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Explaining to a child that a parent is ill.

(5 Posts)
Poppip Fri 12-Nov-10 13:50:20

I have a two year old who I utterly adore and who was very much wanted and loved by both my husband and I. Our life is hard as a family, I have a very rare condition that when I was pregnant, became much worse and has resulted in an anerysm in my heart, something that both myself and medical staff never thought would happen. My kidneys are now playing up and I get extremely exhausted. I have a tiny stomach and anemia.

My question is, how do you try and start to explain, without worrying a child that Mummy isnt very well and how to handle her difficult behaviour when I am poorly? My daughter has been hard work this week as she has had to go to my parents on a afternoon so I can get some rest and I am riddled with guilt and get very, very upset and feel such a let down. I do as much as I can with her and I know she loves me, she is very affectionate and stands and holds my hand when I am poorly. Her behaviour is a reaction to the circumstances, she is not a naughty child. I keep a routine of her going to my parents for a few hours in the afternoon when I am like this but she always comes home for dinner with us and sleeps in her bed. When I am not so poorly she is really good.

My husband is pretty good but he is such a positive person that sometimes his attitude of everything is fine and we are fine hides what is really going on and how I feel. Few weeks ago I was so, so low but everyone was told everything was fine. My parents are amazing as they have always been. I have had this condition since birth.

tiger66 Fri 12-Nov-10 17:56:11

Poppip, sorry he hear about your condition and I can sympathise to a degree.

Last year I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome which left me completely exhausted and having little energy. I have two boys - 3 and 2 and as you can imagine have a lot of energy. I am thankful to say that I am a lot better now but have had similar situations to you. I can offer you the advice that either worked for me or in hindsight think would have worked for me.

1) have someone to talk to to really let know how you feel - I spent so much time saying to friends that I was fine when really felt like rubbish. When I finally sdmitted both to myself and others things did get a bit better for example. I would choose to go to a friends for the pm so the kids could have new toys to play with and she would cook dinner for them whilst I could sit and rest. I often took the food. I think people are very keen to help when they actually know that you are struggling. We just have to ask for help.

2)Try to not overdo things. For example we try to pack so much into our lives and actually kids enjoy just ebing with us. I tried to explain to my kids that mummy was feeling very tired so maybe we could do quiet activities like reading books or painting together so that they still got hte time but it wasn't physically so demanding.

3) Talk to your health visitor. She may be able to offer you some advise on books to read with your little one.

I think the biggest thing that kids need to know is that you still love them and can still give them hugs, kisses and affection. When we push them away is when behaviour starts to get worse.

I hope that this is of some help to you. Thinking of you x

activate Fri 12-Nov-10 18:01:03

Winston's Wish helps us - it's a good resource to help you work things out and the phoneline people are wonderful

sorry for your pain

and remember that children are resilient

Poppip Sat 13-Nov-10 15:17:44


Thank you so much for your replies! I am not even dressed yet, been vomitimg and feeling generally pants! My husband has taken our daughter out on his bike to see my parents so that I can sit on the sofa in the quiet but I hate it when its quiet and I can't hear the little monkey! Typical women, these men just can't win!

Who are Winstons Wish? What do they do?

Poor daughter found me in tears this morning, which set her off. It really is hard but nice knowing I am not the only one...

I have had 'friends' say things like, 'Well you knew it was going to be difficult and even had people ask if I regret having our daughter!! I don't have much to do with them anymore.

You don't even know me and you bothered to respond! Your kindness has really helped. xxxxxxxxxxxx

tiger66 Sat 13-Nov-10 18:00:28

Having an illness shouldn't be a reason not to have children, it just means that you need more support around you to help when it gets rough. I agree those so called friends who said such horrid things shouldn't be in your life. Friends should be there to help when and if they can and offer emotional and practical support when they can.

Sometimes I think crying isn't a bad thing. It will help her to understand emotion and it is fine for her to cry with you, she is just showing you that she doesn't like seeing you feeling poorly.

Glad that you could get some respite and don't be afraid to ask people for help.

Sending big hugs x

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