Mommy fail

Before you get riled up, I know I’m not a terrible mother. I know I’m not failing Tess. However, today I feel like I am letting her down.

Tess started the day with an RSV shot in each thigh muscle. After the shots, the nurse mentioned they hurt more as she grows. Great, and great timing. Not that I could do anything to change it! I comforted her, snuggled her, and then went back to work upstairs, where I wouldn’t be tempted to sneak out and coo at her every second.

This afternoon we headed over to the pediatrician. I was praying for no shots – but apparently not hard enough. Flu booster shot to the thigh. Howling and tears = heart broken. That’s a typical visit, but things slid a little farther off the rails.

As an aside, I remember when Tess got so sick in the NICU. I’d been saying she looked pale for days, and seemed tired – then the next thing you know, she’s getting transfusions and is intubated! I swore I’d remember to trust my mommy gut from that point forward. Still, out in the world, I get pooh-poohed a lot. People give me the impression I’m an overbearing mom whose kid is now the picture of health. And she is! But today, the pediatrician caught all of the little things that have been bothering me for months.

Tess doesn’t roll over. She can – it’s been done. But it’s far from routine, and now it’s a problem. She also has lost her developmental head start that had her closer to her birth date than her adjusted age. She’s right on track for 6 months, but that isn’t what we’ve been hearing up to now. Because I clearly needed more worrisome news, she finally decided Tess’ left eye is seriously crossed or lazy, and told me to get her into the eye doctor ASAP. And for a grand finale? Tess has an ear infection, with no symptoms. so I missed that, too.

Now that the landslide of preemie-related, to be expected yet still devastating updates out of the way, we can get back to the normal stuff we missed. The last time we saw the doctor, we were told to start Tess on solids – cereal, fruit and veggies – the usual.

Once a day and don’t push it.

were the exact guidelines. So we’ve been happily swinging along, introducing a new food every so often and trying different textures. We kept her on the same high-calorie formula because we were told to assume she’d need it for the first 12 months. Well, we missed that boat too. Apparently, she’s supposed to be getting solids every meal and doesn’t need the fancy formula anymore. That’s great! But I was doing what you told me to, feeding her appropriately for a 6-month old. Now I’m supposed to treat her like a nine-month old?! And she looked horrified she wasn’t getting meat yet. I’m thrilled she can eat meat! We can just purée dinner now. Still, I am clearly not the ace mom that I want to be. Still, we made that choice after a lot of reading and conversations with multiple nurses. Sigh.

I couldn’t get pregnant, so I did everything I could to prepare myself for motherhood: I read studies, books, articles; observed great parents and asked them for advice; contemplated our house and how to make it child friendly; and so on and so forth. I wasn’t prepared to be


I assume every mom feels this way, but I can’t shake the feeling that my mom and all of the other moms I know we’re smarter than this. I feel like the rules keep changing – Tess’ maturity level slides back and forth. And for a moment today, I just felt tired and like I’d lost the game.

For once, I didn’t call Dave. I called the eye doctor. I talked to the nanny about tummy time and rolling over. I reviewed again what meats/fish are appropriate for a 9-month old (?!) and talked to the contractor about the house. I’m a mom – a good one or not. And moms don’t get to quit. So I’m pooped; I feel foolish and uninformed. But I’m going to dust off my pride and try to keep giving Tess the best life I can.

4 thoughts on “Mommy fail

  1. You are a terrific mom, don’t ever question it. And honestly, just questioning it proves that you are, because crappy moms don’t care enough to question it.

    Also, if you want to commiserate about crossed-eyed preemies, just let me know. We loved the doc we saw at Children’s.

    • You are a wonderful mom maggey! We all have days when we feel we have failed our little ones. I can’t tell you how many days I had and sometimes still have. Perfection and parenthood are a tough combo to strive for. Relax and listen. Ask questions of everyone you know. Every parent has a different aproach and there is not always only one right answer which is what makes raising children for who they are and where they are as individuals, a constantly changing game. Think about each child and where they are as little people. What seems most logical for them, now and then research, listen, call to figure the next step out. Books are a guideline, not a final word. Tiny Tess is a very happy healthy child who needs a little therapy and an eye appt. she loves you and you love her which is the greatest gift imaginable.

  2. I agree with Andrea and Sassy 100%. There are days you just want to block out of your consciousness, but if you are a loving, conscientious, GOOD mom, you do what you have to do and wait until later (like when you are sharing your thoughts and feelings) to bring out the flails. That is exactly what you did. So congratulations. You have joined the ranks of good mothers worldwide.

  3. Also, flat surfaces promote movement more that cuddly comfy bean bag type chairs. You can also put a large mirror a few feet away at the side, bring Tess’s attention to that cute baby there, and let her roll to try to get to the baby. And make her work to get to her toys. Place them away from her.

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