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I Feel Like Such A Bad Parent.


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My fiance is in California right now working a lot of hours. He is gone for the next couple months. We have signed our daughter up for daycare where she can go 5 days a week full time. I dont put her in it that long, but I feel bad doing it at all. I am not working or driving, and I almost feel lazy laying around on the couch or in bed while someone else watches her. I am hoping that its only for another month or so but still.

It is just hard seeing all my friends take their children everywhere and I just wish I could do it. Sorry for the depressing post, I am just having a lot of mommy guilt lately.

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Guest tearose

Hang in there!!!

These hard times do usually pass. Try thinking of the good that is happening for your daughter. She is socializing, learning and having a chance to do creative thing. She is growing and developing and then having quality time with you when she gets home! You are to rest and replenish yourself and then you can give her all you joy and energy!

She will see over time that you had times of weakness and times of strength but that you have this incredible spirit filled of perseverance and love.

You are a good parent! It took love and thought and caring actions to find a program for her. You are doing fine as a parent.

with love,

tearose

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I totally agree w Tearose.

I do understand where you are coming from b/c when my daughter was an infant I was at times unable to provide all of her care due to POTS, and at times also through her toddler years. I remember the intense feelings of guilt and sadness.

My daughter was in day care part time from 10 months on. It was a positive experience for her. Like you, I also felt like it was not the best parenting choice initially, however, I now feel it really helped her develop social skills as a toddler (she had to learn to advocate for herself, negotiate, etc) in a loving environment. Kids who are at home all day with mom may or may not be as advanced in these life skills IMO. I wish I myself had had more exposure to that environment as a kid, rather than as sheltered as I was!

Also her pediatrician told me there are health benefits to being exposed to day care. It's actually apparently good to get regular exposure to viruses etc at a young age--our bodies are built to handle this and experiencing that is part of developing a healthy immune system. My daughter was sick a lot as a toddler but now that she is in elementary she almost never (knock on wood) is out sick, unlike many of her frields. I think b/c she got everything as a toddler!!

Anyway, as long as you feel the day care is providing a safe, loving and stimulating environment, please do not worry about any downsides for her well being. Hopefully (and very likely) you will be feeling better in the months to come and will be able to enjoy more time together. I can tell from your posts that you are a great mom and that is just what she needs!

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When I got POTS, my last child was beginning high school. She was a cheerleader, and I missed ALL but one game in her four years cheering. Here in the deep South, most of the games were too hot(even warm). And, I can't sit in the bleachers, can't stand, etc. So, one game I brought my lawn chair and sat past the goal.

As a cheer-mom, we were supposed to work the concession stand and switch out driving the girls to the away games. Obviously, I did none of those.

Now, she was the pitcher for her high school softball team, and it starts in January. So, I was able to go to most of those games. At the end of the season as it began to warm up, I had to sit in my a/c car and watch what I could from the parking lot.

So, it's not just the missing out on the kids' stuff. I wonder what the other mothers were saying when I wasn't there to drive or work, etc. That's the whole factor I face with older kids, is how my kids felt when THEIR mom was never at their games, etc. or WHY was their mom not helping? I can only imagine what the other parents thought might be the problem with me. I'm sure they were wondering what kind of mother doesn't go watch their kids? If there was only a way to have people know what is going on with someone, so that they understand the WHY part of it. And, to complicate things, to understand that I can only go somewhere where I can sit in my lawn chair, no heat above 78F, no stress....

My daughter asked the other day if I was going to make her college graduation. I said that is 3 years away, we'll see then. I did tell her if I don't get any improvement in my POTS, then no, I won't make it. I already stress about what I'll do when my kids get married!!!! I can't handle stress, good or bad, so a happy wedding is still def too much stress!

One thing I have learned with POTS is to never again judge other people and their capabilities. Like, why isn't so and so helping out? I have learned the hard way that if they could, they would.

