Also titled… “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Mom Guilt”
I took my daughter to her orthodontist appointment last month. She has been using a retainer for the last few months to help correct a crossbite and also make room in her mouth for her giant adult teeth. I’m not kidding. Each one of her top two adult teeth knocked out two baby teeth. My kids all look like my husband, but one trait they got from me is a tiny mouth. As a kid, I had to have quite a few teeth removed because there was not enough room for all of them.
I had surgery the month before her appointment. I think the month before that I was overwhelmed with Christmas orders and my husband had taken her to her appointment. He kept mentioning that I needed to call and find out exactly what she was having done at this next appointment. We weren’t financially ready for her to have braces and didn’t want to have anything unexpected happen at the appointment.
I reassured him that it was just an appointment to adjust her retainer. I had already talked to them and explained that she could not have braces or anything permanent because she gets brain MRIs every six months and the metal in her mouth would render the scans unreadable.
So… there I took her… to her appointment to get her retainer adjusted. She sat in the chair and they said, “Are you excited to get your new braces today?”
I’m sorry… her new what????
And sure enough, they had come up with a plan. Phase 2 of her treatment. They were working with her special situation and going to give her ceramic brackets that wouldn’t interfere with the MRIs. The metal wire could just be popped out prior to her MRI and then placed back in… easy peasy.
I put a big smile on my face and looked at my daughter and said, “Yay! Braces!!!!”
She is such a trooper. She totally took it with no complaints. She does that… just takes it. She rarely complained when she was sick for so long before she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She rarely complained about chemo and radiation. I mean, sure, she is a typical little girl and fusses with her sisters, cries when she falls, doesn’t like vegetables… but when it comes to the big things, she just takes it.
Now… I had a choice… be eaten up with the mom guilt of not calling ahead even though my husband had asked me to. The guilt of not preparing my child ahead of time for the changes that were coming. The guilt of not being fully sure if we had already paid for the braces or not (we did… it was part of the plan). The guilt of letting the ball drop again. The guilt of not having it all together… not being on point… not being perfect.
I think it is fair to say that all moms experience mom guilt at some point. And, I think it is fair to say that homeschool moms can, at times, experience it to a greater degree. We like to carry the burden for our children’s well being and success in a heavy pack on our shoulders. We worry and fear that we have screwed them up and the damage is beyond repair. We like to think that we are, somehow, more powerful than the sovereignty of God.
If there is one thing that I have learned over the course of my life as a parent, it is the fact that God is sovereign. He is over all things…. even my poor choices do not surprise him or throw him off his game. He cares about even the smallest details. He cares about my daughter’s braces and he knew, even when I didn’t, what was coming when we walked into the office.
When I allow myself to trust in His sovereignty, I also allow myself to not revel in my own mistakes allowing guilt to reign supreme.
One thing I read about in Kathy Koch’s Latest Book, Start with the Heart, is about fostering resiliency in our kids. She says that “resiliency might be the most important quality for motivated children to have.” She also says,
Start with the Heart: How to Motivate Your Kids to be Compassionate, Responsible, and Brave (Even When You’re Not Around)
“resliency is the ability to recover quickly from adversity, disappointment, defeat, failure, and trauma… It’s essential if you want them to develop self- motivation. It offers protection against anxiety and becoming depressed.”
You can read more about Start with the Heart HERE.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could say I orchestrated this little incident to help foster resiliency in my child??? Oh that I was that creative. But I do serve a creative and caring Lord who orchestrates all things and in all things works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). He cares deeply about my children and He is more invested than I in their sanctification. So, maybe… just maybe… I don’t need to be guilty, but just thankful.
Should I pay a little more attention? Probably. Should I beat myself up? No. There is still much to be celebrated in the day to day with our kids even when the unexpected happens. How can you celebrate and find joy instead of crumbling under the could haves and should haves?
And chances are… you’re doing better than me. I mean… come on… who doesn’t know their kid is getting braces?!?!?
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