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Single dad after bereavement - a friend's rant.

(10 Posts)
Leljay Sat 02-Nov-13 22:33:32

Hi all.

My friend, we shall call him S, is a twenty-something year old single dad to a beautiful, cheeky, almost 2 year old LB. LB's mama, and S's partner of over 10 years, and sadly, wife of only a few months(We shall call her N), died very tragically when LB was just 3 months old. Obviously, S is still grieving heavily from her death, but is completely devoted to his little man. They have a very strong, very beautiful to see relationship, yet it is always bittersweet. N was my best friend, and she was over the moon when LB was born - he is a little boy born of a lot of love,he was so wanted, and she was so excited to finally have a baby.

As I said, S is completely devoted, and is a fantastic father. He signed himself up for bereavement and grief counselling not long after N passed away, as he wanted his full focus to be on LB, and to manage his grief properly so that he could be a good father. Everything he does, he does for that little boy, and I only wish I could be half the parent he is. How he ever managed to deal with a young baby, and work, and handle his grief, I will never know. It shows in LB, who is now a gorgeous, happy, healthy little boy, the absolute spit of his Daddy, with his mama's big eyes (S likes to joke about how cliche it is!). I love him dearly, and his spirit and cheeky ways reminds me of his mama so much - I am so grateful to play such a place in his life.

S is a member of the Armed Forces (although has switched to a non-deployment role after N passed away), and works full-time. As such, LB has attended a nursery/creche since he was 6 months old. He loves it there, the women who run it are fantastic, and he is thriving. It means S does not have to worry about him while he works, and it works very well. I often elect to pick up LB from nursery, as my own little one goes to one not far away, as it helps S out, and lets me spend some time with him.

However, I have noticed something that makes me so impossibly angry and hurt, and I need tips for dealing with it. Several of the other mothers at the nursery like to make comments about LB, S and the situation. They tell me often that they feel sorry for LB, as he does not have a mother, and that S should find a new partner as LB needs a mother - it is selfish of him to stay single, and put him in nursery. After I snapped and told them how hurtful what they are saying is, it has got nastier. They have called him an unfit father, as he still attends grief counselling once a month, and apparently this makes him 'mentally unstable'. They will find the smallest things to pick holes at - that I am picking up LB /again/, that S was even a minute late to dropping him off/picking him up, that LB is wearing a top with a small stain on it (that will not wash out).

I am beyond frustrated, and hurt, and upset over this. S is a wonderful father, and I do not want these stupid comments to ever make him question what a good job he is doing. Obviously, he is a grown man and can deal with some spiteful comments, but as a friend, it makes me so angry. So my question is, fellow parents - what would you do? What should I/we do? S is reluctant to face it and prefers to ignore it, but I find it very, VERY hard to.


JustMe1993 Sat 02-Nov-13 22:40:42

'S' is doing the thing you should be, the right thing. Mums at school gates can be mean and spiteful. Just ignore them as long as you tell him what a wonderful job he's doing and so does everyone else that is close to him that's all he needs

duchesse Sat 02-Nov-13 22:43:54

Your friend sounds like he's doing a good job and should ignore the sillies.

starlight1234 Sat 02-Nov-13 22:48:34

Are these other parents?

I agree with S...You want to stand up for your friend...Sadly I have leant there is usually a cackle of witches with nothing better to do with their lives than make judgements about everybody else.

I do think men can generally cope better with this stuff.. Their opinions don't count...What they think isn't important...

Bringing up a child alone is tough, add into it grief which incidentally takes a minimum of 2 years now matter how fast you want to go through it. Without sterotypes...It is sad LB is growing up without his mother whithout meeting her getting to know her but she can't be replaced..

What would be unfair would be to meet someone simply to replace mum and not love her, not go through the grieving process and risk even more upset in his life.

Sounds like you are trying to be a good friend but let the witches bitch together...Don't give them a thought and don't engage in conversation with them you would hear nothing nice about anyone from these women

Leljay Sat 02-Nov-13 23:08:44

Starlight, sadly, they are other parents. One of them is a single mother, which makes me even angrier. Surely she, of all people, should know how hard being a single parent is.

And I completely agree with you. S and N were childhood sweethearts, and S is deeply missing her. I'm not sure he'll ever find someone that will fill that hole for him, but you never know. He has said explicitly he has absolutely no desire to find anyone else, as a) dating takes time away from time with LB, which is already cut into by work, and b) LB is his first priority, and he does not want him to grow attached to someone, and for things to go sour. N's memory is very much cherished, and S has started a scrapbook for LB, with pictures of him and her together when he was born/young, as well as several letters/notes she had written while pregnant/after his birth for LB, and lots of little bits for him when he gets old enough to understand. She can never be replaced, and that is unquestionable in S's mind (rightly so.)

I will do my best to hold my tongue... Patience and temper, skills I must practice hard!!

Quoteunquote Sat 02-Nov-13 23:40:24

What a nasty bunch of vile bullies.

dawdyman Tue 05-Nov-13 14:35:47

Your friend 'S' sounds like he has his priorities in order. The criticisms levelled by the other mum's sound minor, and exectly the sort of things we all do as parents, but I can see that they are hurtful.

Somebody wiser than me once said to never trust someone who bad mouths another, because when your back is turned they will bad mouth you... taking that as fact, they are sure to be criticising each other as well.

They are clearly ignorant and their comments could lead to criticism of their own parenting. Counselling is being responsible, not unstable. Rushing into a new relationship would be playing with LB's emotional development....

I know it's easy to say but thet do not sound like people to spend time talking with. Why don't you suggest they call children's social care if they are so concerned about his parenting.... I wonder what they would say??

chitofftheshovel Tue 05-Nov-13 23:55:49

wow! that is mind boggling and narrow minded. What do they expect - for him to get together with someone like them? I'd take single life anyday. Sounds to me like he is doing an absolutely great job and that you are being a good pal to him.
how lovely to hear of their relationship together (wife and husband) and tragic to hear of his loss. But lovely again to hear of his relationship with child.
Put two fingers up to the twonks at nursery. or, realistically, ignore them.

losingtrust Sat 09-Nov-13 12:03:05

Far better surely for him to devote his time to his child than to time to find a replacement mother. A child with one single healthy happy parent will do better than with a parent spending their time always looking for something else.

losingtrust Sat 09-Nov-13 12:04:41

I am sure the boy will get plenty of attention from women, a lot of teachers especially at primary. Why the essential need for one at home? There may also be at least one loving grandmother.

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