Buried in Guilt – My Failure as a Mother

The gut wrenching guilt will linger for a while.

I didn’t mean to do it. It was an accident. But still, the guilt settles in my stomach like one of my elementary school’s chicken patties, sinking like a lead weight and making me feel nauseous.

I messed up.  Such a little thing, really. Something so simple. So avoidable.

I forgot to plug in Lil Diva’s baby monitor when I laid her down for her nap.

Was it the phone? The cats? My laptop? Did I have to use the bathroom? I can’t remember.

All I know is two hours later, I was waking up The Tackler and when I went to unplug his monitor, I saw hers wasn’t plugged in. I plugged it in, dread pooling in my stomach.

And heard Lil Diva wailing.

It was a scream that cut right through me. A wail you only hear when a child has been  inconsolable for a while and they get those little hiccup moments.

And I hated myself in that moment.

How long had my sweet precious little girl been crying for me? How long had those cries gone unanswered? Five minutes? Fifteen? Forty-five?

I’d like to think I would have heard her before, but the air is loud when it runs, and she was in the master closet, tucked away in the quietest, most sequestered spot in the house.

Could I have missed those cries for an hour?

It kills me.  It cuts me.

And not knowing HOW bad this lapse was…. how long my angel kiss sobbed, wondering  where I was… That’s the worst part.

She clung to me for the next hour.

I can’t blame her.

I gave her kisses and hugs and snuggles and tried to make up for what I did.

But the guilt is still there in my gut.

And it’s going to be there for a while.

Even though she smiled and laughed and appeared to forgive me.

It’s going to take me longer to forgive myself.

And just in case I didn’t feel bad enough… I have to take Kyra to the doctor for her 1 year shots in the morning.

Because I haven’t made her feel horrible enough in the last 24 hours.

Sometimes being a mommy sucks.

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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4 Responses to Buried in Guilt – My Failure as a Mother

  1. Lori Dyan says:

    Toots – we’ve ALL done things like that (I once drove around with my 6-month-old NOT buckled into his car seat). There’s nothing worse for a mother than hearing her child cry (and no child ever died from crying, but it still totally sucks.

    L

    • Kelly K says:

      L – Thanks for the support. I’ve done the car seat thing too. One week I think CG and I nearly forgot 3 times that The Tackler wasn’t buckled in (each thought the other one had done it), but luckily my son reminds us of such things now.

      Now I have to take my sweet angel for her shots…. Why is it Mommies get the sh*t jobs?

  2. I totally feel for you but don’t beat yourself up too much. We’ve all done things like that. Being a mom means forever being plagued by some type of guilt.

    • Kelly K says:

      Maija – True. That guilt though… I started playing music in my son’s room (as an infant) precisely so I could tell if his monitor was on, b/c the connection had a tendency of flaking out. But with Lil Diva I have a new monitor that does annoying beep if signal is disrupted. It just has to be plugged in first.. ..

      Speaking of guilt… I need to get packed up to take her to doctor so she can get a round of shots..

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