This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

I’m Mom Now

You know when you were growing up and no matter what was wrong, your mom could always make you feel better? Whether you got hurt or failed a test or just had a really crummy day, your mom was always the one you turned to to make things better?

That’s how I used to feel anyways and, often, I still catch myself feeling that way now.

The other day, Austin was playing in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner. Before I even knew what had happened, a few drops of hot water from the stove splashed and landed on him. He immediately started crying, and I panicked. I grabbed him and hugged him as hard as I could and rubbed the spot where the drops had been.

Serious blog requires a not so serious pictures!

A serious blog requires a not-so-serious picture!

I felt terrible. I have probably never felt so terrible in my whole life. I started to cry and definitely continued to cry long after Austin had moved on and wanted to keep playing. The hot water had been from boiling chicken, so I knew that salmonella was a factor and I was totally panicked. My first thought – which didn’t seem weird to me until I thought about it a few hours later – was that my mom would tell me what to do and help me clean up the spilled salmonella water in the kitchen. I kept thinking about that, bizarrely, for a few minutes, until I finally snapped out of it, stopped crying and decided that Austin should get in the tub. I kept the water at room temperature and washed him to make sure that no salmonella water was left on him. After the bath, I decided I should put Austin in the pack ‘n play and clean the kitchen floor.

I am only writing this because I had an epiphany that day. It seems simple but the fact is, I’m mom now. I will be the one to make my kids feel better when they are sick or get hurt or when anything bad happens. I need to toughen up. I need to toughen up for my kids and not let them see that I get worried, too, and that I am terrified that they will get hurt and that it makes me want to cry when they are sick.

My dad always used to tell us that we needed to have thick skin, and I always thought I wasn’t too terrible… until I had kids. When I think of myself crying on the floor with my son, I realize that now more than ever, I need to develop thick skin. When I watched my sister spend an entire weekend with her daughter at the hospital because Anna was having seizures and that’s what the doctors recommend she do, I was amazed at the way she handled the situation. I remember texting her afterward to tell her how impressed and inspired I was by how together she’d been. Her focus was on her daughter, not herself.

That’s what I need. I am working on it and I bet, as I have a few more kids, I’ll get better and better. Right now, though, I’m working on developing my thick skin, so that my son will always know that his mom will always be there to make things better.

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