It’s no secret that both of my pregnancies were tough on me. During both I suffered from complications that made my last few months a challenging time. I was tired from not being able to sleep, I was sick with bronchitis, and just generally feeling somewhat ill-tempered from carrying this really large tummy around. Add a husband’s stressful job and a demanding toddler to the mix and things got even more complicated. To top it off everyone in the family had been ill, and that included the two family Labradors!
Sometimes I would feel overwhelmed when things caught up with me and I would say to my husband “I can’t do this anymore.” It was a moment of weakness, we are all allowed them right, but sadly it was also heard by another pair of little ears, always listening, and seen by another pair of little eyes, always watching.
Amy had been sick with bronchitis too, she had been very ill for a number of weeks and it had been taking its toll on all of us. At the end of a very long day I was sitting by her at bedtime, and she wasn’t going to sleep. I grew impatient as my back ached and my stomach was uncomfortable perched on her bed. She sensed my impatience and started to cry. To my absolute horror she then sobbed “I can’t do this anymore.”
Not only had she been listening, she had also understood the depth of my exhaustion and despondence at how hard life had been for us. When I heard her say those words and mirror my desperation my heart broke and my breath caught in my throat. It was my job to protect her from the harsh realities of life, to keep her safe from sadness, and instead I’d given her an up close glimpse right into it. It seemed like a failure, and the only thing I could think of to do was draw her close into a tight hug and say I love you.
So let this serve as a reminder that our children are always watching and listening, no matter their age. Let’s be aware to make their inner voice one of positivity to protect them for as long as we can.