Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: I am recovering from my second miscarriage in a year. My surgery was earlier this week. I am still feeling shellshocked and sort of exhausted, my conversations with people feel like out-of-body experiences. I have very little energy to work (I have a job outside the home). I have a 4-year-old and am trying to figure out what is worse for her my going upstairs to lie down and hide when I get home (I am still on pain meds), or playing with her and risking bursting into tears? I am terrified that I am causing her emotional harm through my very shaky abilities to control my own emotions.
DAMAGING MY DAUGHTER?
Im so sorry. As long as your 4-year-old is in loving hands in your absence, its not going to cause her emotional harm for you to take the time you need to recover.
Kids from the youngest ages are exposed to the ebbs and flows of life for many reasons we cant control, and so its helpful to keep that in mind when were looking at decisions we can control. Your decision between trying to rally or going upstairs to lie down is one of those, and since its a choice, you can arrange a lot of the variables to be in your daughters favor: good care in your absence, kind words when youre present, and age-appropriate explanation that youre not feeling well right now but youre going to take good care of yourself and you will get better. She can actually grow from this experience, even while missing you.
Re: Damaging Daughter: When I was about 4, my mother suffered a miscarriage that kept her in the hospital for days. I dont remember much of that time, except that when she came back home, her sister was with her and us a lot. I emptied the dishwasher for her (except for the sharp knives), and she hugged me. Thats really all I remember. I believe that she lay down a lot. Whatever you do, your daughter will be OK. She knows youve been sick, so she knows somethings wrong, even if she doesnt understand it. If possible, have other people around to help keep the kids occupied.
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