posted in Mom Stories
Last night we had a major barf incident. At about midnight giant spouts of half-digested chocolate ice cream and bananas started spewing from my sweet little girl. She came downstairs crying and reeking and covered in vomit.
And I knew exactly what to do.
Nobody likes it when their child is sick. You feel terrible for them and, especially if it takes place at midnight in the middle of a beach vacation, as ours did, terrible for yourself. Plus, it’s just totally gross. Yes, she’s my precious little thing, but her vomit is as disgusting as anyone else’s.
But here’s my little secret. There is something about a scene like the one last night that makes me feel like a completely capable mom. I know how to take care of my daughter when she’s covered in vomit. There is no second guessing or difficult psychological underpinnings to figure out. No tricky discipline tactics. It’s simple: you clean up her and her bed, let her cry and you stroke her forehead as she falls back asleep. Then, in fifteen minutes, when it all happens again, you repeat.
I do not always feel this way about raising kids, especially as they get older and it gets a little trickier (although you get more sleep, so it sort of evens out). I do not have some magical maternal encyclopedia in my head that allows me to know how to react to every situation. The constant eye-rolling? Do I fight it because it’s rude or do I let it go because it’s a stage? Eating veggies? Do I insist or suggest? TV? Established time limits or day-by-day decisions?
It’s not always easy. And the answers are often murky at best.
But vomiting? It’s a no-brainer. And I’m good at it. I’m a consummate barf-cleaner-upper and forehead-rubber. And when it’s all over and she’s back asleep and her stomach is empty and the bed is clean, I feel good. I feel needed and capable and very, very good at my role.
I just wish it didn’t smell so bad.
What about you? What are the moments that make you feel like a capable parent?
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