death in family, desperate mama - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-22-2002, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I am writing on behalf of a dear friend of mine. Her husband passed away last month, quite unexpectadly, leaving behind my pregnant friend and their 2 year old son. She just delivered their baby a couple of weeks ago and her son is a mess. He refuses to listen to anything she says, runs around trashing the place and rarely shows kindness to the new baby sister. (Except while tandem nursing, then he's always gentle.) So I'm asking all you experienced or maybe not-so-experienced single mamas to share suggestions, advice and/or love. She's coping with the traumatic loss of her husband and trying desperately to be available and helpful to her two children. She has lots of family support, but they often give in to the toddler b/c they feel so bad for him. This is only making it worse for her! I know she feels desperate and often much like a failure. We certainly appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!!!!
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#2 of 3 Old 05-22-2002, 11:44 PM
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My heart goes out to your friend. I don't have any magic advise to make things better. I do believe that her son is grieving too, though he doesn't have the words or coping skills to express it appropriately. In addition to his own emotions, which must be very confusing at that age, children are so empathic that they feel everything around them. So he is feeling everyone else's grief and acting it out. I think the best thing that she can do for herself and both children is to allow herself to grieve in whatever way she needs to. Holding herself together for her babies will only prolong the stages. Not to say that things will ever be okay, but the immediate intensity will ease with much time.

Blessings to your friend, and to you for your loving support,
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#3 of 3 Old 05-23-2002, 12:31 PM
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I have cousins who have a sort of similar situation to deal with. No one died in this family, but when the mom was preg with #2 she had horrible health problems and had to spend alot of time in the hospital. The 3 yo dd spend most of her time at the grandparents' house where they 'gave in' to her every whim. It is now 2 years later. The second dd was born healthy, the mom is fine, but they feel they are still dealing with the consequences of having their first child poorly parented by the grandparents for 6 months.

IMO children crave stability and constance. Kids, especially when they become toddlers, begin to see their own power and abilities. But they still want someone to take care of them and keep them from harm. They may be afraid of their own power when no one reigns them in, because then they feel their own ability to create chaos.

It sounds like your friend knows all this, but her family does not. Perhaps a family visit to a therapist would be good. Someone who specializes in children and/or grief counceling. Everyone needs to be on the same page with this child.

good luck
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