When a parent willfully abandons their child, they often experience a lifetime of hurt. At the same time, you may wonder why no reason is good enough to explain this abandonment.
The best way to deal with the hurt of abandonment is to work through it. Make sure the hurt you feel doesn’t prevent you from building a stable home for your child.
My baby’s mom abandoned our family.
Coming to grips with the fact that your baby’s mother abandoned your family isn’t easy. However, the effects of abandonment can have a lifelong impact on your child.
Childhood emotional neglect or CEN occurs following the abandonment of a parent. This experience leaves children with a feeling of disconnect, loneliness, and emptiness.
While the reason your child’s mother left may matter to you, the “why” is of little consequence to your child. All your child knows is that their mother decided to give them up.
Processing those difficult emotions isn’t easy for anyone, especially a child. Children often experience enormous grief and anger after a parent walks out.
How will my child cope after their mom’s abandonment?
Abandonment triggers the following issues in a child: a lack of trust, feelings of guilt, and a lack of self-worth.
If your child understands that their mother willingly left them, it will be difficult for them to start trusting again. As your child believes their mother should always love them, it can be devastating to learn the truth. Likewise, they may experience guilt and insecurity as they try to learn why their mother left.
Help your child understand that their mother’s actions have nothing to do with them. Let them know that you’ll always love them, regardless of who comes and goes in their life. Actively work to fill the emotional void in your child’s life as they learn to grow up without their mom there.
Even though the loss of one parent is incredibly impactful, having one present parent helps soften the blow. Encourage your child to share their emotion and thoughts as you both take steps to overcome the abandonment.
My baby’s mom left me but wants a relationship with their child.
If your baby’s mother left you but still wants to be a parent, be open to it. While the hurt feelings after a breakup can make anyone unhappy, don’t stop your ex from seeing their child.
Regardless of why your baby’s mother ended things, make sure that your child can have a healthy relationship with their mom.
If your former partner is ready to be a devoted parent, it’s important to give them a chance.
Can I co-parent with my ex?
Co-parenting after splitting up isn’t easy. Whether your relationship ended amicably or your baby’s mother broke your heart, raising a child together takes work.
In your efforts to co-parent, make sure to put your child first in your decisions. The goal is to see your child thrive even though their parents aren’t together.
The first step in co-parenting successfully is to heal from past damage. If your relationship ended badly, take the time to move on from the anger and hurt left by your ex. Though it may take time, co-parenting after healing gives your child the best opportunity to grow.
Should I take my baby’s mother back after abandonment?
If your baby’s mother decided to abandon both you and your child, coming back isn’t always an option. However, after an intense period of soul-searching and growth, your baby’s mom may want to re-enter your lives.
If you’re considering taking your baby’s mother back, make sure that you both are in a healthy enough place. Consider going to couples therapy to work through any unresolved trauma.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan after one parent decides to leave the family. Stay committed to keeping your child safe, healthy, and happy as you decide how to best move on.