I feel like I have done one of my children a disservice. Soon after I had him, my husband and I separated. I had to go back to work after being a stay at home mom for four years. I was still nursing. I had to put my boys in day care. I agonized over all this.
I am blessed to have had a lot of people support me and come through for me during that difficult time. My sister kept my boys for me. My mother welcomed me (plus two!) back into my childhood home. My former supervisor found a place for me with the company he worked for at that time. Everything seemed to be working out. My husband and I even began the process of reconciliation.
In the back of my mind, I still feel as if I failed my son. When I have talked with people about this, I am told, “Hey, you did the best you could!” Did I? I was only able to nurse him for about nine months compared to the eighteen months I nursed my firstborn (and the two children I had after him). He is the pickiest eater I have ever met! He was at day care all day almost every day. Was anyone talking to him? Am I responsible for his speech delay because I was not there to talk to him like I did with my other children? When he grows up, will he resent his name because it doesn’t begin with an A like his siblings?
Perhaps my worries are unfounded. My son, Ricochet (like the cartoon rabbit), has bounced off of all those early challenges. He is now a straight A student in first grade. He is the most fun-loving, care-free, responsible child we have – even if he loathes vegetables and dinner entrees. He loves Spider-Man, watching sports with his dad, and running. Lots and lots of running. I can’t believe he sits still in school. His teacher had to send me a photo to prove it.
While it is still a battle to get him to try new foods, Ricochet seems to have suffered no ill effects from my perceived failures as a mother. I’m beginning to cut myself a little slack.