Friday, 1 April 2011

I am suffering Sympathy Fatigue

Image from here
As you can imagine, with four young children there are a lot of little accidents in our household. There are trips, falls, scrapes, bangs, thumps, slips and scratches every single day.

I noticed today, when Doo Dah banged his leg on a metal bike rack at Aldi (don't ask!) and his eyes welled with tears and his throat roared with loud cries, that my first (silent) reaction was "Not again!" but I caught myself before I responded with the obligatory soothing words, cuddles, rubs and kisses to 'make it better'.

I realised today that I am suffering Sympathy Fatigue.

I am most certainly grateful that none of these little accidents has required more than a band-aid, some words of encouragement and a soft touch to overcome but they are so common place that I am sort of annoyed by them! They are inconvenient stress inducing and I wish they didn't happen so frequently!

What am I like? I know I am in no danger of winning the Mother of the Year Award, but are there others out there who are in the same boat?

22 comments:

Photographer Mum said...

OMG!, forever having little accidents here, namely middle child. He has managed all sorts of damage on his little 2.5 year old body than I have in my whole life. I could list a large number of wounds, mostly self inflicted - even if accidentally - but the 2 most memorable were the recent black eye and not so recent broken arm at the age of 15months... *sigh*.
I think I am well and truly suffering sympathy fatigue.

Cate said...

A friend of mine and I were having a 'who's the worst mother' competition the other day wrt to ignoring our complaining children - she won. Mine had only torn a ligament and chipped the bone (two years ago now), her's had torn his achilles and broken his ankle. Oh yes, the constant whining is certainly something we all become immune to I'm afraid.
But heh, our mums didn't coddle us the way we coddle them, and we all grew up just fine(ish!!) :-)
xxxCate

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Oh, absolutely!

But I'm worse than you, because I've caught myself saying - out aloud - "What NOW?"

It just seems like not a 30 minute timeframe passes before someone gets hurt, and often it's because they're wrestling or doing something they shouldn't - so my sympathy level diminishes somewhat.

However, the 9yo came home from school the other day with a massive scrape on his knee, and I felt that tightness of my chest - you know, the one that makes you think, 'Oh, my poor baby!' - mostly because I *wasn't* there to help him when he fell.

*sigh* I'm a complex kinda gal.

m.e (Cathie) said...

oh yeah, it gets like that at times, and now it's more the "he did, she did" cries. that's when I just think.."leave me ALONE!"

Mrs Woog said...

Jack asked me to put a band aid on a mozzie bite the other day and cried when I would not do it.

Maxabella said...

Oh stop, I'm just amazed that you held the 'not again!' in. I have not been so caring with the Cappers. Seriously, how many times can a kid 'hurt myself' in a day? We even rinsed her through the optometrist, the doctor and the ear, nose and throat guy once just to check that there wasn't anything wrong with her eyes and balance. Sheesh, that kid! x

DancingInTheRain said...

As I got older and I would be in tears, devasted by something, I remember getting more upset when Mum would tell me to stop crying because I was bring silly. I totally get it now. She had sympathy fatigue!

alliecat said...

Oh. Yes.

It started with my poor husband not getting much sympathy, as I am a nurse and of course have seen far worse. 'Suck it up sunshine' was all I wanted to tell him when he felt unwell!

My eldest daughter seems quite sooky and cries over the smallest things, so sometimes I think exactly like you - WHAT NOW? I definitely have sympathy fatigue.
I hear ya!

rocketman said...

I was the youngest child of three, so by the time I was getting into accidents around the house, I think my mum hadn't gotten so chilled to it all, not much fazed her.

....At the age of 11 it would be revealed that I must have had a broken bone in my foot sometime when I was younger, something that remained undiagnosed. From that day onwards, even the slightest sniffles would see me rushed to the emergency room, in an act of overcompensating parenting.

Good times!

Zoey @ Good Goog said...

On a bad day I will have sympathy fatigue by about 10am. And I only have one! It can be hard to muster up the requisite comforting tone when someone insists on continuing to run into walls at full speed.

Alice Becomes said...

i have had a bit of sympathy fatigue today, every two seconds there seemed to be a bump, push, fall or bang, but these were not accidents really, they were the inevitable result of the two boys fighting about every little thing...some mornings they are a delight, other mornings they are not

And from the sound of all these comments - I think we are going to need a bigger boat!

Gill xo

Joni Llanora said...

With Anya's conition, she's really prone to falls and bumps. But rarely cries and just picks herself up.

Miss Pink said...

I'm this way over the scream from a tantrum with Greenie.
To the point i've told him to stop crying before i will pay him attention. It wears me thin that the cries are constantly over the same thing. Things we have discussed and know how to handle. Like who had the toy first thus it is theirs until they are finished, do not snatch it or you will lose.
Funnily enough my kids rarely cry over an injury, and Bluey has had like 3 bandaids in his almost 5 years of life, Greenie none (if you don't count the bandaids from immunisations). So i don't have the problem there. But tantrum wise? Oh i hear ya!

Doodah said...

I buy Home Brand Band-Aids because they never actually have to soak up any blood, because there never is any.
"I've got a sore leg!" Stick a band aid on it, it comes off 20 minutes later and it's all fixed. Fickle things, these kids.
I also have the immediate reaction of "What now?", guilty when there is actual blood.

Lucy said...

I fix mine with a steely glare & ask "Do we need to get you to the hospital?"

In light of Charlie's extended residency there last year, this generally sorts the sheep from the hypochondriacs....

I shall join you in resigning any claims on MOTY...

Megan Blandford said...

It's like when we all have colds - I'll be feeling crap and I'll muster up some sympathy for the munchkin. But hubby? Forget it. Nothing.

Sam-O said...

Not often wanting or needing sympathy myself and coming from a house where none was offered, I feel totally inadequate in the sympathy department.

At least now, the next time it's sought and I flounder around with how to satisfy the little persons needs, I'll remember that others who know how to do it get sick of it too!

Be A Fun Mum said...

Oh man alive...Yes, I'm suffering from sympathy fatigue.

GET OVER IT! {I mean, come here and Mummy will kiss it better}

I also find this with my daughter with special needs...there are just so many dramas every day and I get so over it...but then, I really do try and see it from her perspective too... and feel compassionate.

You know, it scared me...when things were at the worst for my daughter (about 2 years ago), I felt no compassion -- at all. I felt so cold because I was so stressed. It was a terrible, terrible feeling...When by 9am there had been 50 meltdowns...well...I was beyond compassion...Compassion Fatigue I guess...

Things are better now that we know how to handle and help her but I still get fatigued...a lot...

Okay...a lot of rambling here...sorry...going...

Amy said...

Oooh there is a term for that feeling... Thanks for the read it was lovely and relative :) xx

Bek said...

My eldest of 4 is about to turn 5 and I yelled at the top three tonight when they were going to bed because they wanted more cuddles while the youngest was screaming for a nappy change. I went down the hall with tears poring down my cheeks and I could barely see the nappy to change it. I had to go back and apologise and hug them all and kiss them.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I'm at the Man Up Princess stage with my two. If there's no blood I'm not interested. So maybe it's hereditary?

bigwords is... said...

yep. Bored too. And sick of buying bandaids with princesses on them - they get stuck on everything and t's never for what bandaids are meant to be used for. Am now buying the boring kind.

So fantastic to meet you last night at the Kidspot Top 50 party. I had a ball. Well actually I had too much to drink...... xx

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