Mom Guilt is the Worst

Last week was a rough one. We all got sick. But Hank and Gus got really sick. Really really sick. Gus started it. Puking his sweet little guts out. Hank followed in suit just 12 hours later. It was a disaster. Twenty four hours later it spun out of control and we ended up in the emergency room. Because this is how life works, John was out of town for a funeral. Even though we only live a few blocks from the hospital, both of them had to be stripped down to the diaper upon arrival. So there I was, looking like one of those crazy moms holding one naked child under each arm running into the emergency room. Hank holding limply to a puke bucket and Gus throwing up blindly all over himself. I looked like that mom. All frantic and emotional. We spent the majority of the night cuddled up in an ER bed, the boys with IVs and me hovering over them like they were baby birds with broken wings.

I missed three days of work. That means I had to call 21 clients and tell them I was going to have to cancel appointments. As if the mom guilt of having crazy sick kids wasn’t enough, throw SLP guilt on top of that. I hate missing appointments. I hate having sick kids even more. I was barely hanging on. Pouring from an empty cup.

Then something amazing happened. I got texts. Texts like “Oh my gosh! Are they okay? What can I do?” Texts like “Hang in there! Thinking about you guys!” Um. Are you kidding? Seriously? I am CANCELING a session! And you guys are sending me love and support?!

These texts weren’t just sweet and thoughtful. They were phenomenal. In those bleak moments of feeling like I was a complete failure, you made me realize I was not just your child’s therapist. You saw me as a fellow mom. As a friend. And then I felt stronger. I felt supported and loved. I felt like all the love and thought I poured into your child wasn’t just appreciated, but it was returned.

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The only time my boys will cuddle with me is when they are sick.

Thank you.  Thank you for the reminder that we are all moms.  That we all have our days of “barely hanging on.”  They say it takes a village to raise a child.  I am so glad my village has a bunch of awesome moms in it.  And when you give me the support I need to pull up my bootstraps and Super Mom-it, it doesn’t just stop at my house.  It carries right out my front door and into yours.  When I am not moping around my house with a basket full of mom guilt that means I am not moping around your house either.  I promise to bring my A Game.

Mom guilt (and SLP guilt) is horrible. But mom support, that is the real deal. That trumps mom guilt any day.

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