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I suffer from a lot of momma guilt!! My kids however are very confident, compassionate, and have adjusted well. I have a babysitter who comes in during the summer. She comes 3 times a week even when I don't have anywhere I need to go. She's able to take my kids outside on hotter days, they have a great time and I get a little rest. I also have the guilt of missing baseball and softball games and totally understand wondering what other parents are thinking. My close friends know I'm sick but parents of teammates don't know and my kids teachers don't know. My daughter's quote ... what is your mom really good at? "SLEEPING" Wonder what that teacher was picturing. My kids all love their schools and love the friends they get to play with. It's really good for them. When I'm having too much momma guilt I try to take a step back and remind myself how blessed I am to be here for them at all. They would be lost without their momma!! I make the most of the good days and get through the bad days. They are very understanding and appreciate the time we do have together!! When I do make a game they are extra excited!!!

Brye

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I face a similar dilemma. My daughter is going to be 3 in August. She has been home with me all this time and has never stayed with anyone, except my mother a few times and that was under very strong protest (on the part of my daughter). She is really freaked out by people and I feel partly to blame because she has been stuck in the house A LOT with just me (and her father and brother) - but mostly just me. I have tried to do library story time, tumble tots class, the park etc., but honestly it has been sporadic and dependent on how I am feeling that day. This is not fair to her. I decided to put her in part time preschool this fall and I struggle with feelings of guilt over this. At 3, she doesn't have to go. And she's gonna be UPSET. :unsure: If I was ok, I feel I would be able to give her all the social outlets and educational experiences she needs. But I'm not, so I think this is what is best for her. Plus, it will give me time to go to a Doctors appointment, do some research, rest or whatever. So Dani, as difficult as it is - I think we're making the right decision and it is only part time (if that helps). I'll bet she will get a lot out of it.

Momtoguiliana: you said it all very well and made ME feel better about this!

Sue: I have a 7 year old also and his activities are picking up. I worry about the things he is going to want to do and whether or not I will be able to come through for him? I hope your children understand. I hope my children will understand. I am hoping if anything, this will make them more compassionate human beings (and hopefully not totally resentful human beings.) I worry that one day when my son gets married I will still be dizzy - at his wedding. I guess this is part of the frantic need to get answers - I want to enjoy them more and I want them to have a normal Mom.

Brye- I'll bet you're right and they wouldn't trade us for the world.

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Oh, and that reminds me, I forgot to add that my kids are all okay! No matter the different family life that pours over into their school and social life(or lack of!), they have actually become very independent. The youngest was able to do all of her things and never complained that I didn't help, etc.

Even though I did/do go through the guilt periods, I do know that what it is is what it is. We work with that and adjust. That is all we can do.

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(I'm sorry, I can never get all my thoughts together at once!)

I did want to add that I am pretty sure that what is most important is that if we are there emotionally for our kids, then I believe our lack of physical participation isn't such a big deal. The kids then know that we truly would be involved if we could.

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Hi dani,

I am an old member that hasn't been on for about a year now, but I decided to read some posts today, and really wanted to answer yours. I just wanted to say that it doesn't matter what your choice is you will feel bad for being sick. I had my kids at home when I first got sick, and it was difficult, but what I wanted to do. I actually had someone tell me that I was being a bad mom, and I should put my kids in daycare because it wasn't fair to them to watch me be sick all the time. That they needed to be around healthy people. They didn't know because they didn't know me very well, but they were around a lot of other people that were well. I didn't know what was wrong with me at the time, and I was angry at myself for being sick. And it didn't help what this person said to me. They also told my husband he should leave me. I pushed to do everything I could to just look normal, and in fact frequently lied, (and still do) that I was feeling better then what I was. I wish I had dealt with my illness, and been better to myself, and not so hard on myself. We all do what we can, and that should be enough. You are doing what you can with a very difficult illness. Make the choices for your life that work for your life. And don't waste your precious energy on guilt. Spend it on what you are going to do with the time that you DO have with your daughter, and be happy.

