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Mom fail #1,348,589

My kid fell from the trampoline. My second kid 🙄. Once is an accident, twice is a mom fail. My oldest fell and cut her head open because it was over a gravely driveway. At least this time we have grass. My second child just turned 5 and thinks that you grow and become bigger and stronger ON your birthday so she assumed she could catch the 2-year-old to help her get down from the trampoline. I was inside making dinner and holding a fussy 5 month old. We have a screen around the trampoline and a hard rule that there is NO jumping til it’s closed, but I was unprepared for the recently turned 5-year-old thinking she now has super strength. So that 2 year old who loves and trusts her sister with her whole heart just stepped right off the trampoline into the arms of a five-year-old who chickened out. Nothing is broken according to X rays, but she’s hobbling around the house now.

Elena turning 5

My pride almost kept me from going to the pediatrician (this mother, again?!). I contemplated waiting it out, but when she couldn’t walk I of course brought her in. I have been to the on call doctor…7? 8? times just THIS MONTH. The sweet, old lady receptionist who can’t pronounce my Mexican husband's last name has even started saying, “That name looks familiar, were you here recently?” The nurses joke about putting my name on one of the rooms with a permanent reservation.

None of the doctors or nurses have actually ever been judgemental. Not even a look or sideways comment about me slacking as a mother. But the mom guilt and shame is still there in my own head. Here she is again, the neglectful mother of four poor, sweet girls with a new illness or injury. Doesn’t she take care of them? Doesn’t she keep an eye on them? Teach them to keep their hands clean and out of their mouths? Yes! Yes I do! All day, every day without ceasing! So somebody please tell me WHY, why are we always at the doctor?!

I've full on cried at enough pediatrician visits and spoken to my fair share of seasoned mothers to be told that yes, it is normal to feel like you live at the doctor. My own mother said she felt like she was at the doctor every other week until the youngest (that's me) was four. That means I've got 3 1/2 years of biweekly doctor visits to go. And she had two boys in the mix of her four kids so she probably went twice as much as me.

Point is, mom guilt and mom shame are for real. It festers in the back of your mind and the doubt lingers. All of the woulda, coulda, shoulda's taunt you when your child gets hurt or sick. But I'm doing my best. And my best might not look like your best or anywhere near PTA mom best, but I know I'm giving my girls all of me and they know it too. I pray for patience and strength all day long, and the wisdom to do right by these girls. So, who cares what the other judgy parent in the waiting room thinks? It's probably in my head anyway and they're actually making a fuchi face at Sponge Bob on the TV behind me, but my mom guilt has me spinning out of control, imagining things. My kids aren't blaming me when they get hurt (the blame is usually a finger pointed directly at a sister), they're running to me to make it all better. I can't protect them from all harm, but I can always pick them back up, brush them off, hug the tears away and hold their hand at the doctor, again, and again, and again.

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