Sometimes I panic.
It never fails that every time I feel like I'm getting things "under control" and that I have a handle on parenthood/career/family/life, something happens and the "crap" hits the fan. When crap hits the fan (literally or metaphorically), I feel like a total failure... and that sucks.
Yesterday, five minutes before I needed to leave for a meeting with the Clayton County Artists, our local artist group, I was playing outside with Emmajean and "crap hit the fan". I had turned around for one second and my two-year-old had a broken off mushroom and had it in her hand. PANICKED, I grabbed the mushroom and swiped her mouth to make sure there was none in her mouth. I quickly searched the ground. I saw a broken off piece on the ground, but it didn't complete the broken mushroom in her hand. My heart sank. I asked her if she ate the mushroom and she said, "No!" I asked, "Did you lick the mushroom?" She said, "No."
Could she have eaten a small portion of this mushroom? Is she old enough to know how to lie? Would putting it in her mouth cause any harm in itself? Was I going to rush her to the emergency room for picking up a mushroom? Am I a crazy mom overreacting?
I calmed myself (as much as possible). We went inside, washed hands, and I immediately messaged images and the situation to a few close friends who work with DNR. They were great and let me know that I needed to watch her for any signs of discomfort for the next 30 minutes to four hours, but that she was probably fine. The mushroom didn't look like one of the deadly ones, but it definitely didn't look like an edible one either. I cringe to even use the word "deadly" in the same post where I'm talking about my little one.
After the air had calmed, I leaned down one more time and asked Emmajean if she had eaten the mushroom and she said, "No, I kicked it!" I do believe she was telling the truth. She stuck to her story, so I tried to remain calm and pray for the best.
Knowing I was the one hosting and supposed to present at the artist meeting, I loaded my things into the van and left E her with Grandmommy and Grandpa. If there was the slightest sign that was something wrong, they would call me and we would take her to the emergency room.
Let me tell you, it was not the best feeling driving away...things like: failure, bad mom, how could I have let it happen, fear, all flooded my mind.
As I got closer to G's Closet and Gallery, where we were having our meeting, the tears began to flood my eyes. I carried in my things through stifled sobs and my friends in the artist group comforted me. Several of them shared their own stories and I didn't feel like such a failure anymore. We continued with the meeting, knowing I would leave if called.
I messaged Zach about half an hour into the meeting and baby girl was acting totally normal. I have to think she was telling me the truth and didn't eat any of that darn mushroom.
The meeting wrapped up, I got home, and still no signs of discomfort. Four hours later we were in the clear and all slept easy.
It's days like yesterday that I'm the hardest on myself. It's also days like yesterday that remind me that I can't control everything and accidents happen to everyone. I am so glad I caught her immediately, that she was able to tell me she didn't eat the mushroom, and that I have such an amazing network of friends and family who support and care about us.
Having a kid has been the most amazing, scariest, and biggest growing experience ever. I'm learning to accept that there will be days that I feel like a failure, days of fear, anxiety, and even full-blown panic, but that is LIFE... and life is beautiful.
To all of you struggling with anything in your life, feeling hard on yourself, feeling low or unable... Keep doing your best and know that YOU are ENOUGH....even on the days that aren't picture perfect!