I am a single mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.
During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t want the responsibilities of being a Daddy; that I wanted a baby so much that I decided to have him by myself.
I also wrote a journal — letters to my son. In these letters I told him about my feelings, how much I love him, that I am happy with my life, that I have the greatest gift in the world – a beautiful child.
Bryan was just two years old when he asked about daddy. It started one day when he was singing, “Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy”. I ignored it the first day but he continued it for several days. He looked up at me in the middle of singing it one day and said, “Where’s my Daddy?” I was surprised he put the words together but the answer to his question smoothly flowed from my mouth: “You don’t have a Daddy. Some of your friends have Daddies; Michael has a Daddy, Josh has a Daddy. But some kids don’t have Daddies, like Chloe and Robin.” He seemed to understand. About a week later he said, “Daddy allgone.” I agreed. “Yes, that’s right. We don’t have a daddy that lives with us.” For now he is satisfied with that answer, but I know I’ll have to expand a little each time he asks.
My son is only 2 1/2 and I really don’t know exactly what his next question will be. However, I’m comfortable with my choice, and imagine that my attitude will be passed on to Bryan. I have no regrets, and I know that I am willing and able to help him process his questions.
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