No, I’m not Supermom.
I took my 10-month-old to the pediatrician. Moms, that is what we do, right? Baby is not feeling well, so we assess their needs, try to fix them, and take them to the doctor if needed.
The night before taking my baby in, he was inconsolable. He cried, screamed, and he sounded like he was in excruciating pain. I gave him Ibuprofen. I snuggled him. I rocked him. I patted him. I tried everything I could to help. Nothing worked. Nothing. I’d never felt less like Supermom.
I hit a point where I needed to hand him off to my husband and go cry in the bathroom. This is baby number four and until this night, I had never hit this point before. I have never been unable to “fix” the crying at night. Something must be really wrong, right?
Let me be fully truthful. Judge me if you will, but that night sent me to a bad place. He was screaming. I cuddled him. He was crying. I rocked him. He was hitting me and pulling at me. I sang to him. This went on for, no exaggeration, at least two hours. I wanted to fix it. I wanted him to feel better and go to sleep. I wanted to be supermom, but I needed to go to sleep.
This particular night came after weaning him from night feeds, which means we had been up every night for the previous two weeks around 3:00 am or so, for him to want to eat, me to hush him back to sleep without nursing and try to go back to sleep myself. I had been beyond exhausted.
I waited until I was at my wit’s end. I was ready to break. I started yelling, “why won’t you stop crying?!” Of course, my 10-month-old just cried more and I just felt more upset. I handed him to my now startled awake husband and ran into the bathroom.
I walked away, even when I knew my husband was not going to be able to soothe the baby. I still had an awake, screaming baby to calm. I felt like my head was going to explode.
I have read about the importance of walking away when you feel flustered. I have heard stories of moms that chose to put their baby down when they reached a point of frustration that is unexplainable. For the first time in my almost nine years of momming, I finally understood.
We “woke” up the next morning and I decided to call the pediatrician. They gave us an early appointment. Off we went to school drop-off for my oldest, and then straight to his appointment.
She checked his right ear. “Looks good.” She checked his left ear. “That one looks good too.” She checked his throat, his mouth, his belly, in his diaper, his toes, and on and on. Do you know what she found? He was teething.
Yes, friends, I took my fourth baby to the pediatrician for teething. like i said…supermom, i am not.
In the midst of the tears and the frustration, I was reminded that it is ok, at times necessary, to ask for help.
I was reminded that first baby or fourth baby, we do not always have the answers.
And again, as with most things in parenting, I was reassured that I can be supermom, but that I’m also still learning.