I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been mom shamed in the emergency room. By another patient, by another patient’s companion, by another mother, and even a doctor.
And tbh I am sick of it. Sick of people giving you that look in the ER as if you did something so bad which got your kid in the ER. I mean the reason we are in the ER is because we need help, because we want our child to get better, because we are trying our best to be a good parent. Cut us some slack please.
The first time I remember getting mom shamed in the ER was by another mother, my son’s classmate’s mother.
I came home late from work to my child running a fever. So I took him to the ER immediately even before I got anything to eat because what kind of mother eats before taking her child to the ER right?
I had my work clothes on, in heels and pearls, I looked like a raccoon with my mascara smudged all over my eyes because they’ve been there since 5:30 am that morning. But it didn’t matter. My kid was sick and we needed help.
My son’s classmate was in there too. There must’ve been a bug going around in school. His mother came over to talk about it. But not without making me feel bad for being a working mother. She made it clear that her son’s condition is not as bad as mine because she’s home all day and she herself takes care of her child 24/7. Implying that unlike me who’s working almost all day who may not have seen the condition first hand.
End of the night we got sent home and his kid got confined. Go figure.
I can’t even begin to tell you about the things I hear from other patients, stuff like “Pabaya ang nanay (irresponsible mother),” by a patient’s companion who after checking on a kid (not mine) felt the need to whisper this to another person.
Oh you’ll be amazed by the crazy things you hear about mothers in the ER, the way people always blame the mother for whatever mishap the kid has gotten himself into.
One time a doctor doing rounds woke me up to ask “So who’s the patient?” Quite sarcastic because I was sleeping on the bed with my two year old. She needed a hug after getting pricked with all those needles in the ER at 3am.
We were all so exhausted from what transpired that night until the wee hours of the morning that we all just collapsed the moment we got a room.
The doctor kept telling me my daughter’s hands were dirty, making this hand gestures seemingly disgusted that my daughter had black stuff on her hands, a few on her cheeks and so many on my shirt.
“What’s that?,” she asked totally disgusted. She then instructed me quite arrogantly to go clean it up. “Her diaper’s full too oh!,” she blurted while giving the nurse a funny glance as if to say what kind of mother is this.
I didn’t bother answering her questions. Because obviously this woman wasn’t doing her job. Obviously this monster didn’t even bother reading the chart.
She didn’t know that we came in at 8pm the night prior and my two year old had to have tubes shoved down her friggin nose. Yes from her nose down her stomach so they can pump boat loads of charcoal in her tummy.
She did ‘t know that my child threw up said black tar looking charcoal onto my shirt many many times. She didn’t know that whilst they were putting the IV and my daughter was wailing in pain and discomfort I was crying in the ER.
My daughter had two of these things in both her hands. She had a tube stuck down her throat. She puked all over her, all over the bed, all over me.
We were all dead tired and sleep deprived. We didn’t have a change of clothes because we ran to the ER without even thinking.
We got into the room at 4 am and this woman came busting in with her shaming early in the morning. I was too exhausted and too disgusted to argue with her.
I don’t know how many mothers have experienced the same thing. I don’t know how many have been openly shamed in a hospital whilst asking for help and expecting treatment for her child only to be ridiculed, and shamed.
Whilst there are so many caring and wonderful mothers and health care professionals out there. There are still a few who I feel got in the wrong profession. That monster of a doctor in the hospital with zero compassion, should not have become a doctor. She doesn’t deserve to be one. And certainly doesn’t deserve to be around sick children and their exhausted mothers.