Should There Be A Parenting Handbook?

We have a running joke in my family about the “Parenting Handbook.”  Whenever we have a problem with our daughter, my dad says, “Well, did you look in the ‘Parenting Handbook’? Your answer should be in there.”  So my question is, why isn’t there one? I think I should invent one. I’d either be a billionaire, or I’d get sued for inaccurate information. I still think maybe I will do it, after I recover from the week i just had.

If there was one, would it tell me that when my daughter caught RSV she would be so sick that she would barely be able to move for over a week? Would it tell me that it would turn into pneumonia in both lungs? Would it tell me that I would have the scariest nights of my life, as I slept on her floor waiting for her to stop breathing? Is her breathing labored? Is her belly retracting? Would it tell me to trust my gut? Would it tell me I have to be strong for her? I have so many more questions. Why, why, why? My poor baby.

This week has been very eye-opening. Not just for me as a mother, but for me as a wife. More times than not, I doubt my ability to be a mom. Am I doing a good job? Am I cut out for this? Can I really keep her safe? As far as my marriage, my husband and I have a pretty good relationship. Sure, we have our disagreements (mainly because he doesn’t know that I’m always right), but we love each other and are always on each other’s side. Most importantly, we have our daughter’s best interest at heart.  This week, we really came together for our daughter. We took turns sleeping on her floor, night after night. We took turns taking off work to care for her. We took turns trying to coerce her into taking her medicine, and being “bad cop” when we had to force her to take it. We took turns having meltdowns, because both parents can’t have a meltdown at the same time. We took turns in the hospital when she had to get her IV inserted several times because she kept ripping it out, or when we had to hold her down to have her nose suctioned. This week has been a tough one, but God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle, right?

This week taught me that I can’t control everything. I try. I try really hard. I try to keep my daughter safe, and this week I had to keep trying to convince myself that her getting sick wasn’t my fault. I feel like I failed. I kept praying to let me be this sick, and to take away her pain. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child sick and in pain, and every parent can relate to that.

This week will take us a while to get over.  Luckily, she will forget it before we do, and I guess that’s all that matters.  I might even get that “bubble” that everyone always tells me I should put her in. Amazon should have that, right? Amazon has everything.

I was sitting in the hospital as I wrote this, and I was praying that Sunday was the day we were getting discharged. Thank God she was improving and we got to go home. Hearing my baby girl saying, “mommy, go home, please” broke my heart. Luckily, she got her wish, and we got ours. Say some prayers for my sweet girl. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we are definitely on our way to recovery.

Thank you for reading and look for my published “Parenting Handbook” in a year or two.

Meghan

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