When Kids say “No Mom, No!” - Resentment
It’s a difficult time for everyone in the family when a new baby comes home. The physical challenges for both parents and the lack of sleep put us both off from being able to think clearly.
Then, there are the other kids that have suddenly experienced a roller coaster of emotions including anger, loneliness, frustration, happiness, sadness, excitement, worry, etc. It truly is a challenge.
Every new baby’s arrival requires time for adjustment and every time it’s completely different so having a baby already doesn’t guarantee it will go smoothly the next time. This is something we tend to forget because we’re living a mostly happy time with all the excitement of receiving a new baby and when doctors, nurses, family and friends talk about possible depression and you don’t even care to listen because it won’t be your case.
A popular question I get asked now is, “how are the kids taking it?”. The truth I tell is that my almost 5 year old and my 2 year old seem to both love the new baby very much and their enjoying their increased time with daddy. They are having boys-day-outs more often and Daddy is also tucking them both to bed after their bedtime story. While this is true, it’s also a fact that all three, my sons and my husband…. are all missing “Mommy” very much.
Yesterday, my oldest, Leonardo started crying for no apparent reason. I would ask him what was wrong and he would try to explain. He mentioned how much he loved his nanny and how he would like it to be daytime all the time. Only sunny and bright daylight and he rather have no nights. With careful observation and listening attentively, I soon realized he was just trying to get some tears out. Clearly he was missing mommy and me time, specially our before bedtime routines. I would sing, dance and play with them as they bathe or play classical music while they’d poked bubbles.
As a matter of coincidence, his brother, Matias, also broke into tears later, and yes he’s two and yes he cries often but this time it was different. He was crying and longing for me from his bedroom and waiting for me to come get him like I used to. I has breastfeeding baby Nicolas and the second was just too complicated. Leo was on the bed with us since he was still refusing to go to bed alone and Daddy wasn’t going to get home quite yet. I asked Leo if he would go and let Matias know that I wasn’t coming and that he could come to the bed with us too. Mat blew off in anger and crying, he came into the bedroom and as soon as he saw the picture; Mommy carrying baby “and not him” he cried out “No Mommy, No! No Baby, No!” and ran away. I realized right then that he too was longing for me and needing me so much.
I placed baby on his crib and went to find Mat. As he saw me getting close, he would ran further away from me yelling out NO! and becoming more and more upset. When I tried to reach him to hug him close he would kick and push me away. This was not only hard to take emotionally but I also needed to be careful not to let him hurt my incision. So there we were, arm struggling with each other, I’d trying to hug and love him and he was so upset he’d only push me away and refuse to allow me to get any closer. This was so painful. It made me feel impotent. There I was trying to save everyone. The baby, Leo, Mat and even me after a C-section and having gone through everything the past weeks.
I decided to go away and as I walked out the door, he changed the cry. He told me he had an "ouchie" and gave me the look. You know, the look of “mommy, I need you”. So I sat with him on his bed and have him a big long hug. Lots of hugs and lots of kisses.
Sometimes when they most refuse you to get close is when they need you the most. This happens at any age. Kids are best to exaggerate the drama but adults do it too. So when your kid or when your husband for the matter, seems to be upset at you and doesn’t want you to get close; try talking to them, say sorry, listen to what they have to say. If anything, they need you. Love them, be present and care more enthusiastically.
However, don’t take it personal. Everyone is living the experience and overcoming the challenge in their own way. Allow yourself to heal in a moment like this. Notice how your kids and husband will resent the fact that you’re not there like you used to. Even though they understand what you’re going through, they too have feelings. Do not feel guilty and get better soon. Accept the emotional pain as being part of the process and breathe deeply. Be very patient with your family and with yourself. Everyone is struggling in the process. Communicating each others’ feelings will help in understanding one another. There is just so much you can do but the most important thing is that you do anything and everything with love.