The One Where I Feel Like a Failure

*Note – If you don’t like hearing about poop or other things pertaining to the potty, you may not want to read this post.  And you may not want to be eating anything while reading this post.  Just a heads up.*

This mothering business is awesome and wonderful and precious and it’s the whole reason why I blog.

But holy poop (and I mean poop.  Read on).

This mothering business is H-A-R-D.

I come to you tonight with some pretty raw feelings, friends.  These last few weeks have not been easy for me as a mama.  In fact, I have wondered on more than one occasion why in the world we prayed so hard to have kids!

{{gasp!!!!}}

I know, I know.  Happy Home Fairy?!?!  What are you saying!??!  You are a FRAUD.

Ohhhh, but it happened.  And it feels strangely therapeutic to share it with the thousands of you, sweet readers (who I pray won’t judge me). :-)

It all began about a month ago when the Happy Baby started having the WORST constipation on the planet (or so I thought – keep reading).

I had just switched his formulas and his little body needed some time to get used to the new one.  Meanwhile, about every couple of hours he would have these ‘poop attacks’ where he just needed to grunt and cry and push and be held for a good 15 minutes while he worked away.

Well, big brother started to get a bit jealous of all the attention little brother was getting so big brother decided to go park it on the potty and push his ever-living… POOP SACK OUT.

Yup, you read that right.  My son pushed so hard that he had what, in the medical world, is known as a rectal prolapse.

Basically it means that the inner lining of his rectum fell out.

(Hey, I warned you at the beginning of the post.)

When I came into the bathroom and found him bent over with what looked like a brain hanging out of his body, I almost lost my marbles.  Or my lunch.  Probably both happened.  I don’t really remember because I was in a self-induced coma.

Of course the Happy Hubby was not home when this seemingly impossible situation occurred.  So I frantically called my mother-in-law who informed me that I needed to PUSH IT BACK IN.

Dear Mommy friends, I pray that you never EVER have to become as acquainted with your child’s physical insides as I did that fateful night.

So I mustered up every ounce of strength I possibly could and I stuffed that thing back in.  Then I excused myself to the bedroom where I rolled into a ball and rocked back and forth for about an hour.  I do not think I blinked once for that entire 60 minutes.

The doctor informed me the next day that she didn’t think the Happy Buddy was jealous at all.  She thought he had really been dealing with some serious constipation too.

I brushed off her comment.  He definitely had poop issues, but he was just being a big brother.

Several weeks have passed and he is still having problems.

I feel like for the last 9 days all we have done is hang out in the bathroom (note my daily posts dwindling to 3 a week – if I’m lucky.  Poop is not very inspiring.  Just sayin’.), with nothing to validate our time as well spent.

Long story short, we ended up at the doctor again today where I told her about the constipation and some other strange symptoms he was experiencing (I’ll spare you the details here as I am sure you are still recovering from the prolapse.  I don’t think I will ever recover from that).

She nodded her head and then she started grilling me about the Happy Buddy’s eating habits.

And the more questions she asked, the more terrible I felt.

Doctor: How much water is he drinking?

Me: Uhhhh… I know he drinks some before bed and maybe at lunch time?

Doctor:  What kinds of fruits and vegetables is he eating?

Me: Uhhh… do those squeeze-y things count????

Why couldn’t she ask me questions like, “How many fun activities did you do this week?”

Then to finish the whole conversation off with a punch to the gut she basically informed me that I needed to overhaul our son’s diet in order to get him regulated…  OR HE COULD DIE.

I am not even kidding.  Apparently he is not just constipated, he is OBstipated, which is way worse and means his bowels could literally RUPTURE and he could die.

Sometimes I feel like my life is a constant state of CRISIS.  It started with the Happy Baby’s birth and hasn’t really stopped and seems to bop back and forth between children.  Is this just me or is there anyone else out there who feels like they are always in a metaphorical ambulance?!?

Needless to say, I walked away from that appointment feeling quite defeated.  We’ve struggled with the Happy Buddy being a picky eater.  I’ve tried all the picky eater tricks out there.  He gives me an appreciative pat on the back when I turn his grapes into a caterpillar or his apple slices into a sun, but he won’t touch ‘em.  He is too smart for the whole “Look at these magical little green trees!” bit.  And I even bought that cookbook by Seinfield’s wife about hiding vegetables in everything, but he was not to be fooled.

This kid knows how to fight and, to be honest, I have let him win over and over because it is easier.

That is where the word FAILURE popped into my brain today as the doctor’s words rang in my ears…  You are literally killing your son by giving in to his demands.  You don’t know how to feed your child, or your family, for that matter (don’t even get me started on the Happy Baby’s eating issues).

