To say that I am crestfallen is an understatement. My heart feels as if it’s been crushed to pieces. No, it’s not because a man broke my heart (although I would feel as bad). It’s because my 5-year old daughter asked me this: “Mama, why are you and Papa living apart? Can you please get back together?”
It’s the million-dollar question I’ve been dreading her to ask. I guess, she has come of age to know what’s different, as she has been able to compare her family set-up with that of her classmates’. For the first time, I was stumped for an answer. All I could come up with was, “Your Papa and I are apart, because where he lives now is closer to his office, and where you and I live is closer to mine”. I knew she didn’t buy that, but that’s all I can think of. She just fell silent afterwards.
Kids never choose for this to happen. Their parents separating is farthest from their minds. But, when it does happen, a whole lot of emotions come to surface. There’s the inevitable feeling of guilt, as they feel that their parents separated maybe because of something they did. And then, they start feeling different from their peers.
So, how do we parents deal with this? When our kids are in pain, we feel it a hundredfold. What we could do, is just to keep assuring them that whatever has happened, is not of their doing. And that we love them even if things didn’t work out between mom and dad.
It’s never easy…but with our constant love and attention, kids of divorced parents will grow up just fine.