I think I was wrong about the most frustrating thing about being a mother to a tiny person, it isn’t sleep, it is a sick baby. Leia had her first cold and ear infection (and I think this is all combined with teething woes) this past week. So tough to watch her suffer and not really be able to do anything but feel like I should! it gave me a whole new sympathy for parents with seriously ill children, I mean it was so hard to watch her have a cold and an ear infection, I can’t imagine having to watch her go through a really serious disease. Parenting is full of reminders of my neediness and dependency on God as much as it makes me forget my own needs and only see hers.
What a long week it was, she couldn’t really sleep, there were no naps to speak of and instead of getting a baby in bed around 7 she usually just sat on our laps until she would pass out at around 10 pm and of course night wakings were more frequent. Mr Penguin (her humidifier is shaped like a little penguin) seemed a very insignificant weapon in the war on congestion, but that and the nasal spray and snot suck were the only options the doctor really gave me. Has anyone had sucess with the saline spray?? She just would not have it, seriously I would have needed to strap her head down, once I almost shot it into her eye and after that I just kind of gave up on the “Little noses” saline spray. I had only slightly better luck with the snot sucker (I honestly don’t know the real name for the thing, I would say bulb syringe, but I have a mechanized thing that is not a bulb). My snot sucker actually plays music, I thought that was ridiculous when I discovered the feature, but it did seem to get her attention a bit. Most snot seemed to get on me rather than in the snot sucker or on any cloth or tissue. She was constantly rubbing her face on my chest. Boy am I glad she is finally better, I was beginning to think it would never end! At least she loves amoxicillin, no fight at all to get her to take that twice a day. i bet she would even drink it from a sippy cup.
We survived though, and 9 months is a pretty long time to go without getting sick I think all things considered. Still that feeling of wanting to do everything for your child and not being able to fix things reminds me of an issue I think so common to moms – guilt. I feel like so many of us when we talk about what we do for our kids, or fret over different decisions for them, do so with this hint of guilt in our language and maybe the need to always defend ourselves to ourselves and others. Why? Of course we love our little ones so fiercely so we want to do what is best for them, but it seems to me the world does little to help this. I was looking online at discussions about leaving your baby behind for a trip with your husband. I couldn’t believe some of the comments! Wow some women were so crazy sounding! If you think you should never leave your child alone until they are 13 that is fine for you I guess, but I have the suspicion that that is not God’s will for my family. My husband wants me to go to a seminar with him, when Leia will be a few days shy of a year old. I admit I am totally nervous to leave her for a few nights or a night for that matter! I go back and forth between feelings of fear and guilt and more rational thoughts about it. Since fear and guilt usually are not great places to live from and my husband wants to do this, I am thinking I need to learn to trust God with this and not let fear get the better of me. Anyway, some of the women on this forum, you would have thought people were talking about leaving their kids on a church doorstep or something, as opposed to leaving them with a grandparent for a couple days!! How is leaving your baby with a Grandparent that loves him or her and should have a relationship with them too abandonment?! I really want Leia to have a special relationship with my Mom so I would like to push my fears aside and crazy mom guilt and give my mom the chance to spend time with her. Not to mention the fact I am with her 24/7 all the time as a stay at home Mom (see even now I am defending myself to imaginary judges- mom guilt!). This issue just seems to drive home this mom guilt concept to me. It shows up in the big and small things and it is something this Momma anyway has to fight to recognize and hand over the the Lord. Does anyone else struggle with Mom guilt? Always wondering what is best, needing to justify your actions to an imaginary panel of parenting experts? Even with things I am pretty settled in how I want to handle with Leia, I will still hear nagging little voices in my head quoting opposing views on the matter from time to time. Maybe it gets better the more kids you have?