Monday, April 7, 2014

Parenting Moments

I was thinking the other day about moments. Specifically moments as a parent. I think back to my parenting resume over the past 4 years. It's not too bad, but there are some times that were not my proudest. I can name my worst parenting moment easily. It is not something I'm proud of and when I think about it I physically wince and want to cry.

It was a Monday and Brynlee was about 6 weeks old. The night before had been a nightmare...Jimmy and I got into a fight and I stayed up way too late. Brynlee was still waking up several times a night to eat so to say I got a little amount of sleep is an understatement. That Monday morning Brynlee was up bright and early. She was extremely fussy. I tried feeding, rocking, swaddling. I tried everything and she just kept screaming and crying. After several hours of this I was at my whit's end. I could not take it anymore. My lack of sleep and general grumpiness was not helping and I was DONE with the whole situation. I stuck a crying Brynlee in her crib and went outside for a little while. Eventually the crying stopped, and I composed myself. I went in to check on Brynlee and she had thrown up everywhere. Not just spit up, but thrown up. It was all over her, all over her crib. I'm not sure how long she lay in there covered by her own vomit before I decided to go check on her.

Later that day she ended up in the hospital with spinal meningitis fighting for her life. She would survive (obviously) but I kept thinking back to that moment. Instead of toughing it out with my baby, instead of sticking with her and sticking by her I put her down and walked away from her because I couldn't handle it. Of course she was fussy. Her brain was swelling and she was life threateningly sick. But I was tired and didn't want to deal with her anymore so I gave up.

I'm not saying Moms shouldn't take a break. That Moms don't need to take a break. But still to this day I can't help but thinking that I abandoned my baby when she needed me because I was tired and hormonal. I hate that I wasn't patient enough and loving enough to be there when she got sick and to stick with her while she didn't feel well.

Now that I'm all depressed again I'll change the tone and list my proudest parenting moment. As Brynlee has gotten older she wants things. Lots of things. We go to the store and she wants everything she sees. Even if I tell her we aren't getting anything for her today, she still asks to get EVERYTHING we see. As I say "no" over and over and over again she usually gets angry and pouty. Little does she know that her bad attitude makes me want to buy her things even less, LOL.

So, my proud parenting moment was at a birthday party. Before we went to the party I explained to her that the other little girl would be getting lots of presents. And she would be opening lots of pretty packages and blowing out candles on a cake ( all of which are things Brynlee wants to do). I tried to explain to her that is was the birthday girl's special day and that Brynlee needed to stand back and let her open her things and enjoy her birthday without "helping" her. Unfortunately Brynlee listens to me about as well as my husband does while a sporting event is on TV ( or really anything is on TV)...meaning not well at all. So I wasn't sure what we would get at the party. I was hoping I wasn't going to be the parent with the kid who was having a meltdown because she didn't get any presents but I wasn't sure. Imagine my delight ( and surprise) when Brynlee actually listened to me and was perfectly behaved. I left that birthday party beaming, and with my step a little lighter. I know this probably seems really dumb to those with kids that behave like angels on a regular basis. But I don't have one of those kids so for us this was a BIG deal.

Fun Fact:
People earning over $21,000 a year are the richest 4% on the planet

1 comment:

Audrey Spence said...

I think sometimes we need those "bad parenting" moments because how else would we learn? Although that was a very traumatizing experience for all of you it could be something that you had to go through. We make choices and there are consequences good and bad from those. Whether it is good or bad we will learn something from it. Whenever I get sick and think life is hard I think back to the times I was pregnant with Jackson and had to take care of Charlotte. There were two days I remember that were the worst. I could only stand long enough to run to the bathroom and puke. I don't know if it was pregnancy or I caught something but those were my worst days ever. One of those days I had bad round ligament pain too which was some of the worst pain I have ever felt. Scott of course had super busy days at work (14+ hrs) and was able to come home for a couple minutes and give me a quick blessing to try to make it through the day. I felt like I had abandoned Charlotte those days and she was left to fend for herself a lot. Anytime I have a rough day with the kids or I'm sick and they seem needy, I think back on those other days and realize, I can do this. I made it through that, I can totally handle this. And kudos to you with Brynlee at the birthday party. Charlotte is the same way. She was actually fighting with me and Scott one day on the way home from SLC because she wanted another pet and I said no. She has never been to a bday party that wasn't someone in our family so if she ever gets invited to one, hopefully she'll be older and grown out of that stage! Haha!