My toddler is breaking my back

Woman's back

Dear Popple,

It’s very sweet that you want to be attached to me at all times. I know that you’re happiest when I’m holding you in my arms within grabbing distance of my hair. I like making you happy. It’s my most important job in life.

But here’s the thing, Popple:

My back is f***ed.

It’s not entirely your fault. My back has always been somewhat f***ed. First of all, I have mild scoliosis. This means that means that my spine has a weird sideways curve, giving me the tiniest of hunchbacks. Second of all, I’ve been doing desk-based jobs for more than 12 years. That’s 12 years of leaning over a computer for eight hours a day while sitting in a crappy office chair.

That being said, my back has been particularly f***ed lately, and it’s because you’re getting so huge. I never thought I’d say this, my little 2nd percentile baby, but you are freaking heavy. I’m sure you’re still petite compared to your peers, but you feel like a big, fat chunk of a toddler to me. I have no idea how much you weigh. All I know is that every day, my arms strain a little bit more when I pick you up, and my back hurts a little bit more ALL THE TIME. It never stops. There’s constant ache in my upper back that ranges from mild discomfort to the stabby kind of pain that travels from my shoulders up into my head and settles behind my eyes until the resulting headache makes me puke.

I hate to say this, Popple, but I’m not sure how much longer you can maintain your status as my cutest and squirmiest appendage. It may be the next pound you put on, or maybe the pound after, but at some point by my body just won’t be able to do it anymore. You will reach up for me expectantly and I’ll have to say, “Sorry, Popple – Mama can’t pick you up.”

It will break my heart, but continuing to carry you will break my back. And I need my back. It’s kind of a crucial piece of my whole body setup.

Just know that when this day comes, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want you close. I want you with me always, just not, you know, on me necessarily.

We can still have all the cuddles from a comfortable seated position. And my hand is always available for holding as we walk along together, ready to face whatever toddlerhood throws at us next.

Love,

Mama

Me holding the Popple at a roller derby bout from the back

Diary of an imperfect mumThe Pramshed
Diary of An Imperfect Mum

18 Replies to “My toddler is breaking my back”

  1. Ah yep the old breaking back vs screaming child conundrum!! Me and B both get bad backs so it’s always a worry, we have to be quite careful. My worst thing is following him around at the playgroups and constantly bending to tidy something or help with something or move him out of harms way, etc. Can’t we just all sit in comfortable chairs and let them get on with it?! All toddler groups should have fully cushioned floors so that nobody can get hurt, then I could just sit back and watch.
    Hope you get lots of sitting down cuddles!!

  2. oh I remember this well – having had three of them my back has been shot to pieces – however years on and we are making progress thankfully! Oh but I hear you about the sadness of not being able to carry them – just another step to independence that we don’t always want to encourage but the hand holding and the cuddles will always still happen, I promise xx #DreamTeam

  3. My almost 4 year old still loves to be picked up!! He has no idea how heavy he is. I’ll do it as long as I can as the day will come where it’s impossible! Sorry to hear you’re struggling. #dreamteam

  4. I have scoliosis too & I can’t pick Izzy (2yo) up anymore. It breaks my heart when she puts her arms up and I have to tell her no. I do make sure we have lots of cuddles & hold her hand lots too! I try to pick her up occasionally when she’s really upset but I can’t hold her more than a few seconds & end up paying for it for weeks. Back pain is annoying and frustrating when you’ve got little ones depending on you, sofa cuddles are always a win and fix everything though xx

  5. Hi, my Bubs is on the freaking 98th percentile and I’m petite!!! Have you looked into having some Alexander technique sessions and also pilates both a superb for posture and alignment. Hope your back improves xxx 🌺

  6. Awww, it is so hard isn’t it! My 4 year old loves to be picked up and carried but after a few minutes I have to put him down – he’s just too heavy. But I do as you have said and make sure we have lots of cuddles on the sofa or hold hands everywhere we go, and that seems to make him happy too 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

  7. It is so funny that you’ve written this as I caught myself looking at a man carrying his daughter the other day and feeling nostalgic and dare I say jealous. I miss those days. 🌸 Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  8. I think we all get to that point of backache caused by toddler, whether we have back problems or not. We just have to make sure we give our babies lots of extra cuddles instead.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. Nothing worse than a sore back! Don’t feel bad, Popple will understand eventually, once she realises Mummy is still present and available for cuddles and hand holding. Sometimes they use us just for our height so they can be nosey… cheeky things! Ha! Get her a ladder?xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. Aww bless you – I feel your pain. Emma has recently become so clingy to both me and her Daddy…it is back breaking and makes my heart sink every time she reaches up to be lifted. Hope your back gets a bit of rest soon! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

  11. I totally feel you pain, like literally. My son prefers to remain attached to me, which I love, but…
    Hope you’re feeling better asap!
    #EatSleepBlogRT

  12. Will is only 11 weeks and my back is already breaking!! #ForTheLoveofBlog

  13. Ahh Katie. It’s not easy is it, they are going to keep growing and getting heavy. Hope the popple takes it on the chin when you cant lift her. Lots of leg cuddling for her! Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofblog

  14. I’m sure a number of people can relate to this. #EatSleepBlogRT

  15. I can so relate to this – especially being pregnant again! My back and shoulders feel bug*ered! #ablogginggoodtime

  16. Aw man I’m sorry about your back, not ideal! But at least she is super cute right?! ; ) I hope Bear isn’t like this….although he seems to be going through a clingy stage at the moment MEH. The cuddles are nice but not all the time, why hasn’t someone created a toddler carrier that takes the pressure off the back? Seems like with virtual reality and quantum mechanics SOMEONE would be able to invent something better for us moms lol. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  17. Ah man these little ones are back breaking aren’t they? My 4 year old still likes me to pick him up and carry him! You are right though we have to look after our backs, we need them!! #eatsleepblogrt

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