Mean Mommy Guilt: When Doing What’s Right Goes Wrong

MLately I’ve been forced to be a very mean mommy. Not “no wire-hangers” mean…but I’ve had to make our daughter Peachy to do all sorts of things Peachy just doesn’t want to do. She’s kicking, and screaming, and pushing me away. She’s crying real tears, practically hyperventilating. She’s beet red…snot nosed…and so very angry at me. The only reason she hasn’t bitten me is a lack of teeth, not a lack of will.

Our daughter, at a mere 10 months, was just came down with Pneumonia. This means all sorts of new things she hates. First is an antibiotic that she literally tries to spit out. Then there’s her old arch nemesis the nasal aspirator and saline solution.

But the newest, and cruelest device torturing her is the nebulizer. My god does this kid hate the nebulizer. We had our first treatment at the pediatrician’s office – which meant the entire office of patients, parents, and staff got to hear my daughter scream her brains out at level 11. It was a full blown meltdown. She sweated so much her clothes and hair were completely soaked through. She looked like someone dumped a bucket of water on her. And as I sat there, literally wrestling her down and holding this mask to her face her eyes locked with mine and that look from her sweet little sobbing face just broke my heart. She can’t understand that I’m not trying to hurt her, I’m trying, desperately, to make her better. She can’t understand that my extreme and unyielding love for her makes this so much more horrible for me than it is for her.

I also had the added bonus of getting to walk out with my angry, sweaty, red-faced and still crying child, so the entire office could see that the kid losing her poo-poo was mine. I was the mean mommy on parade.

As one of the newer moms on the block, this mean mommy guilt is new to me. The feeling that you’re doing your very best but it’s being met with anger and frustration from your little person is such a helpless and thankless feeling. I know one thing – I’m going to need to toughen up and get some thicker skin or I’ll never survive the toddler years.

So how do you deal with mean mommy guilt? How do you cope when doing what’s right and what’s best for them makes your little one upset?


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Stephanie Tsales

Stephanie Tsales

Stephanie is a Senior Director for a global higher education company and a mom to two girls. In addition to navigating life with a toddler and a newborn, she can be found running, drinking wine, or hoarding clothing for her girls.
Stephanie Tsales

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