Motherhood is full of lessons and we can all make this mistake and others.
Since I became a mother, guilt haunts me. Guilt for not doing this, or guilt for that other. I am thinking that it is something innate of mothers (and I thought that it was only something of my mother). Apparently I’m not the only one.
The Cafe Mom blog includes the story of a blogger mom named Liz Mannegren, who was used to posting funny photos of her everyday life as a mother. However, one morning her life changed drastically and she decided to make it public to make other mothers aware of what happened.
An unexpected move
A few days ago, it was two years since Liz had the worst day of her life, as she describes on her Facebook page. It was a morning like any other, full of games and toys, but from one moment to the next, her baby, just a few months old, fell to the ground and fractured her skull. What until a few minutes ago was a moment of laughter, turned into total chaos, with a spontaneous run to the hospital.
Liz explained on her page that “with all the strength and speed of a tiny acrobat,” her son recoiled from her arms and fell to the ground. “In a matter of seconds, a perfectly normal day turned into an absolute nightmare,” she wrote. Maybe you know what I’m talking about, most of us have had at least one of those days in our lives: a day when the world collapses on you, hitting you with sudden ferocity. And you simply wonder, how could this have happened? ”The mother wrote.
Guilt that hurts
When she arrived at the hospital, Liz was visibly shaken, as her baby was crying in pain. The nurses received her with the tranquility of those who see these types of situations regularly, and one of them told Liz that she herself had been through a similar accident with her son. Liz wrote, “That nurse had looked at me and saw the crushing weight of guilt I was struggling to carry. Although there was a certain comfort in the fact that I was not the first mother to drop her child, it did not alleviate the feelings of failure that washed over me.
The worst fear came true
When the doctor came in with the X-ray result, Liz’s worst fears were confirmed: her baby had fractured skull bones. “I was mad at myself for letting this happen, somehow I couldn’t predict this and catch my son,” she wrote. “My little boy had trusted me to protect him and prevent him from hurting himself, and I literally dropped him.”
Liz shares these words so that other mothers feel accompanied by the guilt of having gone through similar situations. Undoubtedly there will be those who believe that it was not an accident but negligence, but how can we judge it? Motherhood is the most difficult job in the world and one in which the most mental skills are involved. We will not always be able to protect our children one hundred percent, and you can be by their side all the time that, when you turned to look for the glass of water, your child fell, was hit, injured. I agree that in many cases home accidents are predictable, but many others are not. That is why, even if you are invaded by guilt, you should be calm, because you are trying to do the best you can for your child.
Liz’s little son recovered from his head injuries and his bones healed, as well as the heart of this mother invaded by guilt and anguish of not having been able to protect him from such a great accident. And so, as her son was healing, Liz began to realize that motherhood is not defined only by an action, but by the set of actions that we undertake, to achieve the well-being of our children.
You are not a bad mother for a simple mistake. You are a good mother as long as you try to learn from it and improve yourself day by day.
Why do mothers feel guilty?
It is a question that I ask myself now, that I am a mother. Perhaps because when we are mothers, we are invaded by that sense of responsibility that we did not have so developed before, or because we want to be a super woman and super mother, or because some situations simply slip out of hand and we fear making mistakes.
According to the Ser Padres site, the consequences of feeling guilty often in motherhood are:
Apparently, feeling guilty on a frequent basis is not something temporary, but can affect our own reaction towards children. It often happens to me that when I can’t handle certain situations with my children, guilt invades me and it makes me angry with myself, for not having the ability to resolve the situation. I am in the process of weaning my youngest son and guilt follows me, since it is very difficult for me to say a resounding “no” when he asks me to drink, since I do not want him to feel rejection, and at the same time, I feel guilty for not be strong enough to give it a definitive cut.
The things that make us feel guilty
Each motherhood is different, but many mothers often feel guilt for similar everyday situations, which are repeated in several families. The Babycenter site collects some of these situations:
And to you, what things generate guilt as a mother?