Good Enough Mother

So much is on my mind and I have no idea how to bring it all together. I am hearing more and more about shaken baby syndrome (SBS) or shaken baby syndrome – scurvy and it is scaring me.  I read about it in forums and even my parents are wanting to send me an article about it. I am confused.

I read about vaccine reactions being the cause of SBS and I wonder how a vaccine can cause fractures. The closest I had thought that vaccines could come to causing SBS was a baby being found not breathing and the parent shakes him/her to try and get him/her breathing again. And that the not breathing was somehow related to the recent vaccination. I know there are people far more knowledgeable than me on this issue and I am sure I am missing important information. I was just surprised to have my parents tell me they want to send me an article about SBS for me to share with others . They are totally convinced that there are people who shake their babies and that there needs to be more awareness so that people do not do this. Then I found myself thinking that maybe there are people who do shake their babies. I remember all too clearly the complete desperation when DS was a couple of weeks old and would not stop crying and I had no idea why. In such moments maybe I was vulnerable to shaking my baby? I have also read about uncontrollable crying after vaccinations and maybe parents just do not know what to do with their child and it does not even cross their minds to think of vaccinations. Maybe parents are very stressed out with the new responsibility and often the work pressures that come with trying to balance work and family…. and a crying baby is the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, when it comes to keeping your cool. I just do not understand. I do think there is an unrealistic expectation for parents to be bringing up their young children so very alone and unsupported… but my thoughts are wandering. SBS sounds awful, whatever the reasons – all possibilities are just too awful to contemplate. I hold DS a little tighter and hope that I will never need to know the pain of admitting my infant to ER and on top of that be suspected of abusing my child. It sends shudders down my spine.

In all of my pondering this issue, I was reminded of the phrase “A good enough mother” by Donald Winnicott. There is no such thing as the perfect mother, despite our aspirations, we cannot be perfect. We cannot protect out children from every danger, large and small. It is simply not possible. We can do our best, we can inform ourselves and make the best decisions that we can. I can put rubber corners on all the low furniture corners, but that does not mean DS will not pull himself up in the sofa, loose his balance and get a bump on his head. I can put all cleaning products 2 metres up, but not think to look under the desk where DS found a small coin to put in his mouth. I know that I need to be careful and create a safe environment for my DS, but I also cannot beat myself up when mistakes happen. That is life. (my heart clenches as I write this. How can I as a mum admit that I cannot control everything and ensure that my child will be safe in every possible way? Every fibre of my being wants to ensure that DS will never need to know suffering. Oy, I guess I need to read up some more on Buddhism. Suffering is part of life – no escaping it. But how do you tell yourself that when your own child suffers?)

I often find myself thinking that sociologists will one day look back on this era in the Western World and marvel that people continued to bear children despite the awful circumstances around being a parent (and child for that matter). In Hebrew you say “hafuch al hafuch” – upside down on upside down. Everything is just totally mixed up and confused.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Good Enough Mother

  1. mamawork

    I have since found the documentary done on Alan Yurko and vaccines in America.

    1 1/2 hours that are well worth your time if this is a topic that interests you

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=vaccine+nation#

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