“Mummy’s Sad”

Heading home from work on Friday, I was exhausted from simply holding it together for the bulk of the day. The problem with working with the public is that there is simply no where to hide with your emotions.

The problem with living with a two year old, it turns out, is very similar.

Once we were home, I gave in to the inevitable tears in the place where I feel safest: Snuggled against my husband’s shoulder. Wrapped in his warm, tight, embrace.

And as I sobbed, from somewhere just beneath us came a small voice.

“Mummy’s sad” it said.

Thomas turned away, back to his drawing, his hand moving in rhythmic, colourful circles across the page. I was touched by his empathy and understanding, which obviously did nothing to quell my emotions.

“Yes, Mummy is sad” Ian replied, in the exhalation of a sigh.

Thomas looked back up at me with an earnest, slightly quizzical expression. As he turned away again, I heard him ask “Is it Thomas’s fault?”

Even as I was reassuring him, through yet more tears, that no, of course it wasn’t Thomas’s fault, all I could hear was an ear splintering crash. The sound of my already broken heart shattering in to further, possibly irreparable, pieces.

That my two year old understands the concept of “fault” is both amazing and perhaps slightly worrying. But how could I have lead him to feel responsible for my emotions? In that moment I felt like the worst parent in the world. Here I am, so wrapped up in my desire to bring him a sibling, that I’m having a detrimental effect on the child I already have, right here. The child who needs me.

In the last few days Thomas has been a massive source of comfort. I’ve savoured his hugs, and taken pleasure in his silly, toddler antics. But I can’t lie. It’s also been tough having to continue to put his needs first, and see that he isn’t affected but what I’m going through.

It turns out that I haven’t done quite such a good job as I’d hoped.


One Reply to ““Mummy’s Sad””

  1. Without getting tooooo much into child psychology, he might be arriving a little bit early at the stage of development where kids start exploring the concepts of fault and guilt. It generally starts around age 4, or after basic self-sufficiency is established (toilet training, basic dressing tasks…), and it coincides with more planning and purposeful action. If you’re noticing that other stuff too, he’s probably just a little precocious. And he’s asking, not assuming, so just chalk it up to exploring the concept. 🙂 He sounds like a sweet, loving little man! And you’re clearly a sweet, loving mum! I highly doubt you’re having any kind of detrimental effect on him at all, in fact, it sounds like you’re helping him develop even a little ahead of schedule! Please don’t doubt your awesomeness as a mother… nobody else does 🙂

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