My son was 8 days old when I realized I’m a bad mom

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We celebrated my son’s 23rd birthday recently. Once again, I told him the story of the night he was born.

It’s quite a dramatic one.

Emergency cesarean at 3 am.

The pediatrician gravely warning me: “He has a 50% chance of survival.”

My son pulled through. Today he’s a healthy and thriving young man.

For years I haven’t thought about a small incident that happened while he was still in the NICU.

I went home two, three days before him. It meant I had to go to the hospital at least three times every day, as I was nursing him.

On the first day after I was discharged, I was supposed to be at the hospital at 7 am for the first feed. I suddenly realized it meant a commute right at the rush hour and I decided it was okay if the nurse gave him a bottle this time.

I didn’t think to let her know

I didn’t think to let the nurse know, assuming she’ll just give him his bottle.

When I arrived at the hospital two hours later the nurse scolded me and said she waited and waited, and my son was screaming because he was so hungry. In the future will I please have the decency to let her know if I won’t be able to make feeding time.

I felt like the worst mom ever.

My son was so young and still so sick, but I’ve deserted him already.

Now that I’m trained as a life coach and have the tools to manage my emotions and thoughts better, it was interesting to revisit this incident and see if I’m looking at it differently.

Almost like lifting the band-aid to see if the wound has healed.

Yet, after more than twenty years, I still had to sternly remind myself to have compassion for myself.

How traumatized I must have been at that stage. The prospect of bringing home a weak baby within a day or two was daunting. It must have been such a relief to me that a professional person was taking care of my baby boy for just a little longer. No wonder I took the opportunity.

And that made me think of the time …

My mom forgot my 10th birthday

I turned ten when my mom forgot my birthday. It stung. I felt so unloved and unimportant. Years later I would pet this grievance and tell myself what a poor mother she was.

But the fact that I can let myself off the hook about missing that feeding with my son, helped me to let her off the hook about my 10th birthday too.

Once she realized her mistake, she felt horrible. She tried her best to make up for it.

Things were crazy at her work right when my birthday came up. She was one of the main organizers for a huge Easter conference for our church at that time.

No wonder she forgot my birthday.

Strange how thinking about this differently binds me and my mom together in a new way.

We’re humans. We mess up. And then we beat ourselves up about our shortcomings.

But we also show up as moms in the best way we can most of the time.

Love and compassion always feel so much better, doesn’t it? To be able to forgive because we are forgiven by God.

Do you want to talk about your mom? Do you want to figure out what’s really happening between you? And how to put things right? Remember, you are still invited to take me up on my offer of a free coaching call.

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