We all want to be the best parent possible, but what happens when you have a moment when you think you are the worst parent in the world?
I think back to my own moment. Baby was in her crib and woke in the middle of the night. She was about 10 months old. I heard her soft sounds through the monitor. If you have kids, you know the sound…a few soft grunts, a few whines, a few tiny moans here and there. No crying, just fussing. Baby was always a great sleeper. She still is. She was soothing herself back to sleep without issue for months.
I listened closely to the monitor. The soft shuffling and low sounds eventually stopped. Baby was asleep again, and I drifted back to sleep shortly after.
5:30 AM the alarm sounds. I wake the usual bleary eyed and stagger to the shower to start getting ready for work. After I was dressed I headed to Baby’s room to start getting her ready for her commute with DH. As I approached her crib, I was taken back by an awful smell. I peered into the crib to see my precious baby girl had gotten sick in the middle of the night. The sheets, her pajamas, her hair, all covered with vomit, yet my sweet Baby was still sleeping soundly.
My heart broke right there.
I shouted for DH as I burst into tears. I woke Baby as I lifted her out of the mess and placed her on the changing table. I sobbed and whispered apologies to my daughter as I removed her sleeper while DH prepared her tub.
My tears continued to fall as I washed her little head and body. I felt nauseous. How could I not have known she was sick? I am her mother. She is part of me. My baby girl needed me, and I wasn’t there. I was overwhelmed with guilt, and convinced I was the absolute worst mother in the entire world.
What I didn’t notice, is that while my vision was blurred with tears of guilt and shame, Baby was playfully splashing in the tub with her daddy. She was fine. There was no residual trauma, no tears, just a happy baby enjoying the random morning tubby time.
I wasn’t the worst mom in the world.
It was a simple fluke that I didn’t hear Baby getting sick. In fact, it was a good two years almost until Baby threw up again. I look back and consider that a pretty good reward in itself.
We all have moments where we question our parenting ability, but what is most important is that we learn from mistakes and move forward. Parenting isn’t easy, but it is one of the most rewarding challenges a person can tackle.
What was your worst parenting moment?
How did you overcome it and move forward?