Mommy Guilt

About a month ago, I gave my daughter cough medicine for a hacking annoyance that was keeping her up all night long. The medicine didn’t touch the cough. (She has allergies.) In the middle of the night, I gave her Motrin hoping it would calm her little body down enough to let her sleep. No-go.

In the morning, I gave her a chewable children’s Claritin. It didn’t make any difference in the amount of coughing and sneezing. I then realized I’d given her more medication than I had taken in the last five years. My stomach immediately flip-flopped.

I went to Target and told the pharmacist her symptoms. I told him that she has suffered from seasonal allergies. I told him that several friends had recommended Benadryl, but that I was confused because, from the information on the box, it didn’t seem as if she should be taking it at all. He assured me it was fine to give it to her, but to make sure the dosing was accurate.

So, I gave her 4 mL that night–not the 5 mL that was the maximum dosage for her age. She was eating dinner and walked over to me and said, “My head is very tired.” Granted she hadn’t slept at all the night before, but she has maybe only asked to go to bed three times in her entire little life.

The next day, she proceeded to sneeze her head off. I gave her the Benadryl again. An hour or so later we started our bedtime routine. She laid on her bed with her feet dangling over the edge. I had been applying children’s all-natural vapor rub to her feet the past few nights. Then I would put socks on her, which I feared was a type of torture because again…the kid is never cold. She has issues with “cracks” in her socks, so last year I had to buy boys’ seamless socks for her. They have a tight fit in the arch. She loves wearing them to bed.

As I was trying to put her socks on, she was wagging her feet back and forth. I said, “Honey. Hold still.” She said, “I can’t. My feet need to dance.”

She was hammered.

I cried.

She slept without coughing.

I cried harder.

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3 Responses to Mommy Guilt

  1. singleishmom says:

    Oh, I have so much mommy guilt I could write pages and pages (and I suspect I will, someday). However, the image of your daughter saying, “My feet need to dance,” just makes me smile. Not making light of how it made you feel, but I hope you’ll be able to look back on it and not feel so bad.

  2. Bluegal says:

    My son’s been having the same problems; I gave him Zyrtec during the day and Benadryl at night for a couple of days. It helped, but I had the same nagging feeling of “I’m drugging my child when I don’t take a lot of OOC drugs myself.” He’s been fine the last few days.

    I think you did the right thing if it was affecting her sleep. Sleep is key, for everyone.

  3. You said your daughter has problems with socks? The way the feel on her feet? What about sounds, or others types of touch? Just wondering. This was a very moving blog. I’m right there with you. Guilt is HORRIBLE. Believe in yourself. KNOW you’re doing what’s best. And hang back. I used to expect immediate results from medicines, treatments and other things. What I realized was I wanted MY suffering to end more then my son’s because I was so worried and scared all the time. Parenthood helped me face a LOT of issues I was having that I didn’t even realize. Take a step back. BREATH! And know your daughter is going to be fine. She has a mom that loves her like crazy and wants only the best for her. Lucky girl :)

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