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Hiding My Grief

9b70c24a6e5311e2a5bc22000a9e2899_7I am constantly in a battle with myself over just how much is too much to shield from my children. I want to protect them, but I also want them to be able to experience what life has to offer.

These past couple of weeks have been particularly hard on me due to the situation with my grandma’s failing health. The girls had a chance to see her a couple of weeks ago on our trip to Florida, and although they saw her in a hospital bed, they really have no idea what is going on. Other than seeing her in the hospital, I find myself not showing or telling them that anything is wrong.

I haven’t cried in front of them. I try to speak with my husband about it only once they have gone to bed. And if my oldest asks about her, I make up some silly lie that she is going to be okay. But the reality is that she isn’t going to be okay and I am sad about it.

I know that Avery is way too young to understand any of it, but she understands sadness. She’s seen me cry before, and it makes her sad and upset. Babies are very good at sensing things, and I don’t want her to sense that something is wrong or that I’m upset. I want to shield her from my emotional roller coaster.

But as much as I want to keep them both hidden from my pain, I wonder if this is the right thing to do. They will experience sadness and pain in their lives, so should I show them that I am sad and upset so that they know that it’s okay to express that? Or should I let them experience it when they can really understand? I honestly don’t know what to do.

There are so many times as a mom that I’ve known exactly what to do with my children. There’s always been an answer to my problem that I feel confident about. I don’t know if this problem has an answer. At least not one that I feel okay about. I’m supposed to always do what is best for my children, but in this case, I am absolutely stumped on what’s best.

The grief that I am experiencing is a new emotion for me. It’s one that I have been very fortunate to have never had to deal with until now. I barely know how to handle this situation for myself, much less with my children. How much is too much to share with them?

 

More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.

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