I have been failing my daughter and didn't know it. Enter the mom guilt.
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Have you ever received news that made you feel like the worst parent ever? Even if you knew what the Doctor and Therapist were going to say?
This past week I got the news that I have kept pushing to the back of my brain, maybe if I ignore it it will go away or correct itself. I’m going to be honest, I always knew that Emily has a speech delay, but I wasn’t prepared for how delayed.
It is always hard for a mother to hear that her child isn’t perfect. I’m not interested in perfect, I will settle for average or normal at this stage.
We visited an Occupational Therapist to have some tests done on Emily and to see how far delayed she is developmentally and to set out some therapy objectives. Early intervention is always the best.
Now that the Therapy sessions are all set up, I keep wondering if there was anything that I could have done, not done or done differently. Em is by no means mentally challenged but as a Mother, I want the best for my child and hate that she gets so frustrated as she can’t effectively express herself. As a result of her speech delay, she is having a hard time making friends at school, which breaks my heart.
While sitting in the OT office, I had a million thoughts about how I had failed my little girl. My one job, my most important job and I had failed her.
Was it because I was a working mom and wasn’t at home to ensure she met her milestones while she was an infant? Maybe she should have gone to creche earlier or done more Mommy and Me classes? Should I have organized more play dates and made more of an effort to make friends with kids Emily’s age?
Should I have done more Pinterest / crafty mom stuff? Should I have tried to breastfeed longer or added more vitamins in her milk?
Emily is so clumsy maybe a previous head trauma or illness has caused this delay? When I noticed she had a speech delay should I have taken her for tests?
Then I started blaming my genes and thinking I passed faulty DNA onto my daughter! I tell you, it’s a slippery slope.
The mom guilt is like a tight knot in my stomach. I did notice a speech delay however it was at a time when my life was a whirlwind. I was working full time; my husband had just switched jobs and was incredibly unhappy and then my mother was diagnosed with cancer and died a few short months later. Financially things were tight and life was rough. It pains me to think that my little girl bore the brunt of this. What type of mother doesn’t notice that her daughter is struggling because the mother was so wrapped up in her own issues? Well, it seems like the answer is a well-meaning one that was just overwhelmed by life.
I do feel that now I’m in a better emotional state to confront and deal with this situation. My sister and I both did O.T throughout school and both graduated from college. Strangely enough, I’m almost relieved that now we are working with professionals to help my daughter. She may not be an A Grader, but I don’t care about that, I want her to be happy and will do anything possible to assist her. I have spent hours trawling Pinterest for Sensory activities and ways to help her with her Speech.
Expect tons of sensory activities and photos to flood my Socials.
Do you have any great Sensory activities that you would like to share?