When Dealing with Your Child’s Crises Causes You to Blame Yourself
Your crisis may not look exactly like mine or hers, but every mom has been there, that moment when your child gets hurt, I mean really hurt, and you find yourself rushing to the ER.
You are in shock, everyone is in shock. For crying out loud, it’s an emergency!
Once you get a moment to think beyond the chaos of the initial impact of the accident, you begin to look for someone or something to BLAME and often times that blame lands on yourself.
As moms, we deeply love our children. None of us ever want to experience walking through illness, accidents, trauma, or crisis with our children.
But chances are, if you are a mom, you will find yourself sitting in the ER at some point because of an accident or a sickness.
And I want to tell you that it doesn't make you a bad mom.
You cannot parent your children well by raising them in a glass house. Life happens and so do accidents.
As a mom of seven, we have had a few trips to the ER for stitches, a broken leg from jumping on a trampoline, and a few sicknesses. It hasn't happened often, but I remember those nights rushing to the ER with a croupy toddler, and I'll never forget the scare from the febrile seizure one of my children had as a baby due to H1N1.
Seeing your child in pain doesn’t get any easier as you mature as a mother or as your child grows up, but you can learn a few things along the way.
One lesson I have learned is that the enemy wants to discourage us and the best way to do this is to hit us when we are down and distracted.
When our focus is not on Jesus, that’s when we are likely to fall into one of the enemy’s traps. We can either begin to believe the lie that we are a failure as a mom, or we can begin to blame others. We need to be aware of this trap so that we can be alert and preach to ourselves to be on guard.
The Blame Game
We live in a society where entitlement attitudes are fed. And along with an entitled heart attitude comes a desire to blame someone else or something for all the bad things that happen in life. In the midst of a crisis, someone who is struggling with an entitlement attitude may begin to look for someone or something to blame. For example, “if that driver hadn’t pulled out just then, I wouldn’t have hit them.”
Or maybe you are the type of parent who thinks your child is perfect and couldn’t possibly have gotten hurt on their own so you automatically jump to conclusions looking for someone, either the friend or other parent, to blame?
But blaming someone else, or even a situation, isn’t going to make anyone feel better. In fact, what it does do is create anger and bitterness against the one that we feel offended by.
On the other hand, you may not struggle with an entitlement attitude.
That doesn’t mean you are free from the blame game. In fact, you may struggle with falling into another trap of blaming yourself.
Have you ever had a child fracture a bone, get burnt, or worse?
If you have, you may have struggled with feelings of failure. You may have had thoughts like, “If only I hadn’t let them jump on the trampoline,” or “If I would have put her to bed early then she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.”
Or maybe you blame your husband, your child, or mom, or _______?
These conversations we have in our mind are deadly. And I feel prompted to remind you that, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Sometimes, accidents just happen. You can’t ALWAYS be there to catch your children, no matter how bad you want to be. It gets harder and harder the more children you have and the older and more independent they are too because they don’t necessarily want you to cuddle them like a 3 year old. BUT, this is an opportunity for us to trust God more.
So we need to remember who we are in Christ, get past thinking about ourselves or trying to make ourselves feel better by blaming someone else, because the blame game is from the enemy and it doesn’t change the outcome of the accident.
Here are some signs that you may be falling into the blame game
You are crying and engaging in negative self-talk that includes “If I only”, “I should have”, “I knew I shouldn’t have”, etc…
You are angry with yourself because you weren’t there or because you gave permission to do something you felt in your gut that you shouldn't have
You are angry at your husband or someone else for what happened. DO NOT LET THIS CREATE A FIGHT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. Be aware of the temptation for this.
If you are concerned that the doctors and nurses will judge you as a bad parent. Just saying! We have all been there, especially us people pleasers who are too concerned about approval of men.
You are thinking about anything other than how to respond to your child, your husband, and those caring for your child in a way that is helpful, loving, and God glorifying.
What you should do in the midst of dealing with the crisis
Stop, catch your breathe, say a pray for wisdom and for the Lord to calm your spirit and bring a wave of peace over you
Engage the situation, be strong for your child, pray out loud over them, teach them to go to their heavenly Father and healer in the name of Jesus
Prepare yourself to have appropriate expectations of your children while waiting in the ER. AS you may know, sometimes there is a LONNNNNG wait in the ER. Prepare yourself to have a servant-heart attitude and be more patient with your children. Keep calm, children often reflect what they sense from their parents. DO NOT get angry with the caregivers or how long things might be taking in the waiting room. We are called to be a light in all circumstances.
This concept is especially true if it is late at night, you have little ones out and waiting in the ER when they really want to be sleeping. Adjusting your expectations of their behavior is essential.
Your Sister in the Journey,
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