Friday, January 16, 2015

Projectile Vomit and Other Dark Moments of Motherhood

I am still recovering from the grossest incident I have experienced in my eight plus years of motherhood.

Poor Thomas had projectile vomit.  Although my recent creative online writing course would encourage me to use vivid imagery to show and not tell you just how disgusting our bathroom was, I will spare you the details.  I will say this: it was akin to a scene from Dexter.  Except I didn’t have the luxury of having laid down a protective layer of plastic to ensure easy cleanup.

Anyway, 24 hours later, and Thomas was fine.  In fact, he was better than fine; it was as if it never happened.

I, on the other hand, was still emotionally scarred on several levels.  Cleaning up that mess was beyond disgusting. (However, Thomas did note my efforts on a very affirmative note: “Hey, Mom.  Good job cleaning up in here.  It looks good.”  It’s nice to feel appreciated.)

And as I watched him sleep throughout the day, I felt scared.  He never gets sick – not even after that time we went to Disney World and he ate crumbs off of the restaurant floor and licked the bus seats. 

It was more than scared; I was in that dark place of being overwhelmed with responsibility of caring for Thomas, yet feeling helpless because there is only so much I can do.  It reminded me of when I was helping Marie through her health issues that I talked about in my Listen to Your Mother show.  

All of those guilty feelings came rushing back: I am not good enough. I should have been able to prevent this.  Why can’t I make this stop?

I was then up to all of my old tricks – washing my hands until they were raw.

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot OCD handwashing
Note the red gloves effect

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot Vinylux Nail Polish
But check out that nail polish.  I bow down to the magic of Vinylux.

 I bargained with myself that if I bleached the bathroom just one more time, maybe then I would feel like a good mom.  Sick and sad, I know.

It is frustrating to me that as much effort that I have put into working through my issues, it seems like they are just waiting to ambush me when I am feeling fragile.

But I’m wiser now, stronger, too.  I know that one of my biggest triggers is when my kids are sick.  I know that these guilty feelings are often laced with vicious lies.  I can’t prevent everything, and that by no means makes me a bad mother.  Determined not to drop my anchor in this ugly place, I just put one foot in front of the other and hope that the light will shine through soon.  This post by Momastery helped me move throughthis awful bout of mommy guilt by reminding me to be kinder to myself.  Wow, did I need to hear those words.

What is your trigger that makes you feel like you are not good enough? How do you move through it?

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot Motherhood moments
Whenever I feel like a bad mom or not good enough, I try to remind myself that there are pure moments of joy where I feel like I am doing it right.
This sleepover was one of those moments.

Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot inspirational motherhood quote by Arianna Huffington
I love this quote by Arianna Huffington.  

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