuck in a depression or low-grade anxiety "around" them. We (humans) tend to avoid our feelings in a self-protective effort to avoid pain, but this puts us in a blunted place and makes us less available to our children, because as a result of this avoidance we tend not to be fully open to THEIR full range of feelings. (We unintentionally push against their "negative" feelings.)
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:42 AM on Dec. 29, 2012

  • The more open you are to your OWN "negative" feelings, the less you will be defended against your daughter's feelings. It sounds like she has some normal, expected feelings around the situation (and perhaps also around those feelings being resisted. When we try to "make things better" or "fix" things in response to their upsets, we are resisting their feelings.) This kind of well-meant response (fixing) tends to increase a child's frustration around feelings, which tends to get her "stuck" in expressing the same things and escalating/intensifying her form of expression. The more acceptance & acknowledgment you can bring to her feelings as they are, the less she will be stuck essentially DEFENDING her right to her feelings & perceptions. You get out of the struggle to reason with her or change her/talk her out of those feelings, and get better at hearing her & holding those distressing, uncomfortable feelings for her.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:48 AM on Dec. 29, 2012

  • As for the practical part of "how to" do this, I think it's primarily an emotional thing, an internal orientation (being conscious to bring acceptance to the situation.) Then, you start recognizing how much resistance you actually feel!!! How compelled you feel to struggle with her perceptions or protest her statements, what an impulse you feel to try to persuade her or reason with her (to talk her out of her feelings!), or how you feel an urge to stop a huge fit or fix things...how hard it is simply to be present with strong feelings when they are "negative" or anxiety-producing in you.
    In response to this internal shift, you begin to find ways to bring this acceptance to your responses to your child. The greatest tool for this I know is reflective listening. You stop treating the problem (of the fit, or meltdown, or angry accusations) as your job to fix or stop, and focus on hearing your child well. You begin acknowledging.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:57 AM on Dec. 29, 2012

  • At the start, this is probably acknowledging how much she misses her dad and doesn't want to be where she is, or with you. Acknowledging how strongly she feels this (ie,"hates" you.) Or whatever she's expressing at the moment. Focus on the emotional reality being communicated rather than the form this communication takes. This offers her emotional "containment" & it develops her ability to regulate her emotions, which is when she will begin to manage her feelings & express them more maturely. When you focus on rejecting immature/primitive expression, you by default are rejecting the emotions as well (saying you will only accept them if she expresses them appropriately) and she can only resort to repression. Making space for them as they are is what lets her develop emotional maturity, with time.
    Support yourself when you feel triggered (acknowledge YOUR reactions!) and try to make space for her feelings. It really helps a lot!
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:07 AM on Dec. 29, 2012

  • Giving space for all the negativity she feels (rather than focusing on trying to change it) is a kind of "allowing" that creates the climate for eventual change, from within. The change/shift in her attitude and feelings comes from being allowed to HAVE her feelings, and having them heard & accepted (she's not alone with them; you can hear them, accept them, and help to "contain" them for her), and ultimately experiencing them so that they resolve, or begin to change.
    She struggles and protests the reality that upsets her (leaving her dad's home & returning to yours), has space for that process without being pressured to feel/do differently, and experiences internal resolution. This means she can move on, and can begin to see what she HAS and accept that. Children are most their typical, famous resilient selves when they have room & acceptance for ALL their feelings, not just the "acceptable" ones.

    Have faith, mama!!
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:12 AM on Dec. 29, 2012

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