It's not all rainbows and sunshine

posted on: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sometimes it can be really hard. The days can be long and brutal and really, really hard. Too much exhaustion, too little patience. Too many needs, too few hands or hours in the day. The state of being constantly on call. The hat you never get to take off. And I wouldn’t want to, not really. The reward reaped absolutely eclipses the struggle on most days. Most days I feel like  I’ve risen to the occasion and earned my title. But some days, some days I just fail.   

Oren has two cavities. Well, he did have two cavities. They’re filled now. But did you know that frequent nursing can lead to cavities in babies? I didn’t. I knew you shouldn’t put them to bed with a bottle – we never have. I don’t even nurse him to sleep and he’s been night weaned for months. I knew letting milk sit on their teeth while they sleep was bad news and I’ve always avoided that. He doesn’t take a pacifier and we’ve been brushing his teeth twice a day since his first little one popped through. And yet,  he still has two cavities. I did not know that just nursing him on demand (which for Oren is very, very frequently still) throughout the day was so bad for his teeth. I had no idea.  His pediatric dentist (which, bless his heart for doing that job by the way) said it’s as bad as letting him sip on juice all day. Which he doesn’t get either…for this very reason.  Milk or water.  Those have been his only choices. Ever.  But even so, I still had to drag him kicking and screaming in to that dentist chair because I let his teeth start to decay. I still had to hold him down while they drilled and filled his cavities as he cried and shook and gagged and could not understand why on earth we were doing this to him. That day I failed.

Yesterday I failed too. He’s been needy and whiny and crying and fighting a cold for days. Yesterday I couldn’t stand to hear him say “mama” one more time.  I was literally at the end of my rope. We both spent the afternoon crying. We both only slept 2 hours last night.  I spent the whole day and night angry and frustrated with him. Today I am angry and frustrated at myself for not having more patience and compassion. For resenting that he needed me so much. And that’s not even me. I hate that I felt that way, I am ashamed.

I know we all do this, at one point or another, right?... Right?! I know no parent is perfect and we all make mistakes. But we also don’t always talk about the hard parts. The stumbles and falls and failures. Because those are important too. Those are the parts that really test you and teach you and ultimately make you a better parent, a better person. So here I am. I am telling you that it is not perfect. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect. But I am learning and growing and humbled every day to get to do this job and have those two little ones in my life. Some time s you just need to say it out loud to really hear yourself.


  1. Em you are a great mother and no mother is perfect. Some people just get cavities. Really. I am a tooth/mouth care nazi and I got cavities as a kid and I still do as an adult. You have more patience than I ever will and you make it look effortless but we all know that that is not true. I think you are amazing! :)

  2. I KNOW that you know this, but you are not responsible for Oren's cavities. You and Josh have been so vigilant about his health that to me it just seems like he has weakened tooth enamel. My cousins had nearly as many cavities as they did teeth, and they were all serious brushers and flossers. That's just genes for ya.

    It made me so sad to read this because you shouldn't have to feel like a failure. If anything, persevering in the difficulty of this situation has shown that you are a fighter-- not a failure.

    And perfection is overrated; it never makes for great stories.

  3. You couldn't have described my day any better lol! We should start a support group :) Except I find myself taking my frustration with the boys out on my husband. Perhaps Oren's teeth are soft. We found out Sid doesn't have enamel on his molars :? which makes him more likely to get cavities despite good habits. Its just something happens in utero. Hang in there! For every bad day there are multiple good ones :)

  4. Look at me. Look at how you turned out! 'nuf said

    (Sad part is, as mothers we remember all of these individual hard days and the way we acted. Kids mostly don't remember those days at all - especially at Oren's age. Oren doesn't even remember what happened yesterday - you have a fresh start now - other than you both being very tired that is).

  5. Big hugs to you, friend. These days are very, very hard and we've all had them. Sometimes the only comfort I get when I'm feeling terrible about something I said or the way I reacted, ist that it's normal. And the only way I know its normal is because strong mama's like you speak up and are honest about how hard it really can be. So thanks for that. I hope you get comfort in knowing that we've all felt the same way too.


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