Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

Mother Guilt

July 25, 2014

trophy

If you’re a mother, you get this.  It’s very real.  So real it’s tangible.  Guilt that only mothers can have, get or put on themselves.

Three years ago, I dutifully accompanied the Colombian princess to her first American dental appointment.  After the x-rays and examination, the dentist handed me a sizeable Mother Guilt trophy explaining that her Colombian fillings were of poor quality and ALL needed to be replaced.  She had multiple cavities that would need to be filled immediately and there was so much work necessary that we would have to take her to a pediatric specialist to put her under for the procedures.  He had the nerve to ask if she brushed her teeth.  He meant AT ALL!  If nothing else, my little girl is diligent with personal care tasks.  She is the most regular flosser in our house, I’ll have you know, Mr. 24-year-old not-shaving-yet white coat!!

After listening to his entire money-hungry spiel, I inquired the location of the cavities.  As I suspected, they were all on baby teeth AND they were all minor.  With the referral slip in hand, I slipped out of the office and took the princess home to her father.  Being fully versed in dental procedures and examinations, together her father and I ascertained that the Colombian fillings were just fine and we wiggled all the baby teeth with cavities.  We noticed they all got more wiggly as we took turns wiggling them. Nope, not fixing them.

This is a translation for those who aren’t mothers.

What dentists say: “Your child has cavities.”  What a mother hears: “You are not taking care of your child.”

What dentists say: “There are two types of fillings.” What a mother hears: “There are $250 fillings that good mothers choose, and $75 fillings that bad mothers choose.”

What Dentists say: “Is your child flossing?” What a mother hears: Are you concerned at all about the health of your child?”

What Dentists say: “Is your child brushing after each meal?” What a mother hears: “If you haven’t taught her to BRUSH HER TEETH, what the heck are you doing all day long?”

What Dentists say: “She hasn’t been in for a long time.” What a mother hears: “Why are you a mother at all?”

This entire dental event had me swear off my motherly duties of dental visits.  Period.  I somehow forgot the six month check ups… for two years.  It’s easy to block episodes that cause Mother Guilt.  Finally, after almost all of her baby teeth had fallen out, I made an appointment for her with her FATHER to go back to that horrible place.

Her appointment was this morning at 8:00.  By 9:40 I had not heard from them and was envisioning my little Colombiana strapped in the reclined chair, wearing a bloodied paper bib with tears running down her little cheeks into her ears.  Just then my husband called and relayed that they were at Denny’s having breakfast.  He casually mentioned that she had NO CAVITIES! WHAT?  And I wasn’t there to receive my Mother of the Year trophy!!!  When they got home, she reported that they put fluoride on her teeth and told her not to eat anything for 30 minutes, but that Daddy took her to Denny’s anyway.  Nice!  Father guilt doesn’t even exist!  If her fluoride wore off with a Jr. Grand Slam, it is SOOO not this mama’s fault!

I am Strong and Healthy (repeat)

August 28, 2012

I am strong and healthy.  I am strong and healthy.  This is what I quote to myself out loud when the first signs of sickness raise their feeble heads in my body.  Be gone plugged sinuses.  Get thee behind me, nasal drip.  My offspring stand clear when they hear their mother muttering, “I’m strong and healthy!”

The S&H phrase has been my mantra all day.  Many a cure have been applied, sniffed, soaked up and swallowed to no avail. So as the red numbers read 12:34 a.m…. the green tea in the kitchen cupboard called to me.  You know I’m not healthy when I drink tea.  Tea reminds me of wet cardboard.  Hot wet cardboard. Yes, I have tried chai and it simply tastes like sweet hot wet cardboard.  But I digress.

So I have been reading adoption blogs while waiting for my cardboard-flavored tea to get down to “children’s temperature”, as a kind Starbucks employee once described MY temperature of choice. Whatev!  Lately I have been messed up by a book called 7.  Yes, it’s a single digit number title.  Kind of like 1984, but with only one digit. At a later date when I am truly strong and healthy, I will expound on this tome and impress you with my knowledge of things I have only read about.

Anyway, the author, Jen Hatmaker, adopted two older kids.  I can relate.  She had three bio kids at home… a girl and two man-children.  Same same.  And aside from her story and her tales of woe leading up to the referrals, etc., I have been experiencing AMG… adoptive mama guilt.  Tonight I came to the trusty home computer (in the family room for ALL eyes to see what anyone may be viewing online….. side note: once I sat on the couch that is 10 feet behind the screen… and behind the viewer’s back, I used binoculars to READ THEIR MAIL!  Yes I did.) and after reading a few adoption blogs I realized I NEED to confess and repent of some AMG.

But as I leaned forward to see the keyboard in the dark of the night, my nose dripped in my green already-gross-tasting tea…. and I decided to lament the whole scene and blog about AMG tomorrow…. when the sun is shining and I am strong and healthy.

Goodnight.

August Schmaugust!

August 3, 2012

I’m not real thrilled that it is August. This is the month that school is supposed to start at LAKE Academy… our homeschool.  I am at the lake currently (Lake Tahoe) and I am slightly getting inspired to start thinking about getting ready to begin maybe planning some of our curriculum, being that we are studying a few national parks this year that are also in California with huge redwood trees like the ones I am staring at out the window.  I am the most unready of all 11 of my previous Augusts.  And I am almost okay with that.  Almost.

Guilt tried to consume me last night in the 27 seconds between my head hitting the pillow and when I was actually asleep.  But it was only 27 seconds of guilt and I had the presence of mind to ask God to rid my brain of said guilt.  He did… with sleep.  Today, in the wake of realizing that it is August THIRD, I did break out the coil-bound notebook that does have 2 1/3 pages of notes.  Those two-and-one-third pages are ALL I have planned so far for 10 months of study with my three pupils…. and it’s in outline form, so I do have a bit of work to do.  Only 137 1/3 blank pages awaiting my attention. One thing I have learned in my 11 years of homeschool planning, is that IF I plan all ten months before we start, we will NOT finish what I have purposefully painstakingly planned.  If I plan a few months or units at a time, I am FAR more inspired to be creative in small chunks throughout the year, knowing that we WILL finish what is planned.

Our upcoming school-year will consist of the study of seven national parks on the western side of the United States.  We plan to do between four and six weeks of study at home and then CAMP for a week at each of the parks.  THAT is my kind of homeschooling.  We are schooling with another family who is also close to normal, so it will all be just fine. Yes, it will be two wild-n-crazy homeschool moms camping with eight children ranging in age from 7 to 17.  Awesome!  She is a science geek and I am a history nerd, so most subjects will be covered with some art thrown in for good measure.  Geology.  Astronomy.  History.  Conservation.  Botany.  Dendrochronology.  Eco systems. Nature Journaling.  Art.  Oh yeah.  This is the type of homeschooling that I have only dreamed of for 11 years.  Please stay tuned to see if it’s all I think it’s cracked up to be.