Couple of days back, I was having a very bad day. A day when I didn’t want to count my blessings and look at positive side of things. All I wanted to do was sulk, cry and ask why. After a week of multiple ER and urgent care visits, my husband and I found out that our 3 year old son is asthmatic. Something we suspected but weren’t ready to accept.
In the grand scheme of things, it may be pretty tiny. Other than occasional cold and cough, he’s a healthy boy and asthma isn’t the end of the world. But still, this new piece of information stung. And, stung badly!
What he had was deemed to be a pretty severe attack and after multiple nebulizer treatments too, his wheezing didn’t stop. Took him to the ER, where they administered back to back treatments. Next day, another bad flare up. This time the doctor put him on steroids which seem to work after few hours albeit leaving my baby extremely fatigued.
In all of this, as a mom, I felt like a complete failure. Maybe I didn’t breastfeed him enough, maybe didn’t build his immune system enough, maybe didn’t protect him from cold and dust enough…maybe…maybe…
Based on my preliminary research and conversation with the pediatrician, we have to provide preventive care. Need to save him from common cold, germs and infections. But, how exactly do you save a 3 year old from germs? Specially, if you have one of those who revels among germs. As a result, infections don’t attack him, my baby boy invites them.
While I was in the midst of this depressing deluge, somethings completely unrelated dawned on me.
My stress was taking a toll on three of the biggest assets in my life
1) my husband – I had been directing my misplaced anger and agitation towards him. Bickering parents are the worst for a child who’s already under duress.
2) my daughter – being focused on my son, I somewhat neglected my daughter. She too is just a kid and no matter what her mom’s attention shouldn’t be diverted.
3) my son – in the process of obsessing over his health, I was making his happiness secondary. Kids reflect their parents’ emotions and all I was doing was making him well aware of my stressed mindset.
The truth of the matter is that this is our new normal. Maybe not ideal but surely not unmanageable. And definitely, not worth losing faith, hope and high-spirits. Like so many things in parenting, I will falter before finding my footing. But like so many other times, I need to believe that this time too shall pass.