Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What kind of mother does that?

Seriously, what kind of mother does that? Emotions flooded through me as if I was reliving the moment all over again...

When my oldest was about 2-years-old, a slight misinterpretation of a prescription had me feeling like the worst. mom. ever. While 5-6 drops seemed like A LOT of drug to put into her little body, I trusted our pediatrician. The first dropperful of medication was accepted without a fight. However, when my compliant, cooperative child resisted the rest of her medicine, I sought out help. Asking my husband to hold her down, I forced every last drop inside of her mouth.

"Drop". That's different than "dropperful". I reread the prescription. Suddenly, the realization that I had just overdosed my little girl plagued me.

As I dialed the number for poison control, every fiber of my body shook with worry. While the voice on the other end attempted to calm my fears, my thoughts were irrational. All I could think about was how I had poisoned my daughter... and held her down forcefully to do it!

In the moment, I didn't feel fit for the profession of motherhood. I was certain no other woman had ever made this type of monumental mistake! Thankfully, I can laugh now as I recount the story. My daughter is 10-years-old; happy and healthy; without any adverse side effects!

Initially, this was an account I didn't want retold to any other human being. I was ashamed and embarrassed. The temptation to keep the story to myself was strong. The problem with not sharing is that I was pretending that it never happened. I wanted to paint the picture that I was the perfect mom. While far from the truth, it was the mask I wanted to wear.

"The thing about masks is that they never bring us closer to who we were created to be. Masks always make shallow what God has intended to be deep. Friendships. Marriages. Families. Churches. Everything in our lives get cheated when we choose to be fake." - Jill Savage

Today, friends laughed with me as I retold the perceived horror of that day. In turn, I was encouraged with stories of other women and their own personal moments of asking "What kind of a mother does that?” Despite my feelings at the moment, I was not alone.

I am not alone.

Jill Savage's book, No More Perfect Moms, reassures us of just that very thing. As though she is reading my mind, I am comforted that:

You are not the only mom who yelled at your children today.
You are not the only mom who can't seem to keep up with the laundry and the house.
You are not the only mom who has poisoned her child.

Honestly, she didn't list the last one but she could have.

My prayer is that my friends and I will embrace authenticity in an effort to deepen our relationship with God and others. It starts with removing our masks. I need to get honest with myself. I will never be the perfect mom... but apparently, God thought I was the perfect mom for three little girls. I embrace that.

Do you have a "What kind of a mother does that?" story that you can share in an effort to remove your own mask?

The theme for this year's National Hearts at Home Conference (March 15-16) is No More Perfect Moms. Don't miss out on hearing Jill Savage and Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House)! Register by this Wednesday, February 20th for the best deal!


  1. Thank you for being so honest about motherhood Tristi! Years ago, when I was a new mom, I felt like I was failing everyday. Other moms looked like they had it all together. I know now that they probably didnt't. I also know that it's better for the mental health of all of us as women and moms to show our real self and be honest about things. I wish I had this realization 7 years ago!

    1. We all think we need to be perfect as new moms. Three kids later, with the realization that it is simply impossible, I embrace it a lot more.

  2. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one to have misread a prescription label! Thank you for your honesty :-) And I still look up to you as one of the mom's who has it all together- so that story didn't get you off the hook!

    1. Jenna, all you need to do is spend some serious time with me and you'll learn in less than 5 minutes just how imperfect I am. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I should tell you that I'm not a very faithful reader of other blogs, but I love your style. This post made me laugh because although I know accidental overdosing is a serious matter, I actually did the same thing yesterday! Well, sort of. I gave my 4-month-old her evening medication and I had this horrible thought that maybe I had already given it to her. I seriously couldn't remember, even after retracing my steps over the past hour. So I called poison control with a hypothetical and I felt so stupid admitting what happened. I thought about telling them I have nine children (I really only have two) just so I would seem a tad less loony. It ended up not being a serious matter even if I had accidentally doubled the dose, but I never did remember, and I went to bed that night wondering, "What kind of mother does that?" Apparently, every kind. Thanks for the reassurance!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Even if you only ever read today, you've lifted my spirit. It's always nice to know we are not alone!