Mother Guilt (and trying to get over it)

I think when anything unpleasant happens to one's child, one goes through a long list of impossible ways they could have prevented the situation. I am no different.

My mother guilt has put me through the wringer in the last few days. I've left it on the back burner because I had really important things to address, but Magnolia breaking her leg has been very difficult for me, as it would be for any mother.

There is obvious guilt about waiting two days to take her to see a doctor, but most of that is amended by the fact that in those two days she was mostly happy and still climbing behind the couch. I think most of the overwhelming feelings came from having new insurance and not having a primary care physician for my girls yet. Every orthopedic surgeon's office I called needed a referral from either insurance or a primary care physician. When I called to make some appointments, the scheduling staff would say, "If you don't hear from the office in a week, give us a call." A week?! Are you kidding me?!

I felt helpless. I felt like I couldn't give my child what she needed. I felt super flying off the handle, I'm about to yell at people crazy. I happened upon an Orthopedic Children's Hospital, going there would require that I go through their urgent care first, even though we already knew her leg was broken, but no referrals, and same day care. I went.

We waited for four hours before we were seen. The wait was good practice for keeping my anxiety at bay. I listened to two other women on the phone talking about who was cheating on who, with whom, how stupid some people were, etc.. I turned and asked the first woman if she could use better language around my daughter. She just stared at me. For seconds we just stared before I turned back around. It was like I was speaking a different language. By the time the second woman took her place behind me, I'd already been waiting for three hours. My eye was on the prize.

By the time we made our way to our room, it was pleasant. Everyone "on the other side" was helpful and pretty wonderful. Magnolia got to customize her cast, pink with purple stripes, and not complete without the addition of glitter. She has a follow up appointment in a little over a week to do more X-rays and perhaps move from a full cast on her leg to one that starts below her knee.

I'm trying to figure out how to occupy Magnolia's time. She doesn't seem to realize that her leg is broken, or at least the limitations a broken leg should bring. She wants to go to the park, to the beach, to the pool. She wants to jump off of all of the furniture like she's used to doing. She wants to go to the park with the rope tower that she loves to climb. She wants to climb trees and jump out of them. She gets more than a little upset when I tell her she can't. Any suggestions are welcome.

So after all of these emotional rushes, coupled with not sleeping well, my rope is a little frayed. I feel like I have a newborn and am sensitive to the slightest sound at night. I don't want to miss the call that Magnolia needs me. I've even thought about just sleeping in their room, so at least I won't worry about hearing her, and maybe that would help me sleep better. I don't know if I've been extra tired because everywhere I've gone in almost the last week has included carrying Magnolia, but I think it's probably the extra physical work mixed with the emotional side of this.

Today was Magnolia's first day back to school, and it has been a lazy one for me. I spent much of the morning in a bath reading a book I've been meaning to for a while. When I got out of the bath, I made my way over to my bed and read a little while longer before closing my eyes for a bit. I almost feel like I'm not on high alert. Just for a minute anyway. I spent today calming my nerves. Even though no one could feel as much guilt as a mother when her child is hurt, there are things that people say, unintentionally, I'm sure, that twist the knife into the heart of that mother guilt just a little further. I'm trying to remind myself to let these things roll off my back.

I'm also trying not to be completely irrational about this, especially since I'm still in a new place. Thoughts like, "If we never would have moved here" come to mind. And more than as a way to prevent her leg from being broken, I think it's tied to feeling like I would have my tribe. I would have had our amazing primary care physician, and I would have had numerous suggestions for an ortho, etc..  Here's to a good night's sleep and feeling more and more like we're on the road to recovery.

This image has made me want to toss my cookies more than once. I also was finally able to see the teacher who saw the incident that caused Magnolia's leg to break. Listening to the story, and this image already in my mind: Wowza.


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