Mom guilt – it’s the “joy” that keeps on festering, aka my new motto. And in today’s Family Focus Friday (I know, I know. It’s been so long.), I’ve sunk to a new mom guilt low. How My Son’s 1st Pair of Glasses Gave Me the Worst Mom Guilt Ever – in 10 specific ways. My hope is that talking it out will not only give myself some relief and forgiveness but be able to empathize a little bit with what you’re going through as a parent. I’m not perfect by any means. We are not perfect by any means.
But thankfully our kids keep us grounded in every sense of the word – and give us the “vision” we need.
Keep reading and hold my hand as I dive head first into the depths of my mom guilt.
I Fed Him Carrots
It may sound completely ridiculous, but I was actually trying to counteract my son’s genes of Mom and Dad having bad vision by feeding this little guy carrots everyday. No, seriously. Everyday. Every lunch he eats carrots, not only because they’re good for you (and one of the 3 veggies he won’t complain about) but because I thought I would help slow down the vision process.
Because We Put Off His Appointment
I think that the first time we noticed he was having a vision problem was the middle of First Grade. Almost 1 year ago. He was squinting to watch a movie, moving closer to the screen. My husband and I laughed it off. “He’s just excited about the movie” – we justified. And he wasn’t on our insurance yet. Did we really want to pay the out-of-pocket costs?
And then sports seasons. Baseball every spring. Soccer every fall. And this year, I was very vocal about my son’s baseball team – to the point where I was pointing fingers at the coach, aka Dad. With the team losing and my husband’s attention shifting from our son’s abilities to other players, I thought my son’s hitting, throwing and catching was due to my husband’s coaching. All of the heated arguments behind closed doors (now shamefully admitting that they were ALL my fault) are now a part of my hurtful past. I have said so many apologies to my husband since then. We had absolutely no clue that our son was struggling in baseball because of his vision – the #1 ability he needs to see a ball whizzing by at 40 mph.
My son grew over 2 inches this year. With his legs getting longer and arms getting lankier, I knew that he was clumsy. But then there’s that fine line between acting goofy with clumsy results (and an upset mom), and just growing into his body.
Again I admit, how many times did I assume the clumsiness was due to his goofy and sometimes defiant attitude versus honestly not being able to see? Too many times to count.
Waving Him Down
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled his name and tried to wave him down. The beach. Church. School. And then ding-ding-ding. I get it. Not only could he not hear me (loud crowds, ocean waves, etc.) – but the poor kid probably couldn’t even see my frantic hand waving. No wonder he always had a look of surprise when we finally got ahold of him. And how ashamed I am to say how angry and frustrated I got Every. Single. Time.
Frustration in General
There are days when I heave a big sigh at being 7 years old. Caught somewhere between desperately needing mom and testing independence, I find his mood swings and personality to be constantly changing. I don’t remember 7 years old being a tough age! So why am I struggling to get this kid to even listen to me?
You’re the big brother. You need to set a good example.
You’re the oldest. You need to act your age.
You’re the big boy. Act like a big boy.
Where did my sweet son go?
Why are you acting like this?
Why aren’t you listening to me?
Why can’t you just behave?
Every word now stings in my face. How many times has my son acted out because HE was frustrated? Because he couldn’t put into words how much his vision was affecting his life? Because he couldn’t understand how being able to see would change everything?
Because His Vision Wasn’t Just Bad
It was SO bad. Having a long history with vision problems (since 4th grade), I had a good grasp on vision tests, prescriptions and the like. Knowing that this was my son’s first vision test ever at only age 7, I was expecting a -0.75, maybe a -1.00 at most.
“He’s -2.00 and -2.50,” the doctor said.
“Are you sure that this is his first pair of glasses?” The glasses store clerk asked.
I was in shock. His prescription is about half of what my husband’s is right now. RIGHT now. My sweet boy will forever have to rely on glasses to see (or get Lasik….which I can’t even handle. Let’s not go there).
How Differently He Sees Life Now
I should have taken a video when my son first put on a pair of glasses. It was the most amazing memory I have – him seeing the world for the first time. He was so excited. I can see the words! I can see the colors! I can see the signs across the street! He had no idea that these were all things he was supposed to be able to see. And that feeling lasted days, still pointing out trees, clouds, people, animals – anything that was only a blur before.
The more excited he got, the more ashamed I felt. He could have had this feeling so much sooner.
The Land of What If
That ashamed feeling lingered. Ever since we got my son’s glasses, I’ve be torturing myself.
What if I caught it sooner? What if I yelled at him less? What if I tried to understand his frustration? What if I fed him more carrots?
The land of “what if” has taken me backwards and forwards as I still come to grasp this new chapter in my son’s life. Every time I see his beautiful face with his shiny pair of glasses, it hurts.
The Worst Mom Ever
The point? Hindsight is 20/20 (no pun intended). I’m STILL not a perfect mom. Those glasses are a reminder of all of the mom guilt I bear, still. And there are so many moments as a parent that I cannot take back.
But holding on to that vivid memory of my son actually SEEING for the first time – it was everything to me. He taught me that day how precious the gift of sight really is – and to never take that for granted. I want to see the world how he sees the world. I want to see him as he truly should be – loved and appreciated every second of every day. I need to learn to embrace his forgiveness, and in turn forgive myself.
Have you read my kids’ “viral” adventures yet?
- My Theme Park Nightmare
- The Scariest 45 Minutes of My Life
- Change the Conversation
- 30 Things Toddlers Think About at Target
- What September 11th Taught Me About Being a Mom
- 5 Things I Want to Tell My Toddler Right NOW
A pair of glasses taught me a hard lesson as a mom. I never thought that I would see more clearly because of them. When was the last time that you have experienced mom guilt?
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