1 Sep
Posted in: parenting
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Broken Bones and Mommy Guilt

girl showing her cast on her broken wrist

Confidence is fleeting in my parenting game. One day I think we’ve got this. The next, Craig and I are looking at each other wondering what we’re supposed to do. This morning I had no clue what to do when a child potentially breaks bones. By this evening, I had it figured out.

Almost 14 years into parenting and we had yet to have any child break a bone. The simple act of running ruined that record. Our first-grader was running with a friend on a high school track and fell. She scraped her arm and nose. There was a little complaining about a sore wrist. Her friend’s mom doled out hugs, and the girls kept on playing. I was with our oldest who had just had his ribs checked for a possible break during football practice. Thankfully he was only bruised. Lesson one for the week: parenting is a lot of things. Boring is not one of them. There is always something…always.

This morning the wrist was swollen, but there were no tears. She could move the wrist every way possible. I sent her to school, only the second of the new year. If it was more swollen after school, I decided we’d take her in for an x-ray. That’s when I realized I didn’t know what to do. I could take her to the emergency room, but that seemed more of an ordeal than this warranted. Maybe InstaCare, or our family doctor. I wasn’t sure which route I should go in order to minimize the steps needed. This is where it’s good to have other mommy friends who actually know things. A text to a friend, who has a doctor husband, led me to a local orthopaedic walk-in clinic. We’ve used the clinic before, so I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Honestly, my adulting skills were lacking the last 24 hours.

An x-ray after school revealed a break in her wrist. A rainbow cast was chosen to adorn her injured appendage, and she was in and out with no problems. No big deal for her. I, on the other hand, was dealing with a mess of guilt while I accepted my “worst mother of the month” award. Our first broken bone, and I had sent the child to school for the whole day.

Several friends have attempted to dig me out of my heap of guilt with stories of their own similar to mine. It helps to know I’m not the only one that isn’t quite sure of what she’s doing or doing the best she can with the knowledge she has.

I remember, almost 14 years ago, having several well-wishers inquire if we were ready for our oldest to be born. I naively said yes. Of course we were ready. Car seat: check. Diapers: check. Clothes: check. Crib: check.  I wasn’t prepared for the thousands of situations I would face with nothing to go off of but my gut reactions. This broken wrist is just one of many stories I’ll tuck away in a file for lessons I’ve learned along this parenting journey. There will be more along the way, hopefully with less guilt attached.


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