Suzy

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I love this forum. It really helps me see the other side of the fence when I feel like my side is the only one that *****. I have been struggling with how to make my son's life as normal as possible and allow him to do as many things as normal kids do. He got really depressed last summer because he couldn't get out of the house due to the heat - we tried an air show and he made it for 1 hour and then he almost passed out. I came up with a plan that may help some of you all enjoy your children's events. We are making a modified cooling vest and cooling blanket. It will be reflective on the outside and have pockets for blue ice packs on the underside. He can sit in a lawn chair and essentially be covered by ice while he enjoys the air show, tractor pull, football game etc. He can't play football but he wanted to watch his best friend play but it was too hot. We plan on having a rolling cooler full of extra blue ice blocks as well so that we have more time. This requires extra hands and planning but is worth it for his enjoyment and socialization. We are also working on getting a scooter since he can only walk short distances.

As far as the daycare issue - I stayed home with my son for the first 3 years of his life and that was great but he got too attatched and he hated anyone that wasn't me and anywhere that I wasn't. My daughter has been in daycare since she was 8 weeks old and she is much more accepting of new people and situations. It's like night and day. She has learned so many neat thing that I didn't have the time to teach her - It has been great - we are actually planning to send her there an extra day each week when she turns 2 for the experience and socialization. I have also learned that time apart really does make the heart grow fonder as well. It sounds like you are a very caring Mommy and that is what is important for your kids - My Dad always said it's not the quanity of time but the quality that you spend with your kids - that has held true even to this day. Good luck and hang in there.

Serena

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beautiful words have been said here and i fully agree. i have been feeling very guilty about this in the past and like now my friends here at this forum have helped me through.

there's just one thing i like to add. try to NOT worry about what OTHER mothers/parents might think. i say this for two reasons. the first is that they might think NOTHING and you worry for nothing. the second is that even if they WOULD think badly about you, it is just because they don't know. my youngest son did a project for school where he explained what POTS/dysautonomia is and how it affects his mom. the kids (and teachers) were quite interested and understood why his mom couldn't help at school or take him and his friends on an outing. he was invited by his friends and when they occasionally played at ours they couldn't get enough of the lift that brought them upstairs :)

i really hope everybodies words and experiences will help you and everyone who needs them get to terms with being the great parents that you are.

corina :)

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Hi Dani,

I'm so sorry. :( It is very hard to be a mom with dysautonomia, and sometimes we need help. I have been thinking about you a lot since you posted this topic, and my heart goes out to you. It is hard to not be able to care for children in the way we desire.

I don't know what the difference in cost is between day care and hiring someone to come into your home, but perhaps in-home help would be an option for you. That way your daughter could stay home with you, but you would have someone else there to "be your arms and legs."

My husband helps me a lot at home and with our children. He does all of the cooking and cleaning and shopping, and he does a lot of the active care for the children. I want so much to be able to do the traditional wife and mom stuff, but I just can't do it. My body won't allow me.

For the past 9 months we have had a lot of help with childcare. For a while we had friends who volunteered to take care of our children in their homes while my husband had to be in class. This past semester we hired in-home help in the mornings while my husband was at seminary. The in-home help was much better for us than sending the children elsewhere to be take care of. With in-home help I was never alone, so if I needed someone to bring food to me in bed, get my meds, etc. I had someone there. Our "worker" also helped with some things like laundry and dishes.

Even after all this time, it is still hard for me to be in bed while I can hear or see someone else taking care of my children. I am their mommy, and I want to do it myself! I love playing with my children, teaching them, and just being with them. I wish I could do more for them and with them. Instead, I do what I can. I show them all the love I can, and I help to make sure that their needs are taken care of, even if that means hiring someone else sometimes.

I can tell from your post that you love your daughter; you care for her so much and want what is best for her. It sounds like your heart is in the right place as you make decisions regarding your daughter's care. As time goes on and life changes, I hope that you will be able to find a solution that you are comfortable with and that is satisfying for you and your daughter.

