“Mom, didn’t you know that Dad was married?”

No one is perfect in life and we all navigate life learning some lessons along the way. As a mother some of the lessons can be severe, especially if they affect the children and their well-being. The other day I was wondering how a mother can explain to her child why the child’s father is a married man. There are many scenarios to this situation and I spoke to a few mothers who explained what happened with them as they now have children with married men.

Tricked by dad

Pelisa mentioned that she was in a relationship with the father of her son but six months after her son was born, she later learned that the guy was married. Obviously he was two-timing her and she cannot be blamed for the situation she found herself in. She has now moved on and when her son asks she plans to tell the child the truth.

Now another scenario is that of women having children with married men knowing that the guy is married. This then makes me wonder how one can answer the children when asked why the father is married. Children like to know where mom and dad met and how can one go about answering that question?

Choosing to make it complicated?

Nandipha is one mother who was well aware that she was getting involved with a married man and yet went on to have a child with him. She says that she was open from the onset that she wanted a child and was not on contraceptives, and that this did not bother the guy even though he was married.  She also loved him and he never objected to them having a child together.

In this case she feels that she should not be judged- the responsibility also lay with the father of her daughter and that she should not be treated as the immoral one over the guy. Her daughter asked her why she went for a married man, and she was honest with her in stating that life is unpredictable and those were not her plans but found herself in that situation and she was in love.

Missing out on extended family

The downside of this is that her child does not have access to the grandmothers but has made an effort to contact her half-sisters and they have welcomed her. She is still to be introduced to the rest of the family but for now she is the “secret child”, the wife is not aware that she exists but now that she is getting older she is trying her best to make contact with the family and has asked her father to coordinate the meeting and introduction.

Asking Nandipha if she was ashamed and worried of the example she was setting for her daughter, she mentioned that she was fine with her decision as it is part of life. Her daughter could also find herself in situations she never thought of, and such is life.

I always maintain that we should not judge as life is unpredictable but we need to be careful of our actions for the sake of our children.

Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Want more? Follow Parent24 on Twitter!

Has your child ever asked you a question that is difficult to answer?
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24