Sunday, October 4, 2009

MOTHER GUILT

I have it.
I have it when I am in the PICU with Ben.
I have it when I am home with my other children.
I do the best that I can.
I try to balance both places.
But no matter how hard I try....
Mother Guilt is always there.
To make things worse?
People love to tell me what is best.
(and they aren't afraid to say so either)
Most times they allude
to the fact that I spend too much
time in the hospital with Ben
and not enough time at home with my children.
My answer to that?
WALK IN MY SHOES!
Let me watch YOU as your child is struggling to breathe and is so helpless, who is screaming in such pain because the team of doctors are trying to shove a cuffed trach into the little hole in his neck for two hours, just so that he can get the urgent respiratory support that he needs. Let me watch YOU as you see him struggle to catch his breath when he goes into his awful coughing spasms, or stand there constantly suctioning all of his secretions from his trach, mouth and nose for hours on end. Let me watch YOU observe the 15 IV attempts that it took to finally get just ONE in...knowing that the IV probably won't last through the night but the bruises left behind will probably last 3 weeks. Let me watch YOU learn how to read the vent that helps your child to stay alive, worrying about all the different numbers and functions. Let me watch YOU as you constantly have to be on gaurd to make sure that your child is getting the right medication at the right time and in the right doses. Let me watch YOU make the daily difficult decisions that I have to face every day that I am here. Let me watch YOU as your heart bleeds for your suffering child while you realize that the only thing you can do is to climb up into the bed with him and wrap your loving arms around his broken body as the tears fall silently from your eyes. Let me watch as YOU listen to all the different alarms that are constantly going off in your child's room, not always knowing why? Let me watch YOU as the doctors and nurses talk to you about hard topics, such as DNR's and life expectencies. And let me watch YOU WRAP all of this up in your brain just to wonder if you would see my life a little differently.
I am a mother. I am a mother to three, healthy, normal children. I am a mother to a medically fragile child with multiple problems. When I am home, my three healthy children require most of my attention, while Benjamin takes a very quiet back seat. When I am in the PICU, my medically fragile child requires a lot of my attention, while my three healthy children understand and wait patiently for me to slip away to home when I can.

Living this life is not easy,
But we are happy living it.
It's a learning process,
and I have learned a lot.
And I LOVE that HE
trusts ME enough to do what is best
for each one of my precious children.

27 comments:

Rachael said...

I'm sorry that you have mother guilt--you shouldn't! I know that you give your all to whomever needs you most, and sometimes it's Ben and sometimes it's one of the other 3. As their mother, it's your decision who gets what piece of you at what time, but there's no doubt that they ALL get your
whole heart ALL the time. You are doing a great job, and you are right to say to those that judge-"you walk a mile in my shoes and see how you do." Hang in there friend--I love you!

Smilin' sunshine said...

I wouldn't want to walk a mile in your shoes, therefore I have and will give give no advice. All I can say is that Ben is your child too and right now he is in need of your attention. HE is the one in the hospital, HE is the one who is sick. I am quite certain the other kids understand.
Stay strong, you know what is best!

FAMILIA FLANDERS said...

Becky you are an example to me, every day I think of you and what a great mother you are. To me you are a Super-mommy.
You are doing a wonderful job, and if Our Father in Heaven gave you the blessing to have Ben is because you are a very special daughter of his.We love you very much.

Jenny said...

mother guilt is a disease I would like to see erradicated NOW. (Can we get a vaccine for it?)
You're a GREAT mom Becky.
xo

The VW's said...

Hi there! I've been reading both of your blogs for a while now. I found you on Jaxson's blog. Anyway, I don't think that I've commented before, but I do pray for you and Ben.

Being a Mom brings about so much responsibility and when you add a child with special needs, Mother guilt is TREMENDOUS! I have a little one with special needs, so I know where you are coming from.

I'm sorry that others think that they can make comments on how you should be caring for your children, but you are right, until they walk in your shoes, they shouldn't say a word!

I think that you are doing a TERRIFIC JOB! Keep it up Momma! And, may God continue to give you strength, peace and grace! HUGS!

Gilbert Family said...

you are an AMAZING mother and don't let anyone tell you different! I am always amazed at how well you balance things in your life...you are truly an inspiration!

April said...

Oh Becky,
My heart is so tender for you. I know your heart is in two places at once... but each of your children know that they have your whole heart- no matter where you need to be. You are doing a wonderful job~ Each of your children will take their turn needing your undivided... right now it's just Ben's turn. I LOVE YOU!! Sending you my heart :)

Homeschool Mom said...

My Sweet Becky,
I am sending you hugs and love. You are an incredible mom. Your children will see your fine example, and it will strengthen them in their roles as parents in the future. I know Mom Guilt hurts, but you are doing the best you can for your whole family. You would do the same for any of your kids. You are such an example to every parent.
Maria

troutdalites said...

We're only supposed to feel guilt to take us to repentance. No [major!] sinnin', no guilt! What an incredible person you are, and wife, and mom, and daughter, and sister, and friend! No one can do what you do in your sphere...NO GUILT!!

Three Catanzaros said...

you are amazing

The Snell Family said...

Amen. I just wish I had the guts to say all that and more to those that critize what I do for Arianna, and how I don't do enough for Kenna. I know that when I am needed at Arianna's bedside, cause only mom knows how to care for her just right, that my loving and supportive mom and dad are loving and caring for Kenna.
You're right that HE loves and trust us with HIS most important Spirits, and they have very special callings here.