Hugs to you,

Rachel

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Rachel, I could have written that response myself! We too have opted for in- home help over the past year, and it has been a tremendous blessing! I love having the kids around me, and I still get to play with them, sing songs, read books, etc., while also overseeing what they are learning and how they are behaving. it is so hard not being able to take care of my own children, and needing someone with me to take care of them. But they are loved, happy and well-adjusted, and I'm happy to get to enjoy what I can with them :). And although I'm sure you miss your daughter immensely during the day, don't forget that you're doing the best you can with what you've got at this point in time!

I also want to encourage all you POTSy mamas that the physical things are just not as important as the emotional! My mom dealt with major back problems and fibro from the time I was very little, and she missed out on so much stuff as my sister and I grew up. But we never felt like she let us down, or wasn't acting "like a mom". We grew up understanding her limitations, and it made us much more empathetic toward others with health issues. She loved, encouraged, and supported us, and those are the things that we remember now :)

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Thank you all so much for the encouraging words. As much as I dont want anyone else to go through this, it is nice knowing that I am definitely not the only one who struggles with this issue.

I think its just the sheer frustration of not being able to do what I want. I wish my body would work with my mind, but nope. I am going to look into a person coming in because I dont think I can handle the daycare illnesses right now that my daughter would bring home. She has only been there two weeks and I am already sick! UGH <_<

I could not imagine having a child sick with this! That must be so hard. Children just dont understand like adults do. If that is the one thing I could control, it would be that my daughter would never get this. As hard as it is everyday dealing with it, I would NEVER want her to experience this. My heart goes out to all those children with dysautonomia.

I think its just me having to also make a hard decision right now of having more children or not. I always have wanted to, but I know I am extremely lucky to have even one. My doctor told me if I wanted more that I should do it within the next couple years because my POTS will handle it better when I am young. Its a tough decision because selfishly, I really want another one. But I dont want to bring another child into this world when its hard enough right now. I am going to give it a year or so and see where I am at, but the possibility of not being able to have another makes me really depressed.

I was going to write something else, but i completely forgot LOL. Brain fog and sickness does not suit me :]

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I had a very difficult pregnancy, birth and post partum at age 34 due to POTS. Opted not to have another pregnancy. Initially I was good with this, b/c every time I even thought about what I went through I could not think about doing it again, especially with a young child already and my family depending on my income. But as time went on I admit that is has been painful to watch almost everyone I know have all the children they want. It feels very lonely and unfair at times. Maybe b/c I grew up with 3 siblings, too, it makes it harder. I completely understand why women will go to extreme lengths and suffering to have children. I also understand how hard decisions about having a child, or not, can be.

On the positive side, my daughter has an awesome life and she is not lonely. We live in a neighborhood with children her age and the kids are nearly like siblings, playing together all the time, in and out of each other's homes. My daaughter and I are also very close--much closer than I could be to my mom who had 3 others besides me.

Adoption and foster care are other options too that can be just as fulfilling (I have friends who were unable to have children who are extremely happy parents of adopted children).

Anyway, just want to say that I know it is hard.

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. . . .We have signed our daughter up for daycare where she can go 5 days a week full time. I dont put her in it that long, but I feel bad doing it at all. I am not working or driving, and I almost feel lazy laying around on the couch or in bed while someone else watches her.

You did exactly what any loving mother would do under these circumstances. She'll probably thrive in daycare. You're a very loving mommy, but I think we've all experienced mommy guilt. A lot of it.

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I could have posted this myself. I did have to send both of my kids to daycare while I was home for the first 8 months. Now I work in a prek!

I felt so guilty and I still do, I get home and only want to lie down, make dinner, clean up? Ha! I am at work now with a virus my daughter had this weekend, feel horrible. Like you I'll take this if it means my kids will never get it. Feels like my life is over, I know it is not but that is how I feel.

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