Family Magazine

Spill It!: Bad Mommy Moments

By Thismomloves @ThisMomLoves
I'm a Good Mommy. I mean, relatively speaking. I have confidence that I (usually) do the right thing. I am also evolved enough to know that sometimes doing the right thing for my daughters means putting myself or my marriage first, so when I say I'm a Good Mommy, I'm certainly no martyr.
Spill It!: Bad Mommy Moments
That said, I sure have my Bad Mommy moments.
Right from the beginning, some may judge me for taking Diclectin, pre-ordering my epidural, or breastfeeding each girl for a mere 3 months. I worked up to a week before my due dates, and headed back just before my government-funded leaves ended. My husband and I get babysitters on a regular basis, whether it be for date nights, to get chores done, or to because we have schoolwork that can't wait. These decisions, though, I stand by. One might label them "bad", but I would disagree.
Other choices, however, even I can agree are clearly questionable. There are the minor slips, like when I scream ironic commands like "STOP YELLING!", or when I pretend to be asleep when Maggie wants to be tucked in (yet again!) at 3 a.m. The empty threats that if Frannie doesn't clean up her toys I will send them to a little girl somewhere who will respect them enought to put them away. When I secretly cheer that my husband's working late, because that means the girls and I can just have cheese and crackers for dinner.
There are the slightly embarrassing moments, like when my every-other-Friday kindergartener almost missed her first Friday because I forgot she was supposed to go. Have I mentioned that I teach at her school? (She did show up, thanks to a quick change of clothes and bagged lunch thrown together by her daycare provider!)
There are also the soul-searching Bad Mommy moments, like when I ponder the worthiness of spending time blogging about my parenting struggle, rather than actually spending more time with my children. Things that make you go hmmm....
"That's nothing!" you're thinking. "Get to the good stuff!" Well, here's a story for you.
In general, I have always been very relaxed about my kids' illnesses and injuries. My mind does not automatically jump to the worst-case-scenario, and I am fairly impervious to crocodile tears. Band-aids are rarely handed out at our house, and "You're fine!" is a common response to a fall or bump. That's why I didn't even flinch when 19 month old Frannie took a tumble one morning.
She was coming down the garage steps, ready to head to daycare, and was clutching a toy in each hand. Our over-exuberant yellow lab, Belle (stressing that she was over-exuberant is probably redundant for any of you who know anything about yellow labs) was so excited to see us that she ran up the stairs, did a few spins on the landing, and ran back down, brushing by Frannie in the process. Just enough to knock her off-balance, and send her face-first down the stairs. FYI - a toddler clutching toys will not drop them, even when faced with certain injury. Allowing her face to smash into the steps is oddly preferable.
She cried, I consoled. The lip bled, I dried it up. A few minutes later, we were on our way. Because Mommy's work is important, you know. What else was I supposed to do?
That evening, after dinner, we were playing in the living room and she grinned at me...and something seemed a little off about her usually full smile. (My kids started teething at three and a half months. I'm not kidding.) So I pried her lips open only to find one suspiciously empty space, and half a tooth beside it! And believe it or not, it was actually worse than it looked. The half tooth was only partially chipped, and instead looked smaller because it was shoved up into the poor baby's mouth. As for the "missing tooth"...part of it was indeed gone (never to be found) but the rest was in fragments, still behind the gum line.
Spill It!: Bad Mommy Moments
After many appointments, Frannie ended up being put under anesthesia, and underwent surgery at the hospital in order for the dentist to remove all of the remaining fragments and chunks of teeth.
I still feel terrible about not opening my baby's bloody mouth to check more thoroughly for damage. And spending a good part of the evening oblivious to the fact that my daughter had LOST HER FRONT TEETH. And though the accident was not directly my fault, it still evokes working-mom guilt when I flash back to how I was busily packing up the car, wishing my independent little child would just hurry down the steps.
So, there's a Bad Mommy moment from this self-proclaimed Good Mom.
I'm willing to go out on a limb and proclaim that you are a Good Mommy, too. I don't think the bad ones spend much time visiting parenting blogs, particularly a quality blog like this. Ahem.
However, I will also think you are a boldfaced liar if you try to tell me that you don't have your Bad Mommy moments too. So spill it! It makes us all feel so much better to know that other moms make mistakes (or even make deliberate choices that others may judge!) Let's compile all of our errors and omissions, and maybe have a good laugh (or cry) as we realize that we are not alone.
Or am I...?

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