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4yo asking who'll be his mummy if I die

(12 Posts)
iamnotwhat Mon 23-Jan-17 14:58:07

My 4yo has asked me several times over the last few days who will be his mummy if I die. I'm not ill and I don't know where this has come from.

For a little background - I left my husband a year ago having found out he'd had affairs throughout our 15 year relationship, and realised I'd been gaslighted etc for the duration of the relationship too. He'd never been a very hands-on dad, and when he did spend time with the children we trod on eggshells (this has become increasingly evident over the last 12 months...).

The 4yo hadn't ever mentioned anything to do with the split until a couple of weeks ago - he asked me if we'd ever have to go back to live with daddy. He said he didn't ever want to live with him again.

I'm not sure what's going on his little mind, and I'm not sure how to answer his question or how to reassure him. I'd be grateful for any advice on how to deal with this.

Christmasbaby16 Mon 23-Jan-17 16:46:40

Has any of his little friends experienced the loss of a parent or a pet(?! Kids being kids may get it a little out of context!) maybe he just needs reassuring that his mummy won't be going anywhere and she will be there to look after him until he is a big big boy.

cherrycrumblecustard Mon 23-Jan-17 16:47:40

I'd be honest in an age appropriate way. By all means reassure him that you're going nowhere but if the worst should happen he would live with his dad or whoever flowers

minipie Mon 23-Jan-17 17:06:24

Hello - my 4yo DD asked me almost exactly this yesterday so it may be an age thing (We are having lots of death related questions at the moment confused)

In your position I guess "with daddy" is not the right answer. Are grandparents around? Could you say he'd live with them - even if it might not be that simple in reality, it's a white lie that would make him feel better right now.

And yes reassure that you're not going to die for many many years and definitely not till until he's a grown up (again of course we can't guarantee that but he's 4, a white lie is fine).

iamnotwhat Tue 24-Jan-17 10:13:26

Thank you all for your messages. I feel so reassured.

As far as I know no one around us has died. Every time he asks I tell him I'm not going anywhere and give him cuddles. He asked last night again, but this time said "would I have to live with daddy?".

I'll keep going with the white lies and cuddles, and hopefully the phase will pass soon.

Thanks again everyone

howtheheckdoidealwiththis Tue 24-Jan-17 10:24:44

Lots of death questions here too. Apparently they're all going to move in my bed and buy a dog when I pop my clogs. confused

wifework Tue 24-Jan-17 10:28:04

When my kids talk like this I reassure them I'm not going to die for a long time (I'm not expecting to, but I don't think the bald truth is helpful in this situation!) and then list all the adults they have in their lives who care about them and who would look after them as well as daddy if I weren't around. This seems to help.

Athrawes Tue 24-Jan-17 10:29:35

Sounds like he is maybe more worried about living with Daddy than your dying? Maybe reassurance needed there.

iamnotwhat Tue 24-Jan-17 10:50:35

Think you might be right Athrawes.

Howtheheck, that made me smile! He's already got plans to move into my bed anyway (apparently his bedroom is overrun with monsters who come out at bedtime 🙄).

SeaEagleFeather Wed 25-Jan-17 11:17:26

What Athrawes said. That seems to be the crux here.

Having said that - it's a very good idea to tie things up legally so that if you do meet the Grim Reaper, you have someone you trust who your son son will go to. It happens, and it's a mess if the parent hasn't faced up to it and planned it. It's very unlikely to happen but if it does, the stakes couldn't be higher.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 25-Jan-17 11:27:53

Have you made a will, appointed guardians etc? Of course if he has parental responsibility then that would probably trump it if he wanted to step up. From an early age we have said 'well if anything happens then X (very close family friend) will make sure someone looks after you.' He is their guardian and whilst we made it clear to him that he doesn't have to become a full time parent to them (although I think that he probably would now they are older), we trust him to make the best decision for them depending on their age at the time.

In your situation I would appoint guardians and then you can say 'I would like x (trusted adult) to look after you, but it is very rare for anything to happen'

iamnotwhat Wed 25-Jan-17 22:54:31

Very good point. The DCs have a guardian, but I haven't done anything official since the divorce. I'd better get on to it! Thanks so much for the prod smile

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