guilt

There’s been quite a bit of discussion in the Photo Gallery comments sections on the guilt that we parents often feel (myself included), especially when we first learn that our child might have vision problems.  I wanted to acknowledge just how common this is.  I was floored when I started talking to other parents and realized I wasn’t the only one to be really upset by the news, even though I knew intellectually that Zoe’s eye problems are relatively minor, they still really threw me for a loop.  It’s easy to wonder what you might have done to cause it, how you could have missed the signs, but eye problems are not result of anything we did, and the signs can be so easy to miss.  But if you’re here, it’s probably because you’re getting your child’s eyes treated, which means you’re doing everything you can to help your child and there’s not a thing to feel guilty about (at least in terms of your child’s vision – those thank you notes I still haven’t written, those I can still feel a bit guilty about 🙂  ).   I don’t have anything profound to say beyond that, other than to let everyone know that they’re not alone in those feelings.

A picture of Zoe that triggers my guilt-reflex.  From May 2008.  I kept trying to convince myself that her eyes weren't crossing again, but it's clear looking back that they were.

A picture of Zoe that triggers my guilt-reflex. From May 2008. I kept trying to convince myself that her eyes weren't crossing again, but it's clear looking back that they were.

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4 responses to “guilt

  1. You are so right Ann it is so reassuring to know that we are not alone in these feelings and it is ok and normal to feel that way. We all want the absolute best for our kids. I went through a very hard time just recently convinced that it was definitely something I did during pregnancy, some kind of medication I took, something I ate etc etc that caused Paris eye problem…… to a point where I was becoming quite depressed about it. I had to pull myself together and put it into perspective! But that does not take away from the fact that it is still on my mind 24/7. I just want to make a special note to you Ann, to thank you for being so proactive and starting this blog. It is such a great help and comfort. Thank you…..
    Ingrid 🙂

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  2. I also want to thank you Ann for this website. It’s a great community for support & knowledge. It was something I wish I had when Aubrie was diagnosed. She also has minor vision issues amd just needed glasses for farsightedness, but I still felt like I had failed her in some way. I had traveled to China for work very early in my pregnancy & I was just sure it was something I had over there when her eyes were developing! I was very upset about covering her eyes with glasses. I even looked kids up wearing glasses & cried at my desk at work. So silly now b/c she’s just too cute in glasses! I can’t imagine her without them. I think the guilt is very normal so it’s good to know we’re not alone and we didn’t do anything to cause it 🙂 This website is awesome & I had the pleasure of referring another parent to it recently to help them in their transition. Thanks again!

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  3. I definitely agree that guilt is something that we all have had to or are dealing with when it comes to our children’s eye sight or any other problem for that matter. I think it is great that we can have a website to confide in each other when we do feel this way, because we all do! Thanks Ann for a wonderful website and the countless hours you spent working on it!!!! Whenever I feel guilty, I too need to remember that even if there was something I could have done differently, feeling guilty and hanging onto that guilt won’t fix the current situation, and I have to move on to be the “mama” that I need to be to my girls. The more I dwell on what I could have or should have done or not done, the more discouraged I get and the harder it becomes to deal with the health issues that our girls have. One more thing, when you as a parent think that there is something wrong, go with your instinct and have it checked out. The sooner the better! I think that is the biggest guilt feeling I have with my oldest daughter (not a vision problem, but a hearing loss)! Even if your pediatrician thinks you are crazy or no one else notices, or you try to convince yourself that it’s surely not true! Have it checked out! It won’t hurt anyone to know that it is not true, but if it is true, then you can do something about it before it becomes much harder! Thanks Ann!!!!

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