Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Ugly...

One thing that nobody likes to talk about is how hard it is on a relationship to have a child that is struggling medically.  Tom and I are doing very well, I think, but we have our fair share of strife.  We don't always agree on how to treat him, or where to take him, or how to respond to him.  We're both tired, we both desperately need a break, and we both have an insane burning desire to make this angry little human happy again.

We are also not good at the same things.  I can say with only the merest traces of self-promotion that I excel in the medical world.  I know what I'm doing and what I want, and how to find the resources to get there.  All things Doctorly stress Tom out, and stress quickly turns into anger.  I "fondly" remember Aidan's Upper GI X-Ray.  The patient ahead of Aidan was refusing to drink the Barium, and things got about half an hour behind schedule.  I truly thought he might lose his mind.

But, almost in answer to my no-nonsense "do what must be done" approach, Tom is the big convincer.  Aidan will drink from his big boy cup for daddy.  He'll settle down for daddy.  He'll take even the yuckiest medicine for daddy.   I'm eternally thankful for the comfort Aidan finds in Tom, even while it breaks my heart that I am not the one providing it.

Unfortunately, for us (and I'd venture to guess for many others too), the most common way that all of our frustrations manifest is The Handoff.  Picture for me, if you will, the following: Mr. Baby is crying.  He's inconsolable.  Mama tries to hold him, but he doesn't want to be held.  Mama tries to soothe him, but he doesn't want to be soothed.  Mama feels powerless to help, frustrated, and needs to do something.  Surely daddy can fix this.

 Hello, role reversal.

I'm admitting this for the first time, live on the internet, and please don't hate me for it.  I'm by far the worst offender here.  When Aidan hurts, I hurt, and more than anything I don't want to cause him more pain.  Intellectually, I know that I am just as capable of soothing Aidan as Tom.  I can handle illnesses, injuries, and tantrums without batting an eye.  But when the emotional side kicks in, and I just *know* he blames me for ruining his tiny little life - I hand him over and run for cover.  It's my single largest parental failure.  Please tell me I'm not the only one...


  1. I'm not a parent so maybe I have no place to say - but you aren't alone. It seems to me to be the mommy you want to be, not forcing yourself to push through your emotional hurt and "handing him off" so you can take a breather and get perspective is beneficial for all involved.

    1. I think so too. No mommy is supermommy. I think we all have to be able to admit when it's too much.

      I feel fortunate to have a daddy around to help fill in the blanks.

  2. You are so not the only one. Henry is going through a phase now where all he wants is daddy. Daddy to hold him. Daddy to pick him up. Daddy to not leave the room. It breaks my heart all the time and if I'm having a bad day I take it personally. I'll try to take Henry from daddy for awhile but he won't have it and I'll give him right back because it breaks my heart to hear him cry and lunge for daddy. Could I tough it out? Sure. But after a long busy day at work it's just easier to give him what he wants...daddy. I hear it's just a phase. Try not to feel guilty. Everybody needs a break and I honestly don't think he loves you any less for it.

    1. Daddys are jerks that way. Being all wonderful while Mommies have to be all "take your bath! eat your dinner!"