Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life Lessons::Mommy Mistakes

Hindsight is always 20/20.  Always.  Well, for me anyway.

Since typing out the Kinley story, I wanted to use the rest of my "mommy break" to sort through so many things in my head.  I've learned so many mommy mistakes that I have made and want to really sort through things to hopefully learn from them and not let them happen again.  I know I will expect to make a million mistakes and wrong decisions during the years of raising Kinley.  But what good is a mistake or wrong decision if you don't learn and grow from it?

Mommy Mistake #1:  Being selfish.  When I made the decision to take Kinley to the marathon on Sunday...I was driven by my own selfishness to be at that finish line.  We have all been looking forward to seeing Paul run this race.  It is a HUGE thing to run a marathon and we wanted nothing more than to be there to support him.  I knew that Richie would be going.  It is his brother and he should be the one to go, I should be the one to stay home with the sick baby.  When we made the decision to take her to the city, she was down to 99 with her fever.  And she had been down to 99 for a couple of hours.  But...she was medicated.  Deep down, I KNEW it was the wrong decision.  But I wanted to go.  I was being selfish and it was at my daughter's expense.  I'm the worst mother ever.

Mommy Mistake #2:  Letting panic rule the situation.  When we took her temp and it was 104.5, I became blinded by panic.  I couldn't see the forest through the trees.  My mind was seriously spinning and I was holding my baby and feeling like a rabid dog ready to attack anyone that tried to take her or tell me how to "fix her."  I just wanted the clouds to part and the answer of what to do to be behind them.  Immediately, Richie and I started fighting.  He wanted me to dunk her in the fountain and I wanted to follow Dr. Natalie's advice to never bring a fever down too fast by using cold water.  Buckingham Fountain is cold water.  He ripped her out of my arms and said that if I wasn't going to do something about it, he would.  That is when I lost my mind.  How could someone (my husband!) say that I wasn't doing something about it.  I just needed time to process.  Now mind you, all of this happened in the span of about 5-10 minutes.  I was wracking my brain trying to think of Dr. Natalie's last name or the name of her practice.  I was blank.  I did what I knew I could, and called the fired doctor.  In his defense, he responded to the page within 2-3 minutes.  Richie and I both let panic rule the situation and we instantly turned on each other in a time of crisis. 

Mommy Mistake #3:  The ambulance ride.  Upon arriving at the medical tent...her fever came back down to the 102-103 range.  The cool cloths and the Motrin was beginning to work.  Mommy instinct said to save the time of the ambulance (and the bill) and find a cab.  She would be okay to last the run for a few blocks to get a cab.  I ignored that instinct and listened to the MD in the tent and let the ambulance paramedics strap my baby to the stretcher and off we went.

Mommy Mistake #4:  Psycho Mommy wins again.  If I could have had a non-panicked mind at that very moment, I would have been able to reason with the situation.  She was dressed in a long-sleeved onesie, shorts, socks & shoes.  It was warm.  I was hot.  How much of that 104.5 was due to the heat and her being dressed?  If I could have stripped her down, gave her the motrin, sat under a shady tree and calmed her down....I could have brought the fever down to a manageable range.  I could have gotten back to the train and back home.  Crisis averted.  I would have saved the panic, the fight with my husband, the money, the time.  Why couldn't I find that place within myself to look at the situation from a calmer place? 

