Thursday, February 17, 2011

How honest do you really need to be?

A question was raised on a Mommy forum I chat on - although the scenario surrounding the question was different, the question still applies to me.

How honest do you really need to be with your children? How much "glossing" over do you really need to be to protect them from the "nasties" of grown up life?

Since the divorce this is an issue I have struggled with a great deal. There have been many times I have wanted to tell Lem EXACTLY what her dad is doing / has done - but then I think to myself that he is still her dad, her hero. Don't tarnish that image that she has of him. He deserves that respect.

Or does he?

Right now he is in Cape Town for a week to see the U2 Concert. He took Lem last week to the Johannesburg show as well.
I can't help but feel a pang of jealousy that he is seeing them twice, once in a another city and I couldnt afford to see them once.
It was due to this jealousy that him and I had a huge argument on Monday night, as he got Lemon home at 1.30am Monday morning - he said he didnt want to keep her with him as he was going to work. So we all have a really long day on Monday only having got to bed at 1.30 - and he slept till after lunch!
The result of our argument was that he was leaving. He was going to work in Zambia as a missionary earning peanuts as he cant "take me and my shit" anymore.

I wish I had a "rolly eyes" icon. Better yet I wish I had R1 for everytime he has threatened that. Everything that he has now is what he asked for.
He wanted to be alone as he would be so much happier without me.

So he has requested that I now think of him as dead. He wants nothing more to do with me (which means the kids too incase he doesnt realise) and we must have a happy life.
Till when?
Till he decides to one day play dad again?
He does not realise what he is doing to these kids! As much as I respect that he is the father of my children (note - I didnt say I respected him) that brings me back to my original question -

How honest do I reallly need to be?


Anonymous said...

Keep protecting your kids - as you already are. They don't need to know their dad is a scumbag (if they figure it out for themselves when they're adults that's fine).

But don't be a doormat either - he must have an allocated date and time in which to fetch them and drop them off and do not make yourself available outside of those times.

Easier said than done, hey?

Anonymous said...

You know Tanya children are very perceptive. My mom never bad mouthed my dad but my sister and I figured out what was potting and who was the spiteful one and who was the one who would give up everything for us, work late hours, sometimes go without dinner…you get the picture. You don’t have to say anything to them ~ they will realize all on their own and it will mean more than you saying something.

LOL I can’t imagine J being a missionary, it’s quite an oxymoron.

Laura said...

Oh Tanya I had to LOL! This is like an action replay of H.

I have mails where he said "I am dead to you" - lol!

As to the other question - you dont lie for him but you dont tell them.

So if they ask why isnt Dad fetching us - you say "you dont know" or "he has other plans" - its not a lie but its also not telling them "he doesnt have time for you" which would ultimately hurt them more.

They learn very quickly on their own Tanya! You focus on your relationship with them - that is all that is your responsibility!

cat said...

Oh gosh, I have no advice as I really have no experience in this area. But I think protecting your children is your first job. They will find out on their own when he shows his real colours. But do not lie for him either.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

They will figure out from themselves one day what an arsehole he really is.