Nell loves the song Mother Knows Best from the Disney movie Tangled. The more I listen to it the more I wonder, do I know best?
So often I hear, “YOU are her mom, YOU know what’s best for her!” And just as often I wonder, “Do I really?” Sometimes I feel inadequate.
Don’t get me wrong, yes I DO know what’s best for her. Bryan and I both do. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have been hand picked by God to be her parents. But in all honesty I find myself wondering if I really know what I should be doing. Am I making the right decisions? Am I choosing the right parenting techniques? Am I making choices that will guide her to being a kind person?
There are so many things, just in one day, that constantly have me questioning if I’ve done the right thing. Am I giving her good, balanced meals? Is she getting enough learning, hands-on time with her toys? Do I let her watch too much TV? Did I yell or was I just being firm? Should I have told her “no” or just let her [insert behavior/act here]? Literally…ALL DAY LONG.
Two days ago Bryan and I noticed a small bug bite on Nell’s foot. My first reaction was, “poor baby, that probably doesn’t feel good”, but it wasn’t her first so I didn’t think too much about it. Then yesterday I noticed the bite had become very swollen, red, and firm to the touch. She had never had a bite do this before. Of course, I called my mom. I’m very blessed to have someone I can call to help when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. She, and my brother both, said that I shouldn’t worry too much since her behavior hadn’t changed and she didn’t have a fever. I gave her some children’s ibuprofen and put some hydrocortisone on her foot. I figured that would help and it would be better by morning. Nope.
Her bite just looks worse. Her shoes rub up against it and have caused irritation. I called to get her in to see her doctor, because no one has time to sit for hours in urgent care with a toddler. We won’t be able to see him until tomorrow and now I’m wondering if I should have just taken her to urgent care.
You guys, this is just one of many times I’ve felt this. A few months ago she developed a really high fever – 103. It was 2am and I honestly couldn’t decide if we needed to get in the car and just go to the ER. So, I woke up my mom. Thankfully, at this point, she had already retired – I felt less bad. She came in and felt Nell’s forehead and suggested just calling the after hours nurse line. I told the nurse the things I had already done – given her children’s Tylenol and attempted a cold bath. The, very sweet, nurse said that there wouldn’t be much doctors would or could do for her until she hit 104 degrees. And she reassured me that I had already done everything they would have suggested. She giggled a little and said, “Mama, you’re doing great. Stop worrying, keep an eye on her, and know that you have done everything right”. That may have made me cry a little. That reassurance is something every mama needs whether they’ve got one or six kids.
There will probably never be a day where I don’t question myself. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it can be humbling to question yourself a little. Really, Nellie is doing great. She’s healthy, growing, and happy. She’s a normal toddler (my little toddler terrorist) and that’s really what’s best for her. So, if I were making the wrong choices would the previous statements remain true? No, they wouldn’t.
I am what’s best for her. The choices I make and the things I do are best for her. Bryan and I were picked just for Nell. And as long as we love her and guide her to living a life with Christ at the center, we’re doing it right.