Mommy Mistake #5:  Pity Party, table for one.  Since the whole fever in the park incident....I've placed myself in a position of me vs. him.  Him=Richie.  Am I keeping score or what?  I am sitting on the pity pot because I feel that I'm putting in all the time and effort and what is he doing?  I'm up with her from 5:30 in the morning till 9:30 at night.  Holding her through naps, ignoring my own needs to eat/drink/pee/shower, holding her down while they shove a catheter inside her, holding her down while they xray her and she screams because she's terrified of the machine, holding her down while they draw blood from her arm, holding her down while they give her a shot in the muscle in her thigh, holding her while she cries for 4 hours because she's been through so much and just wants a break herself.....  He is the worker of the family.  He "goes" to work to pay for our nice life.  My job is to be the mom...which is all encompassing.  So why am I so angry with him?  Last night I just wanted a break.  I was starting to feel sick.  I was achey and had a head ache and was falling asleep sitting up.  I needed a break.  Our tire is still losing air so we had a tire appointment (previously made, before the illness got bad).  I told him to cancel it and we'll deal with the tire another time.  He wanted to just get it done.  He left to fix the tire, I stayed with our sick baby.  There is no break when you're the mom.  I don't get to leave the house to go to work and leave it behind me.  I don't get to go to fix the tire and get some fresh air or listen to the radio.  It's amazing how lack of sleep and intense stress can make the smallest things seem like mountains.  I understand his side too though (I just can't grasp it in the heat of being pissed off as he walks out the door and leaves me with the sick baby on my chest) that he's having to leave to provide for his family and knowing that not going to work is costing us one day of pay.  He has to leave behind a baby girl, that his world revolves around, and worry all day about her being sick and not being there to make it okay.  I get it.  But like I already said, it's hard to reason like that when I'm sitting there feeling like crap and seeing him get to shower, get dressed and go out the door.  I'm talking in circles.
One thing I have learned from this whole me vs. him thing, is that we need to decide where we stand on how we're raising Kinley and the decisions we have made for her care and learn to STICK TO THEM.  When we are faced with an emergency, like we were at the park, we will hopefully avoid the whole "to dunk or not to dunk" fight.  Is it even possible to think that we could come to common grounds on the plan for her care like that?  I'm not so sure.

I wish that guys/dads felt the need to self-evaluate.  Wouldn't that make things so much nicer!?  Maybe that is why moms/women are what we are!  We constantly self-evaluate and seek to improve.


beachbride0507 said...

Joy-I'm thinking of you and Miss Kinley this morning...I read your previous post and i'm quite certain that J. and I would have reacted 9x worse as far as the to dunk or not to dunk incident...Don't be down on yourself. You are an awesome mommy! I pretty much agree w/everything you wrote though and can relate....hope you get some answers soon. Keep us all posted.

garwoos said...

Hey, Kinley would have been sick at home or at that finish line. If it were you that were sick, I would have said to stay at home you would have felt better in a bed, but a little baby won't lay down anyway, and will rest on us, which makes them feel better anyways. I have three, and I hardly every get a break, with both of our parents minutes away. I have to take my kids with me, or I don't get to do anything. I don't think think it was bad that you took her. As for fevers, I still panic. Wyatt's first few were rushed trips to the er, along with copays we really couldn't afford. I am a firm believer in the tepid bath. Also, since I have other children, I don't want to have to take them to a germy er, so I really have to believe in the power of the lukewarm bath!! I am not happy that you fought with richie, but you guys seem so happy and perfect, that it is reassuring to know that it is not just me and my husband who get into an argument over a sick baby. I stay at home with my boys, and I do love it, but I miss out on a lot of things, but I don't want to miss out on their things. I can do without alot of things in order to be with my babies. I feel like you do, sometimes I can't get a shower because I can't leave my two year old alone. The other day I was sick (and I didn't get a sick day) the medicine was supposed to be taken four times a day. I got to thinking that I probably don't remember to pee four times a day let alone take medicine!!!! So all in all it is a hard job, but know that our kids love us!!! Remember, it's ok she went to the marathon, I bet she wouldn't have laid in bed and slept anyways!!!

SuperCass said...

Sometimes being a parent is hardest because although we plan for "everything", we can never really KNOW how we will react in any given situation. Give yourself some credit mama. You did what you thought was right at that time, and thats all you really can do. We are constantly learning. You weren't reckless with Kinley. Try to find that balance between learning from your "mistakes", and not beating yourself up too much. As a mom, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, and then some.

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