On being the mom | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Thursday, July 12, 2007

On being the mom

Sometimes it's hard.

And I'm not talking about all the dirty laundry and whining kids, either. What I am talking about is having to watch your kids go through hard things. I never realized just how difficult it would be for me to see them hurt. I cry when they have to get their shots. I can't handle it when they really injure themselves falling, or crashing into things, or whatever. (And I can totally tell the difference between the fake "I fell down and so I think maybe I am hurt but I'm not really sure because nothing hurts" kind of cry and the real McCoy.) And I really hate it when their tender little emotions are wounded. Bria's issues with Kindergarten bullies nearly killed me.

And then there's all the Mommy guilt. That's hard too. Of course, the two are completely intertwined. I often feel like the hard things my kids have to deal with are one hundred percent my fault. If I had been watching her better she wouldn't have fallen and her mouth wouldn't be bleeding and swollen. Maybe Bria was too young to put into Kindergarten, maybe I should have waited a year. Should I spread out shots? Should I not vaccinate? And so on and so forth.

Today, Chloe had to be put under a general anesthetic to get her "baby bottle mouth" fixed. Doesn't matter that she never took a bottle in her life because if I ever tried to give her one she looked at me with all the disgust such a tiny infant could muster and promptly spit it out. Because she still has all those cavities in her front teeth indicative of falling asleep with milk or juice bottles. I am pretty strict about going to sleep with water only, so I guess it was because she nursed till she was almost two. And when I say that, I mean she was still nursing 5 or 6 times a day at 20 months and could ask for it by name ("ah nus" and "uh side"). So, yeah, she spent quite a lot of time sleeping while nursing after she had her teeth.

So, for the two hours she was under this morning I was a nervous wreck. Because she really didn't like being in the hospital, fun as the nurses and the anesthesiologist were trying to make it for her. And I was worried about the procedure. All of the things that could possibly go wrong. And then I was feeling so guilty about her dental hygiene. Because when I was pregnant with Sophia I could barely take care of brushing my own teeth and relied on Joel to make sure the girls' teeth got done. But he wasn't used to doing that and so maybe he forgot. Maybe that's why she has so many problems. But maybe I shouldn't have nursed her for so long even though she was impossible to wean. I mean, here I thought I was doing something good and look at all the grief it's causing a couple years down the road. If only I had done something differently we wouldn't be here today. And so on and so forth.

But she did great. She rode off in the wagon happy because she was Dora and the anesthesiologist was Boots and they were going to have an adventure. She came back from recovery awake and happy to see me, although she did get progressively crankier as the anesthesia wore off. Her teeth look wonderful, and the Dentist said that everything went well and I shouldn't worry about her.

So I'll try not to.

It's just hard sometimes.


  1. I WOULD BE A MESS....
    have you googled bottle mouth with breastfeeding. There are PLENTY of moms who do that, even til' the child's four or so... there must be a study... or something.
    Anyway, I'm glad Dora's fine -- what an awesome anethesiologist... much cooler then the freaks I work with. :)

  2. We all do the "what if" thing. We do the best we can with what is given us and hope it all turns out okay. You are an awesome mom from what I have read and can sense - don't beat yourself up! Have a fun rest of the summer with your beautiful girls.

  3. Bottle mouth what? I've never heard of that, but i totally get the Mom guilt thing-i've got it down to a science. Actually, i am reading your blog and Gabriel is sitting on my lap with a stinky diaper...See?

  4. Bottle mouth what? I've never heard of that, but i totally get the Mom guilt thing-i've got it down to a science. Actually, i am reading your blog and Gabriel is sitting on my lap with a stinky diaper...See?

  5. I don't know why that my comment got published twice. Maybe because it was brilliant?

  6. I'm so glad everything went well. HUGS!!!

  7. That's such a bummer that she had to go under so young. I'm glad everything is ok. My friend was just in Cedar and her daughter fell off the slide at McDonalds, breaking her arm so that she had to have surgery. She got to go on the same Dora adventure. I wonder if she had the same anestesiologist.

  8. Ugh! I'd say I didn't know which was worse - watching your kid have to go through that or the mommy guilt. But I'd go with the mommy guilt because it's more prolonged.

    For whatever it's worth, you WERE doing something good for her!!!!!! It only *happens to be* that we live in a country where two years old is considered *late* weaning. Other places and/or other times, that would be considered *early* weaning!

    Glad she came out fine.

  9. I remember when one of my sons needed ear tubes at 7 months, had a root canal at age 3, and later had surgery for an abcess on his gum at age 4. Me = Total Emotional Wreck. I feel for you. Glad to hear your daughter got through everything so well. {Hugs}

  10. You poor thing! We can't control everything. Of course you were doing the right thing for your child by breastfeeding. I am guyessign it is a pretty rare occurence, getting bottle mouth from breastfeeding! You were jsut "in the wrong place at the wrong time". No reflection on you whatsoever!

    I will take this as a learning experience, because my baby is 12 months old (my 4th), still nursing, and I have not brushed a single one of her 4 teeth yet. I've only thought of it a handful of times, whereas -of course- with my first, I was doing it by 6 months, and previous to that her gums got cleaned refularly with a washcloth... sheesh! Lol!

    (((hugs))) You're a good mom.

  11. oh boy, the typos. i apologize!

  12. I know how you feel. My 4-year-old daughter broke her arm a few weeks back. Daddy and her were playing and he accidentally dropped her (not high and on grass). She was still able to move everything so we thought maybe she just hyperextended the muscles in her arm. When she was complaining that it wasn't feeling better by the next morning we took her into the hospital and foudn out that she fractured the growth plate in her elbow and even needed surgery to correct it. Both my husband and I were feeling really horrible. Him for accidentally dropping her and me for not insisting that we take her in right away. She's fine now though and will be getting the cast off this Wednesday.

    I'm glad to hear that the surgery went well. And don't beat yourself up over this. You haven't done anything wrong. She's fine and all worrying will do is put more stress on you. (((((((HUGS)))))))

  13. honey, i understand.

    i had a heck of a time taking my daughter back into the operating room when she needed ear tubes...and i WORK in surgery! it isn't easy when it's your child, no matter what...and i'd be willing to bet that a few of those nurses may have been holding back tears of their own. i know i do...i just can't bear to see a mom or dad cry when they have to hand their baby and their trust over to a perfect stranger for some procedure. so glad that all is well, and hopefully that will be the end of anesthesia for her for a LOOOOOOONG time. =)