Why do we blame ourselves?

I know I’m not the only one. I hear it from other moms too. I see the posts on Facebook how moms feel guilty. Guilty for getting a shower, guilty for getting a babysitter, guilty for going to work, or guilty you stay home and not every moment is focused on your children.

I am so guilty of blaming myself. My husband calls it misplaced guilt. I did it today.

Today I took my 2 1/2 year old to a pediatric dentist. Over the weekend he broke one of his front teeth while my daughter was watching, there’s guilty feelings all over that one. I got him in and was just wanting to have them look at his tooth but this was a new dentist so they thought they would do an entire first visit. Ok, fine with me. They wanted an xray of the tooth to make sure there was no damage. I hate xrays. But I let them because I was worried there may be damage.

It was worse than I had imagined.

Not the broken tooth, but the others. He has 6 cavities. SIX CAVITIES. It was like someone punched me in the stomach. Yes he breastfeeds, and he does so to fall asleep. Yes he was 5 months old when he started getting teeth. Yes he is absolutely awful to brush his teeth, until recently. And yes he has an upper lip tie. But he will only be 3 in January. How can it be possible? As hard as I work, as hard as I try. And I still failed. This makes child #4 of 6 that have had to have work done.  I know one dentist told us that some people are predispositioned for cavities and that bacteria can actually be genetic. My husband has bad teeth so we always assumed it was that, but it’s the bacteria that’s the issue, and apparently nursing isn’t helping much but we won’t change it now. Mason drinks pretty much nothing else but water and maybe once a week some apple or orange juice.

So we are set up to have to go to a hospital because our health insurance doesn’t cover the anesthesia in the office, but we will sit and wait probably 4-5 months at the least. I am praying that these cavities don’t get worse and he needs more work. But we just can’t pay the extra $1000 to cover the difference. If we do it in a hospital then we can have OHIP cover the anesthesia but they won’t in an office. He also won’t be able to get his lip tie revised because they only do it in the office with laser. The only positive is the dentist said it wasn’t a severe lip tie so maybe that hasn’t caused his speech delay. But we can’t be sure either way.

I called my husband afterwards. He made a comment about why have 4 out of 6 of our children needed dental surgery. I took it as what am I doing wrong that four of our children have had to have dental surgery. I know that’s not what he meant. But that’s how I heard it. And that’s how I often hear things. Because I am never sure I am not failing. I always feel like I am doing something wrong. My house is a mess, or its something easy for dinner. The boys haven’t had a bath in a week or I spent too much time on the computer.  I didn’t play with them enough today or remember to brush their hair. I know we all do it.

I try to remind myself I am only one person and I am doing the best job I can. I hope when my children are grown they will have good memories of me and how I raised them. The little boys tell me I am the best mom ever. And I know they truly believe that. Ask my teenage daughters how they feel though.

I guess all we can do is the best we know how. We will all make mistakes and feel like we failed. I am trying so hard to push those feelings out and remember everything is not my fault. But that’s something I have struggled with since I can remember, it’s hard to let it go.

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