Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Mom Wonders If She Should Allow Her Kid To Have A Relationship With Injured Dad

Parenting is often a fraught task, in between the moments of love and joy. Raising a child while grieving is a particularly heavy endeavor, a journey with no clear or simple end, as one woman has discovered. 

A mom wondered if she should let her daughter have a relationship with her permanently injured dad.

She wrote to the r/parenting subreddit with a heartbreaking concern, worried that allowing her three-year-old to maintain contact with her dad was causing more harm than good. She explained that when she was pregnant, her husband suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

Photo: Arina Krasnikova / Pexels 

Because of the extreme nature of the accident, he was hospitalized for the first five months of their daughter’s life. Finding consistent care for him has been a struggle. For two years, the mom cared for both her daughter and her injured husband while working full-time. 

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Now, her husband lives in a facility near his family. She described his situation, saying he’s in “full care and has impulse control issues, mobility issues, and is cognitively a teenager.”

Due to his brain injury, ‘he’s never been a traditional dad,’ and he only has a 10-minute attention span. 

She brings her toddler to visit her dad every six weeks, yet those visits have proven difficult. She said that “he always gets mad when we leave that he can’t come home to live with us.” She’s concerned that having him in their lives is damaging the toddler on an emotional level.

“I told him I was sorry and that I love him very much. He responded that he doesn’t love me and my daughter said, ‘I still love you mommy.’ Heartbreak was all I felt. My daughter [was] trying to validate my feelings,” she shared. 

She also divulged that she supports the three of them financially while parenting on her own, making the situation even more daunting. 

 Photo : Greta Hoffman / Pexels 

“My husband loves her and talks about her all the time to others,” she said, yet she’s unsure if she should maintain the relationship. “This is a heartbreaking life that I never wish on anyone,” she explained, capturing the way certain situations have no evident solution.

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The mom received an outpouring of support from people on Reddit, many of whom had family members with traumatic brain injuries, and who spoke to the unique and tender challenges of that kind of loss. 

“You’re in a tough spot, and I commend you for thinking of others’ feelings when you have got to feel like you’re drowning most of the time,” someone commented. They recommended projecting into the future to try and find an answer, asking, “When she is 20, what understanding would you want her to have based on the choices you made?”

Yet they also noted that the mom shouldn’t overlook the emotional toll everything takes on her, either, saying, “Please take time to consider yourself. You matter, too. No one wanted this. But your peace and joy deserve consideration, as well.”

While the path forward might not be clear, one thing is evident: the mom is putting her heart on the line and trying to care for her family with every tool she has. No matter what she decides, she should give herself grace.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango’s news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.

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