We send our love and support to you, will trust your judgement, and you are doing just fine!!!!

Julianna

Adam and Anya said...

A loving mother guided by the spirit always knows best, despite what anyone else believes.

Opposition to these sacred parental decisions can surround a family. Keep up the good work Becky. Don't let anyone bring you down.

shirlgirl said...

Wow, what a post!! You are an amazing Mom, my dear niece, and people should mind their own business. I agree with you--let them walk in your shoes for a day and maybe they will understand, and maybe they won't. It has to be so hard for you not to be home with the other three when Ben is in the hospital, but as you say, his needs are what you need to take care of right now. You have great children and you've done a wonderful job raising them. You are a special gal, and we love you. Hope you are feeling better yourself. Lots of love coming your way. Aunt Shirley and Uncle David

Jo Jo said...

I'm glad I could help refine some of those thoughts for you. I feel better. I hope you do too. It was a great post, enough said.

Robin said...

Becky,

You are only one person. You can't be everywhere at once and you can only do so much. Your faith is strong enough that you can know where you are supposed to be and when and with who (or whom?). When others question your decisions, perhaps it is the who should take the plank out of their own eye before casting judgement on someone else. (I'm pretty sure I just butchered that verse, but you get the idea).

We are praying for you all!

Robin

LL said...

THAT gave me chills. I love and admire you so so much. I know I say that often, but REALLY!!!
Guilt is the devil, I hate mother guilt...there is NO room for guilt on your plate.
Love you Becky.

KeriLyn and Matthew said...

Becky--
First of all, for the record, I have mother guilt when all 3 of my children are in the same place, are all healthy, and really, in a lot of the same circumstance as each other....so, I am sure that you have it, too....but, from what I can tell you LOVE all of your children.....you give them all good quality time.....and they all know it.....you have a bond with all of them....far greater than many moms have with their children who they can be with all the time.....i would say to anyone that is judging how you spend your time with your chidren does not have that right too.....i can tell that you rely on the help from your Heavenly Father, and you rely on the spirit.....with that said, you make choices that are right for you and your family. That is what matters.....so, as hard as it is, continue to listen to the spirit....listen to the spirit confirm to you that you are doing what is right, see how things fall into place, even when maybe they shouldn't, and know that you are doing what the spirit is guiding you to do. your are a great mom....to ALL of your children!

Amy M. said...

I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one on earth with mother guilt. But I realize that you have it probably 10 fold. I'm sorry that you have this feeling so much- but I'm so glad that you voiced it out loud- You are letting those and the adversary know that you will stand strong and not let your peace be threatened and destroyed- you always have hope smiling brightly before you. Thank you for voicing this outloud for all of us moms that feel this guilt too. We can only do the best we can.

Love ya becky!

Rocky said...

Becky -- You are the best and don't let anyone make you think otherwise, not for one minute. Now this may not be very therapy-dog-like, and certainly not therapy-dog PC, heck I could probably have my license pulled, but here's what I would do the next time someone is alluding to what they think you should or should not do: You don't say anything, you just give them a nice little German shepherd snarl, uh...I mean smile. You know the kind -- practice with me: curl one side of your top lip up so your teeth show and then you make that little low noise in the back of the throat. Trust me, they'll think twice about what they allude to again! In the meantime, is there room on that bed for one more? Rocky

Michelle said...

I would never want to walk in your shoes. It would be so very hard. You are amazing and I know that it has to be so very hard what you do but I do know that you have to be someone very special for heavenly father to give you Ben.

Alicia said...

Ditto to all of the above. No one can truly understand every mother's emotions, concerns and needs, so to anyone who thinks they know better can take their opinion and go. Keep up the love, you rock, Becky!

Christy said...

Your shoes my dear would be the Cinderella glass slippers that only fit the most worthy and deserving of all (not to mention beautiful!),
i for one could not wear them, but will just watch and love and support you from the side of the ball.
Did C feel guilt, no way! Left the two uglies and lived her wonderful life! (can you tell what movie we've been watching lately?)
But really, you are so so wonderful and AMAZING! ALL your kids and husband know that. And especially your Heavenly Father. love ya!

Cindi said...

Obviously, whoever made you feel that is:
A.NOT A MOTHER (every mother feels guilty about something every day)
B.NOT NICE
C.NOT A GOOD COMMUNICATOR (I worry all the time that things don't come out the way I mean them)
D.INSENSITIVE (not thinking)
E.INSECURE
F.ALL OF THE ABOVE

I'm with Rocky...

asplashofsunshine said...

Why did it take me until 2 seconds ago to notice that you have this family blog?! I'm not the brightest bulb sometimes. :)

By the way, you are an incredible mother! I wish I could take a few steps in your shoes to ease your body and mind from a minute or two of this. Treat yourself to YOU time... even just for 5 minutes. You deserve it!

Heather O. said...

Dude, I don't want to walk in your shoes. Your shoes suck right now. I'll walk in your shoes later, kay?

Ambrose said...

Excellent blog post. Thank you for writing this.
You are THE BEST MOTHER IN THE WORLD!
Don't let anyone ever make you feel otherwise!
Hang in there.
Sending love and support from Brosie's house!

Alana said...

A lot of moms had a lot to say about mother guilt. I think it just comes with the job description. You're there more for your other kids than my mom was able to be there for me, and I turned out fine- well I suppose that's subjective! We love ya beck