Ironically we didn’t have any food in the house and I had planned to stop at Publix to get some things for dinner on the way home from our doom and gloom appointment.  I called my mom as I drove to the store and basically said, “The doctor told me he has a condition that could make him DIE.  I can’t believe this is my life!”

:-(

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself at this point.  Why does it seem so easy for other people to get their kids to eat fruits and vegetables (or on a grander scale – simply keep them alive?)??  I follow so-and-so on Instagram and she posts photos all the time of cute Target kid lunch plates piled high with strawberries and broccoli and happy children munching away.  Why do I have to stand on my head to get my kids to even open their mouths for something that is not beige?!?!?!

Seriously, when I get to heaven I am asking God why He didn’t make cauliflower taste like chocolate.

<<<<<<Insert gospel choir shouting “Amen!” here.>>>>>>

So there I am in the grocery store hating the fact that I bear the weight of responsibility for this precious, incredible, super strong-willed boy.  Hating myself for letting us get this far down the road of picky eating.  And hating that I have to make the changes and do the hard thing of teaching my child what is good for him in the way of asparagus and kiwi.

I mean, I already pushed the poop sack in, I kind of feel like I should be exempt from every other difficult aspect of being a mom.

And right in that moment when I was literally thinking, “You are the worst mom in. the. universe.” I looked up and saw this.

balloon of encouragement

There, floating above the vegetables, no less, was a word from the Lord.

Who put a balloon in the produce basket I will never know.

But I know that my God cares about me and wanted me to hear that message in that moment.

Tears filled my eyes and I knew we’d get through this.

Just as with all the other hard mommy things He has seen me through.

He gives the grace and the strength to fail forward.

A little Miralax and hopefully we’ll be back in business.  A little alarm in my amazing new iPhone to remind him to drink water.

Then we’re going to be making some changes around our Happy Home with regard to the way the Happy Buddy eats.

Veggie Boot Camp, here we come.

I am not a failure.

I am a special mom.

Special in that I am the mommy God chose to care for these completely amazing and complex children.

Not so-and-so on Instagram.

Me.

Unique and marvelous me.

Unique in my sins, yes.

But loved by a God who can redeem them and make a whole lotta good come out of something that seems so… well, poopy.

Like maybe one day I will be able to write a book for moms called How to Be Okay When Your Kid’s Poop Sack Falls Out.

- Julie

“But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

*I sure would appreciate your prayers more than your advice in this.  I am very fragile at the moment and being told more clever ways about getting picky eaters to eat will just overwhelm my heart.  I feel so much better just writing this and knowing that y’all are here for me.  I am also super thankful that you made it to the bottom of this post – hopefully without ralphing. :-)  Xoxo*

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99 thoughts on “The One Where I Feel Like a Failure

  1. Absolutely no judgment or tips from this mama- just someone who knows how horrible it is to watch your child be in constant pain and distress from something that *should be* a completely natural and easy thing to do. My mommy heart hurts for you guys and I’ll be praying for your tender heart. The beauty of grace…

  2. I was recently informed my 15 month old was anemic…probably because the only fruit and veggies he will eat comes from a squeez-y thingy while watching a tv show. I have felt like a horrible Mom. I have vowed to not give in to the picky eater…but have cried so many tears of feeling like a failure in a world of perfect mommies with perfect toddlers that ask for kale in their organic smoothie…thanks for being honest. It helps me to know I’m not alone. I’m praying for you and specifically for some magic taste buds in both our little guys ;)

  3. Oh goodness, you poor mama!!!!! Although I have not experienced pushing the poop sack back in (only hemorrhoids) I have 5 kids and poop talk is so completely normal that I was almost daring you at the beginning of your post to “bring it”. :) and you did not disappoint!!! Ok, I know that you don’t want advice. I have only had two out of five dealing with constipation. Not bad odds, heh? With my oldest, I cut back on milk (we don’t drink milk now) and gave him diluted fruit and veggie juice. Worked well whenever he had problems. My second problem pooper is completely off dairy and we still deal with pooping (or rather non pooping) issues. And she loves fruits and veggies!!! Go figure! All the best in figuring this thing out.

  4. Julie,

    You are such a great mom! You care about your boys so much and have done beyond what one would think is humanly possible in caring for them. You guys will get through this and you will be so happy when you look back ad see the beginnings of your children becoming veggie-lovers. You don’t let those tears or begs or pleads or cries hurt your precious heart. This story was wonderful- poopy parts and all. That balloon says so much. It’s always when we need Him most that he gives us those precious moments. You can do it! We are all cheering you on!

