I have a confession to make. I love my children… to distraction.. in fact they drive me to distraction sometimes but that’s a whole other post! So to reiterate. I love my children, I really do but I find it hard to be sympathetic when they are ill. Don’t misunderstand me. I make the right sympathetic noises, I hold their hair back when they are sick, I dispense medicine as needed and I cwtch them up on the sofa under a blanket and run back and forth doing their bidding for drinks and hot water bottles, but it is an act. It doesn’t come easily and it feels fake.

It makes me feel dishonest as a Mum but I don’t think they notice or are any the worst for it. I’m not even sure why it is. I am the one, usually, who looks after them in the night if they are coughing or up being sick so it isn’t as if I’ve never dealt with it before or as if I mind either.

I think it grates on me because it reminds me I’m not a perfect parent. There are days when I’m short with them, when I shout for no reason, when I overreact over stupid things. These are the days quite often when I go to bed and cry and feel guilty and pray to do better next time.

I am constantly evaluating how we are interacting, whether they are happy, whether they are getting equal amounts of attention. I want to be a good Mother to the babies I’ve been blessed with.

Recently I noticed that my 8-year-old daughter is not very affectionate with me. I know she’s getting older and growing more independent but it does make my heart ache sometimes. Due to the rough start I had with my youngest daughter I still tend to baby her and hug her and kiss her. I’ve never meant to make her sister feel left out but maybe I have.

So my husband and I discussed it and how I was feeling about it and he suggested if I were to be more affectionate with my 8-year-old she may return the affection. So that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment, because I do love her, so much. I love all of them so much, but I get occupied by things that don’t matter and then I go to bed and cry again.

Oh well, I suppose having noticed this I can try to nip it in the bud and do something about it.

And going back to sickness my son got sent home from school yesterday with a virus. He is complaining of a stomach ache yet it’s one of those bugs where he is not actually being sick, just feels sick. There is a bug going round because one of his sisters had it last weekend, however because he had a lot of time off last year due to anxiety and school refusal I have to be very careful he doesn’t have time off unnecessarily otherwise its hard to get him to want to go back.

Parenthood = always a juggling act.

Cwtch is a Welsh word meaning cuddle.

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11 thoughts on “Not naturally Sympathetic.

  1. Parenting is a difficult role and sibling rivalry a very touchy thing. When we do our best with all our heart, things seem to work out. You have a big heart, I think you will do well with your children.

  2. Noticing our faults is half the battle to this thing we call Motherhood. No one ever said we were going to be great at what we do every day around the clock, but our clear efforts, the ones that point us in the right direction will always help. Think redemption. Think consciousness. Not a day goes by I don’t ask myself “Do I really know what I am doing?” And my answer is always no. Love will keep you afloat. And faith will do even better. Show love. Be happy. Stay confident. And they will remember those things better than the mishaps.

  3. I have a hard time finding sympathy day-to-day. When the kids are ill, I feel like there’s a reason behind their increased clinginess and I can be sympathetic. Without a reason, I just get irritated! I need to work on it.

  4. Don’t confuse the feelings you have. It’s natural to feel the love and need to care for your children and family, even when that comes ahead of your own desires. It is also natural to want that time to do other things you’d prefer to do.

    This doesn’t make you a bad “mum” as you say. You have your priorities in the right place. Let up on yourself! Take advice from your screen name…”calm down,” you’ re doing fine…

    Thanks for the honest post.

    “EE”

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