Letting them Down

@dorannmwin (36698)
United States
March 3, 2010 12:47pm CST
This week has been a very trying week for our family. It started on Sunday evening when I took my husband to the hospital with intense flank and stomach pain. I thought that he had a hot appendix, but it actually turned out that he was suffering from a large kidney stone that was blocking his duct. So, while he was in the hospital I was with him and my mother and the rest of my family were good enough to take care of the children for me. They made sure that my oldest got to school and then also took care of my youngest in shifts. I would have taken the children to the hospital but they are strict about visitors and both children are under 10 years old. Because of the ordeal with their father, I feel like I've been letting the children down. I would like to be able to do something to make it up to them that I didn't get to spend the kind of time with them this week that I would ordinarily do. Have you ever felt like you were letting your children down? What did you do to make it up to them?
9 responses
@katsmeow1213 (29029)
• United States
3 Mar 10
While I can appreciate your concern for your kids.. I personally would not look at this as letting my children down. You had to look after your husband, and your children were taken care of my trusted family members. How is that letting them down? I'm sure they enjoyed spending time with their grandma and other family members. Your children are learning that you're more than just their mom, you're also a wife, and it's important that you see to your husband when he needs you. I think this is a good life experience for the kids. I wouldn't feel as if they were let down, I'd just explain to them how important it was for you to look after their dad while he was ill, and that you would have wanted them there too if you could.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Thank you Kat. I think a lot of the time I do have a tendency to forget that I am more than just a mother. My life since my daughter was born has revolved around her and later her brother. It really makes me feel bad when I don't get to spend the time with them that I am accustomed to.
• United States
4 Mar 10
Moms have a lot of responsibilities, including to themselves. If you don't take care of yourself and your marriage, what kind of mom can you be to your kids? I look forward to getting a little time away from my kids to do something just for me, or for hubby and I as a couple, such as a date night. I never feel bad about not spending that time with the kids. Granted my situation is different, I have 5 kids, so I'm usually a little overwhelmed, and 2 of my kids are not in school yet, so the few breaks that I get are not often at all.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 10
To be completely honest, in the time since my son was born about three and a half years ago, I think that my husband and I have only had one or two date nights. It is difficult to find someone to watch the children because it takes a lot for me to be able to trust someone to babysit them.
@CarmenA (129)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I don't have kids but I would like to say that you sound like a very loving mother. But if you feel they haven't been getting the attention they deserve, maybe you could treat them on an upcoming weekend..say.. to chucke cheese or somewhere like that. I know I would like that if I were a kid. :)
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
They would abolutely love for me to take them to Chuck E Cheese, but I wouldn't so much love it. Instead I am going to be taking them bowling over the weekend with our playgroup. I know that they will enjoy it and it will give them some time to spend with me.
@towongfoo27 (2989)
• United States
3 Mar 10
One idea I have to make it up to your kids is to cook a special meal for them with thier favorite food, perhaps breakfast. I remember when my mom got too bousy with her licensed daycare, she would make me a favorite meal like her lasagna. sometimes my mother would also give me and my brothers a few dollars to buy something special from the toy aisle or the Family Dollar Store for a treat. another idea I have that my mom still does with me is to go to the movies on the weekend, just you and the kids. they will get to spend time with their mom, while watching a movie both you and them enjoy. Maybe you could also put a special treat in the kid's lunches for the day that they wouldn't ordinarily get from you, if you m ake them home lunches. I remember when my mom and family had to move to a new house on the other side of town, so before starting the 6th grade, she took me to Fashion bug to buy only me some special outfits for 6th grade. That was special to me, for I remember it to this day. Yet if department stores and the like are too expensive, you could also go with them to a local thrift store for a treat, too. That might be cheaper but still worthwhile, for you never know what you can find in a thrift store, right? I have found all sorts of little treasures. Maybe you could also do a craft with them, like making a special get well card for daddy, with hearts and stuff all over it from you and the girls? I like this last idea the most! I use to make my mom cards all the time with doilies and hearts! I hope your husband feels better soon, and that you get to spend some time with both your kids and him!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Those are all wonderful ideas. I like to do anything that means that I can spend time with the children. We are supposed to go bowling this weekend with some of our friends and I think this is going to be a special treat for them. But, I also want to do a little something more for/with them.
