Tuesday, 5 June 2012

I'm busy

I can't quite describe the wave of guilt that overwhelms me when my toddler says that.
I mean, it's funny at the time, when he's refusing a nap or to go out or something because he's "busy" but afterwards it strikes me that he's learned that phrase from me.

Similarly guilt inducing is when he toddles by and sees me clearly working away at something and says "Mummy busy", usually followed by him getting his step stool or a brush (depending on what I'm doing) and trying to help.
I don't want him to be two and aware that Mummy is busy, too busy for him. I want him to know that I'm always putting him first.
At the same time, I want to be able to do the washing up, sweep the floor, package up some item to be posted, clean the bathroom or write an important, time sensitive email without a tiny hurricane ripping through it all. I would also feel guilty about spending every one of Small's waking moments keeping him at the very centre of my attention span but making him live in a filthy home.

The worst of it is that he's at that age now where all he wants to do is help. "Help Mummy! Help Mummy!' he cries as he runs over to my assistance. Sometimes I'm washing up and am summarily shoved aside by him pushing the step stool over (his 'ladder') so he can take charge of the brush and poke it at the dishes while running the taps. Or the hoover, operating the hoover causes Small to be consumed by two contradictory impulses, one to make the horrible noise stop and one to grab it off me and shove it along the carpet himself, except he can't because the suction is too strong for him. Ah now, you're thinking that the solution is to switch it off and let him play for a bit before distracting him with something else and carrying on aren't you? Wrong. He doesn't want to play with it, he wants to hoover up. When he wants to play at hoovering he has a toy one he uses for the purpose.

It's little wonder the words 'sweetheart, please, Mummy's busy' really. It's still a icicle in my heart when he repeats it back though. Must be a Mum thing. Or a Not Very Good Mum thing.


  1. It's most definitely not a 'Not very good mum' thing. It's one of those 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' things. As long as he helps out sometimes but not every time, gets some of your time, but not all of it, then that's a balance =) Balance is hard, but it's there, and he'll let you know if you've got it wrong, and it really doesn't sound like that's what he's doing at all!

  2. Unfortunately it's nothing more and nothing less then real life. It's not necessarily a bad thing, again it's what we as adults do, we attach a meaning to something that may not actually be there. If a child said in a disheartened sad voice 'oh, mummy is too busy, i'll go away' then just sit somewhere alone, then there'd be an issue but there is nothing wrong with a child learning that they can't have 100% of someones attention 100% of the time, could you imagine what type of egotistical adult they'd grow up to be? They learn all sorts through copying us because they want to do what we do. When they copy an act we think it's cute yet when they copy something we ay, often we get the guilts. Sometimes though we have to ask are we guilty because they ARE feeling x whilst they say it or are we merely projected our guilt onto innocent and benign things and cretaing a problem that they MIGHT be feeling x?

    Okay that made way more sense in my head.

  3. I was going to say what the other commentators did. You can't make him 100% of your life because - you just can't. You do have stuff to do as well as look after him, and it's not necessarily a bad thing that he understands that, yes, he's THE most important thing in your life but you need to do other stuff that doesn't involve him too. Stop beating yourself up hun, as a mum you can't win either way, but you're doing the best you can and you provide a safe, healthy, stimulating and most of all loving home for your son, and really, that's all that he wants :-)