I Hope She is Proud of Me by Stacey Honowitz

    On this mothers day weekend, I have one question to ask.   I want to know if my daughter will be proud of me when she is old enough to understand who I really am. Do you ever wonder what your child really thinks of you? Aside from the usual teenage antics that drive mothers into therapy, do you ever ask yourself if your child looks up to you as a role model?. Is it selfish to want to be the apple of your child’s eye. It’s time for a little role reversal, where we as the parent, instead bragging about our kids, want to dig deep and find out if our kids really like us. Maybe it is much more of an issue when parents are divorced. There does seem to be a sense of competition when the the kids have to spend time with one parent seperately. As mentioned earlier I am divorced and my daughter is only 3 1/2.  She of course at this age is not aware of why mom and dad are not together. I know that everyone has their own opinion as to how you are supposed to deal with a child when you are divorcing. I am probably the poster child for things NOT to do, and here is why. I guess when one parent has been betrayed or “left behind” this idea of making that offending parent so wonderful just seems downright offensive. I know that every psychologist says to never bad mouth your ex in front them,  but lots of times it’s a boldface lie to tell your child that “mom and dad” just didn’t want to live together anymore. I know deep down that we  should spare the child all the salacious details, but I honestly did find it very hard to put on a happy face and tell her “daddy’s here'”, while really wanting to say, “that son of a bitch who left me is now here to take you to dinner.'” 

      I do not make any apologys for the way I feel, and when I see my daughter excited to see him I get a pit in my stomach. I guess I want her at this age to say “you were really lousy to mom, and no amount of pizza and ice cream is going to change that. ” She will not be exposed nor would she understand at this young age what transpired between us. She is oblivious as to the “real” reasons her mom and dad live in seperate houses . I think this is why I constantly want to know how she feels about me. To be quite honest, I do want her to like me better.  I know that it might sound a little out there and people might wonder where the insecurity stems from. I am not embarrassed to say that its from a simple divorce. I would never doubt that my daughter loves me tons, as she tells me all the time. I think I am just really scared that one day she is going to tell me she likes her dad more, or that she wants to go live with him. I know that might sound ridiculous to some but it is a fear that I think truly exists amongst divorced couples. Sometimes when she sleeps at his house and doesn’t want to get on the phone, I get nervous thinking that this is the start of whats to come. 

    I don’t think married couples feel in competition with one another because they are living together and can see what goes on with the other parent all the time. The idea that your child is with someone that is not very fond of you is what is so troubling. Is that person bad mouthing you to make themselves look better? Its sometimes an awful position to be in, and when you know you have been wronged by this person, its even worse. The dynamics and emotions are so complicated, but I do know one thing she is loved like crazy by both of us.

     Thats what makes this question so interesting. I want to know if she is proud of her mother for trying to keep it together during a really rough time. I want to know if she is proud of the way I am raising her. I want to know if she thinks I am too protective. I want to know if she says the obligatory I love you, because I say it first.  I want to know if she thinks I am funny or a whack.  I want to know if she thinks her dad is a jerk (Just threw that in to get your attention, but would be curious to know her answer). Most importantly I want to know if she knows how loved she is.  It’s odd to want your child to be proud of you, but at the same time its such an honor. I beam when I look at her, even in the throws of her worst behavior. I want her to beam at me even if she thinks my behavior is bad. I would like to think of “Mothers Day” as “Child’s Day” because but for her, I wouldn’t be called mom. I know there will come a time when she will call me every name in the book but mom, so for now I will take whatever I can get. Happy mother’s to all, and I hope your kids are all proud of what you have done.



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  1. 2 Responses to “I Hope She is Proud of Me by Stacey Honowitz”

  2. Oh boy, Stacey…can I ever relate!! My husband and I are going through a divorce and my son is 8 years old. A couple months back we had to break the news to my son that we were divorcing. This wacko child psychologist wanted my husband and I to tell our child that, “Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, but we just can’t live together anymore.” I was so enraged, I blogged about it…unsuccessfully the first time, but with thoughtful clarification the second time. All I kept thinking was my son sitting there mulling this over and surmising, “Ok…Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, but they don’t want to live together. Mommy and Daddy love ME very much, so eventually they are not going to want to live with me either.” All I can say is that this very brief discussion put my son in complete denial and it has remained that way ever since. Besides the fact that I don’t even know why my husband is divorcing me. He has never given me an answer. So when my son finally comes out of his denial cocoon, and he is a little older, I am with you; I am going to come right out and say to my son, “I don’t know why Daddy didn’t want us to be a family anymore.” It’s the truth. And I am not going to lie to my son like that inept child psychologist made us do. Also, since your daughter is so young and I have already gone through eons of therapy, your daughter may cling to her father for a period of time because she doesn’t see him as often and all little girls go through the Daddy adoration phase. But remember that – it is simply a phase. My son has been going through a Mommy adoration phase, but I can tell that it is diminishing. Daddy is fun. Daddy takes him to fun places and buys him lots of cool stuff. Mommy does his laundry and cooks his dinner and will play a board game or put together Legos. I can’t compete with “Fun Daddy.” But in the long run, my son knows who to come to if he has a problem he is worried about. He comes to me for nurturing. He comes to me for cuddles and nuzzles, and unconditional love. All of the things my husband cannot express. You are your daughter’s foundation. You always will be. And as my lawyer reminds me, ALL Dads try to be more fun, more exciting, more lavish, because that’s all they know how to do. But in the end, Mommy always wins. Mommy is ALWAYS Mommy!

    By Cara Meyers on May 14, 2012

  3. Oh can I relate to you! I was “lucky enough” not to have my daughter’s father in the picture. He was not receptive to my pregnancy. However, while I don’t have the overwhelming angst of worrying about her liking daddy better, I do fear the questions that are to come in the future. I feel that she already realizes that she is different from other kids, as in she does not have a father she knows. While not old enough to fully comprehend the situation, I can see the beginnings of her feeling different from her peers. For example, when she begins school, I worry about other children taunting her based on her lack of a father figure. Despite my success, I know that a mother alone can never replace the bond a child has with her father. This worries me countless nights. While I think about the questions she will ask me and how I plan to answer, there is no way for me to truly prepare. Like you Stacey, I feel a great deal of angst towards her father. Despite not making it down the isle, I was convinced that we were in this partnership together, only to find out his “future plans” for us were no more than an elaborate facade. I am worried about giving her a bad opinion of him, for no daughter should hate their father, especially one they have never met. What concerns me is that I will not be able to give her the fairy tale that her father should be, so as she may have some acceptance to his absence. To put it bluntly, there is no way to tell her that her father secretly rejected the thought of kids, more specifically with me, and left us. I never want her to feel the pain I endured during this time and worry that his absence will spark questions that I will not be able to answer. I don’t want to lie to her, however I am unsure of how honest I should be and at what age to begin these discussions.
    I understand where you are coming from, I too want my daughter to be proud of me. As much as I wish it were enough to compensate for her father’s absence, I know it will not. Despite this, I will continue to exceed and do well for the both of us. I know that one day, even while she may resent me for her father not being present, I hope she will look back and appreciate all I have done and will ultimately be proud of me and proud that I am her mother.

    By Ashley on May 16, 2012