• United States
4 Mar 10
Yes I have twice. Both where when my two younger children where born and had to be kept in the NICU both over two weeks. It is probably harder on you though then on them. Remember though they miss you they are getting to spend time with family they probably don't get to spend that much time with so for them it was a treat. I did do something to make myself feel better about not being there with them. I made sure to read stories to them while I was around and then we made cards for the sick sister. I also took them each out to eat on their own so they got a little one on one time with me. In the end it was me who felt guilty while they had the time of their lives playing with people who love to spoil them.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Good point and I'm sure that you are right that it hurt me a lot more than it hurt them. The thing is that they are my life and I don't want to ever do anything that could hurt them.
• United States
5 Mar 10
I know what you mean. I am very worried about my 4 yr old and when our new baby comes. She will be just 5 and is used to having a little more attention then she should probably be getting anyway. I know we'll be fine but I don't want to hurt her either, even if she get over it.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 10
When the baby comes, include her as much as possible. Allow her to be a little mother and give her little tasks to do that will help her to feel included. My daughter was almost four years old when Paul was born and that is what we did with her and she didn't have any problems at all adjusting. Also, get a special gift for her from the baby to give to her the first time that she meets her new brother or sister.
@much2say (38742)
• United States
4 Mar 10
As others have said, I don't think you're letting your kids down. Rather, it may be the case that you feel guilty for not being able to spend time with them the way you normally do. At least that's the way I felt when I had the baby a few months ago. My stay at the hospital was longer than expected, and like you said, there was a strict hospital policy of not letting children visit anyone - because of the flu "epidemic". We had planned for my little one to come visit her new baby brother - but even siblings weren't allowed in (when they normally do allow that). I felt sad that my daughter was without me . . . but I know she was in good hands with my parents and hubby when he was at home. So, when I finally did come home and from then on, life and routines have changed. Dealing with a new baby, I've had to lessen the time I would normally have spent with my older one - we can't do "everything" that we used to do or go to places at any time in an instant. Now that things have settled in a lot, it's still "shared time" and that's the way it is. At times, my hubby will take my daughter out to make her feel special "just because". I feel bad I can't spend a lot of alone time with my oldest one . . . yet I feel bad that I haven't done as much for the baby as much as I did for my daughter at that age . . . but I know I'm going to drive myself nuts if I feel bad/guilty all the time about this. And so now, we try to do more "family" things now so that all family members are included. It's not necessarily about her time or his time . . . it's "our" time.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
5 Mar 10
It definitely is a whole different world when you add a second child to your family. I now try to do something special with each of the children on a regular basis so that they both will be able to see that they really are special to me.
@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
4 Mar 10
i didn't feel that you had let your children down at all... not even a bit... your hubby is sick and he needs your care and attention more than your children at the moment... i think your children would be able to understand that... he is also their father anyway... especially you had put them in a good care... so you had done your responsibility as a good mother... just concentrate in looking after your hubby at the moment and i hope he will get well really soon... take care and have a nice day...
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
The thing that made it so difficult for me is the fact that since my son was born almost three and a half years ago, he has only spent the night away from me once (when his daddy had the first surgery in January) and has only been tended to by a babysitter a couple of times. He is very attached to me and I don't want him to start to resent me in any way.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
3 Mar 10
Too many times! Sometimes when the kids will hound me because they want something, and although I've already explained it to them that these things that they want aren't necessary, I still feel that I've let them down on some level. As a parent, I always want to provide for them, but circumstances sometime prevent from giving them everything that they want. Yet, they don't seem to mind. Bless the kids. Hang in there dorannmwin!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
Lord knows I don't want to spoil them by giving them everything that their heart's desire. However, I do want to make sure that they know that we love them and that we are always trying to do what is best for them.
@Hatley (164755)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Mar 10
hi dorannmwin you are much harder on yourself than your children willbe as they understand with their dad so ill and in pain that you had to be with him . you can take them out separately one at atime and have some special time with each child, then together. but I am sure they love'you and know you were really worried about their dad.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I've always been a person that is very hard on myself. It doesn't seem like they are mad at me, but I'm mad at myself because I feel like I failed to a certain extent. At least my daughter did get her Nana to take her to school twice and on the second day Nana bought her breakfast from McDonalds.
3 Mar 10
I am sure your children don't feel that you have let them down at all, even thougt you feel you have. Don't be so down on yourself. You are lucky that you have such a good family to help you out and I am sure the kids were really well cared for. I think all you can do now is just try and get things back to normal. If you feel like doing something special just spend a day out with the kids, take them for an ice cream and tell them how proud of them you are for being so good while you were away. I hope that helps.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Mar 10
That is a good idea. I am going to be taking them bowling this weekend with some of our friends so I think that will show them that I really care about them.