Long Distance (S)Mothering….

The mother of Little Miss, my oldest daughter, is 2450.92 miles from me.  We are on the opposite sides of this country.

This presents its challenges.   The love of her life is away now, serving this great country of ours.  It is his job, his privilege, and his duty.  I understand this, as I am a retired military wife.  This also sucks.  Especially when you have a six month old.

I have tried since he is away to chat online with her daily.  We Skype so we can see her and talk with her and the baby.  Last night, we were able to Skype with her, Little Miss, and her step daughter who is 8 years old.  We had a good visit.  We gooed and cooed with the baby and I made faces with her step daughter.  It was all fun and games.  We blew kisses and hung up.

My evening was continuing for about another hour.  My phone rang and on the other end of the phone was my daughter.  The one I had just Skyped with.  I hear her voice.  I know something is up.  “Mom, how do you know if a toe is broken?”  This is always a good way to start a conversation.  My mind immediately raced.  Okay, I thought, it won’t be Little Miss, she is too little for anything like this to happen to her.  I was right.  I then asked who the toe belonged to.

My daughter eked out a painful, “Mine.”   I take a deep breath.  Okay, I can do this.  I ask the right questions.  What happened, what does it look like, can you move it, are you in great pain, are your neighbors home?  I ask her to take a picture of her foot and send it to me.

Now, I am not a nurse.  I do not own a  medical license.  The only credential I have are the stretch marks and grey hair that show I have survived motherhood.

I look at the picture of her feet.  The first picture was of both of her feet.  I thought that was smart so I could look at an uninjured foot along with the injured one.    I show hubby the photo.  We look at it and say, it may just be a good stoved toe.

We write back and tell her what we think may have happened.  (Like we would know…)  I then tell her that most people I know who have broken their toes usually end up just having it wrapped.  I tell her I really don’t think that there is much to do for a broken toe.  A broken foot needs a cast and possible surgery.  A toe…   well, in my medical opinion….  (Yes, that and a few dollars will buy you a coffee at your favorite shop).

So, thus began a 24 hour session of (S)mothering her.  I tell her to put ice on the toe.  20 minute on, 20 minutes off.  I tell her to elevate it.  I stress the importance of her staying off her foot.

She went online to see what needed to be done.  Since it was a Friday night, all the neighbors were out.  She was in the house with a six month old and an 8-year-old.  My mother’s heart and mind went into overdrive.  I offer to wake friends and have them come and get her.  I have a list of friends I know that would love to hold the baby and others who would drive her to the emergency room.

I suggest everything I could think of.  Hubby, meanwhile keeps reminding me of her age and her ability to figure this out for herself.  He is worried, but he is also confident that she can handle this.

In my mind, I am in a panic that my baby girl hurts and I can’t be there to kiss it and do something!  Anything!  Get her a cup of tea.  Make her toast.   Prop up her foot.   Anything.

I finally stopped chatting with her and let her get on with her evening.  It was a painful evening for her, but she survived.  I am proud of how she has handled it.  Today, the verdict was in, it’s broken.  It hurts.  But, she will get better.

Meanwhile Little Miss is working on her first tooth.  So both of them are in pain and miserable and me?  Well, I really dislike not being able to (S)mother her up close.    Isn’t there a time when you stop worrying about your kids?  I noticed a few more gray hairs today…  soon I will no longer have gray highlights, it’s just going to be all white!

Thanks for stopping by… DAF


Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

12 thoughts on “Long Distance (S)Mothering….

  1. I’m 33, my mum is nearly 60 and she’s my best friend. She does exactly the same thing – she desperately wants to mother my sisters and I and has to consciously take a step back in certain situations as in her mind we’re still children. Im very lucky, and your daughter is too!

  2. The answer to your last question is, never, according to sourced wisdom of my dearly departed mum. Never stop being your children, never stop worrying about them, never stop wanting to (s)mother. Goes with the territory, it seems, as I’m finding out year upon year.
    It’s such a pity distance is a problem but wonderful too that there is Skype and that you’re around to give those virtual hugs. She’s a lucky girl.
    Broken toe is a big ouch as I recollect from accidentally battering my little one off a doorjamb years ago, rushing, as it happens, to respond to a crying child who was perfectly safe in her cot while I fell to the floor! Foot blew up like a balloon, multi-coloured and none too pretty. But nothing to be done but wrap. And hobble.
    So glad you’re there for your misses.x

  3. There really really really needs to be a group on (s)mothering! It’s just our way I guess and until this moment I thought my husband was the only one who suddenly quoted our children’s ages and reminded me that they will figure things out on their own.
    We just love loving our children and that’s a good thing.

  4. Never stops, you just inherited 3 more people to worry about ! I hope Viv doesn’t need walked to get the tooth in !

  5. Oh DAF, I so feel your pain on this on. Both of our children live a distance away, although not as far as your daughter. It is so hard when something happens & we do not have the ability to be right there to help them. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away!

    I am relieved to hear that it was a broken token & not a foot, that would have been awful for her with two children on her own. Hang in there mama, sounds like you are both doing fine!

  6. So far, she needs to be held and cuddled and she can’t rock and hold her with her foot up, so she is learning how to get that done. Crankiness is all over that house now, I am afraid! Thanks Dottie! Love you.

  7. Lynn, thank you… You are always so sweet. I am so glad you stopped by to read today. She is doing okay, of course, this is a new day and I am just hoping she and Little Miss got some sleep last night, that would help them both.

  8. I do not know the agony of long distance mothering because 1 hr 15 mins is a 45 minute drive in an emergency lol…if I drive….but I can tell you it never ends. ..instead of 2 kids to worry over…instead have 10! But I do know that I mother Allison quite differently than Matthew but I wouldn’t change it for the world even if I could….you are an amazing mom who has been thru it all and therefore so able to help them with their mothering needs! You can be so proud…you can are an awesome mom and grandma!

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