I’ve taken an unplanned hiatus from my attempt towards consistent blogging. In March my little hongsong caught a virus that generously passed on to me. This continued for a few weeks of back and forth of virus passing among the baby, myself, and the hubs. It seemed that when we were all finally recovered we would have about two weeks of rest before we got hit with something else. I thought the sick season was over, but I’ve been to the pediatrician three times in the past two weeks and I’ve called their after hours on call doctor about a handful of times. Finally yesterday I asked one of our pediatricians this very question: “What am I doing wrong?”
Because in my mommy brain, I must be doing something wrong, right? My babe has gotten sick so many times in the past 7 months. Should I be cleaning more? Is it because of our two dogs? Are there lifestyle changes I need to make?
If you know me, you know that I am (as my husband lovingly describes me) emotion-full. You could probably imagine me asking my pediatrician this with a glint of a tear shimmering in one eye and my voice heavy and quivering. No, not at all. I asked it as objectively as possible and not drenched with feelings. I simply wanted to know exactly what I was doing so I could fix it and move on. I was seeking for a response as to something I need to change, shift, do, or stop doing so I can follow his instructions and feel that we were making steps forward. My pediatrician who throughout the entire appointment was objective and straight to the point looked at me squarely and with a surprising tinge of tenderness said “you aren’t doing anything wrong”. The tinge went away immediately as he then explained to me medically why this is completely normal and my babe would be picking up these viruses and building up his immune system either now or later. In his opinion, better now.
I felt consoled but also helpless. My caterpillar would simply have to pick up “memories” of these viruses as our pediatrician described it and there’s nothing I could do about it. The only thing I could do to keep him from getting sick is keep him in a sealed bubble… he said. It’s slightly frustrating because that’s just one more thing I cannot control in my son’s life. One more thing that I am helpless in. As painful as it would have been, it would have been easier had he told me I needed to get rid of the dogs or switch apartments or SOMETHING. Give me a task! Give me something I can do or not do or change so that I can then be in control of all this! That, that would be so much more comfortable for me.
But what’s even more comfortable for me aside from the doing and fixing and controlling… is the feeling of guilt. A few years ago I started tracking the sayings and immediate thoughts that would go through my mind during really good or really bad times. During “bad” times, one of my immediate emotional responses I have is a feeling of failure. As much as that feeling clearly sucks, when that’s what you know, it’s easier to just sink into it. It’s easier to allow myself to take the blame and own that I’m doing something wrong then to say it’s beyond me. Easier to feel like I screwed up. I remember when I first began my journey towards inner healing 8 years ago, I was so flustered. It was so much easier not to go through the healing because then I wouldn’t have to make any changes or shift anything in my emotional, mental, spiritual pattern. But eight years later and I’m learning how to be the best mom I can be – and the best me is capped at my health. So even though it’s not comfortable, I embrace that this is part of life and growing up and it’s beyond my control. And in this case, I’m not doing anything wrong. The more I believe this, the more I will resist self-blaming. And the more I resist self-blaming, the more my son will grow up in a world where that is not the norm. The more it will not become his norm. And I will fight to not make it his norm.
So as my son kicks me in his sleep as he tosses and turns with his congestion, I pull him in close. It’s not comfortable, it’s not easy, but it’s right. It’s right where he and I belong.