Relationships & SexProblem Pages

I kept my child a secret from his grandfather

Problem PagesBy Maura O'Neill
I know that one day I will have to say something to him...
I know that one day I will have to say something to him...

Dear Maura,

I’m a 24-year-old female who has two children. I live with my partner and we are very happy. The reason I’m writing is that my dad only knows about one of my kids. My eldest boy is three and when I got pregnant I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him.

My mother knew all about it, but my dad was stricter and none of us had the courage to say anything. I feel so bad because when we visit my parents we have to leave the older boy with my partner’s family.

The problem is that my youngest is 14 months and soon he could end up saying something about his brother, which would be a disaster. I wish I hadn’t left it this late to say something. No matter how you colour it the situation stinks, my own dad is the only person in the dark about one of my children being in the world.

I know that one day I will have to say something to him, but what if he is so hurt he won’t talk to me or won’t want to see me or his grandchildren ever again? Can I risk telling him?

Maura says: I don’t think the idea of risk belongs in this situation. Yes, your father will be hurt, but bottom line is he deserves to know about his grandson. The only way around this is to be absolutely truthful.

Without condemning the man to being a total disciplinarian, you could say that you felt that you had let him down, or something along those lines. Explain to him that when you discovered that you were pregnant you didn’t want to hurt him, that was your first thought.

You did the wrong thing, but you were trying to protect him. 

Has he mellowed over the years? I’ve no doubt that he enjoys being with your other child and this second grandchild will be another blessing. 

In the meantime your son is waiting to meet his grandfather and that should be the focus for everyone.