Being a Bad Mother

14 May

A colleague and I were talking last week about our children and I had a confession to make: I had kept the Bigster at home for 4 days before taking her to the doctor, because I thought she had some sort of generic virus and I’d just be told to keep her home and warm for a few days and she’d be better. (Note: I did the same thing to myself in March/April and nearly burst an eardrum, so you would think I would have learned my lesson). Of course, when we finally did see a doctor, it sparked the whole does-she-or-doesn’t-she-have-glandular-fever crisis which turned out to be “she doesn’t, but we don’t know quite what she has, and it’s behaving a lot like glandular fever”. And I had a big dose of Mother Guilt because I should have KNOWN that it was worse than just a virus and taken her to the doctor sooner. Which, admittedly, would just have sparked the does-she-or-doesn’t-she a little earlier – but I would have felt less guilty. And I would have Done The Right Thing, which is important.

“Don’t worry,” said my colleague. “My daughter hurt her wrist and complained about it. I got her to wriggle her fingers and they were fine, so I told her to stop complaining. When she complained again an hour later, I told her she was over-reacting … but eventually we went to the doctor and it turned out her wrist was BROKEN! Oh the Mother guilt”

To which I was able to tell the story of the Bigster’s broken ankle, which went much the same way.

And so on.

Does every parent have a story like this? I suspect they do.


Posted by on May 14, 2012 in children, health, parenting


3 responses to “Being a Bad Mother

  1. roundtableforgals

    May 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    As mums we can’t win – after 12 years I’ve realized that sometimes I can tell it’s just a virus and then other times I can’t. When I’m not sure I just go and prepare myself to look like the over protective mum that I am, but better to be safe than sorry! Spend 6 hours in A&E last week thinking my girl had appendicitis but after a scan it was in fact only swollen glands around the appendix…but glad we went because the swollen glands are pointing to somethiing else that needed attention… 🙂

    • Melissa

      May 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Yeah – it’s that “am I just wasting their time and mine if I go” balanced against “what if it’s EBOLA?!” – there’s a happy medium there somewhere.

      • roundtableforgals

        May 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        Lol yes, that’s what they (doctors) are there for though and we’ve all heard of stories where a child is seen and sent away and then the worst happens…


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