  5. I have two super picky kids…..one will eat carrots, green beans and cucumbers and one will only eat green beans and cucumbers. If you figure out a way to get yours to eat veggies, PLEASE share that info with me! Nice to know my kids aren’t the only vegetable resistant ones out there! Good luck and I got my fingers crossed for you!

  6. Julie – I am a new follower of your posts and am very encouraged and blessed by your posts every time I read them . . . so thank you. Hang in there on this issue and you have my prayers. I’m in the same boat with you lady and don’t have the answers either. Right about now I’m just praying that my VERY PICKY eater doesn’t have HIS poop sack fall out and that I can figure out how to get him to eat better before we get into some REAL poop (so to speak). I’ll look forward to your future posts to hear any good ideas that you may find that work (and I’ll anxiously try them myself). Prayers with you and your Little Buddy.
    Jennifer

  7. You don’t know me but I AM praying for you – even before I got to the end of the post, I was moved to prayer. I have felt like a failure too as a Mom and wondered how I let things get so “bad.” But what an awesome and timely “message” from God reminding you of His love for you and your sons! He chose YOU to be their Mom and you ARE the BEST Mom for them!

  8. This makes me laugh, because I have been feeling like the WORST mom ever. Most of my 5 children seem to all have minor chronic health issues, from speech impairment to a nails-on-the-board, un-diagnosable cough. So I’m laughing because it seems to me like all the blogging, homeschooling, mothers of ten, organic-food-feeders have it all together, and I’m jut glad to find one that is human. I KNOW I need to feed my kids better, and take better care of myself, but THIS post-partum, homeschooling, mostly home alone while hubby works mom, is dying because I can barely make spaghetti for dinner, much less organic anything. Feel like a failure? Yep, I do. But I’m glad I can hear from someone else that God loves me anyway, and cares enough to put balloons in green peppers :)

    PS. One of my toddlers fell in the bathtub and landed on a suction cup thingy which went up in her bottom and tore her rectum. There was blood everywhere. Worst. Scary. Feeling. Ever. (She wound up being fine, though.) I too, felt that I should have been given a pass from all mommy emergencies for at least a year ;)
    P.P.S. Try the cookbook “Deceptively Delicious,” the one where they give you recipes for chocolate cake with beets in it, and sneak vegetables into everything.
    Blessings to you and your happy home <3.

    • Chrissy, thank you for making me cry as I sit hear reading this blog because I am too tired from planning my homeschool schedule to get up and make the simple spaghetti meal I had planned for my five kids. It is good to know I am not alone. I love a God who uses a blog to bless you enough to comment so your words could bless me!

  9. Thank you for being willing to be so honest and vulnerable. Here I was, feeling sorry for myself and my kiddos (who have ezcema) and God uses you to remind me that we all got our problems! And that He loves us in the midst of it all. I pray His blessings on your precious family today.

  10. I love it that God sent you a balloon, Julie. Isn’t that just like Him? So sorry for your struggles. You are not alone in dealing with prolapsed body parts, picky eaters, or feelings of failure as a mom, although I’ll spare you the personal details. Please don’t be discouraged. You ARE a special mom! And your happy home is a blessing to so, so many, even on days that aren’t as happy as normal.

  11. Happy Home Fairy, I love you! Bless your heart! I’m sorry you and your family are going through such a rough time, but I so admire how you can take this horrifying experience and share it with everyone and be so funny about it too! You always manage to take the scariest or most stressful stories and brighten them up for everyone. Praying for you and your family!

  12. I just have to say, I just read this post and laughed so hard I cried. And woke up my husband. I hope i never have to push a poop sack back into anyones body. Clearly, you are an attentive and loving mom. This whole parenting thing is full of adventures!

  13. ok. i dont even know what to say about this. my daughter has encopresis that we have been dealing with for a couple of years, and i thought that was the worst it could get………b/c, believe me, its pretty bad. but we have never had something of that magnitude happen to us, despite giving her tons of laxatives and at times, enemas and suppositories. i feel for you. seriously. but it sounds like you are dealing with it the best you can and i applaud you. if your child is ever given a diagnosis of encopresis, i will have some advice for you. till then, best of luck :)

  14. Your journey is uniquely your own. But you are never alone. You are the inspiring person you have always been, you are a mother, wife,friend ect. But you are only human. Try your best. Do better when you know better and teach faith hope love. Then your journey in life will be fulfilled. And you are a good Mom. Thank You for telling the good with the bad..In this age of media people like to look their best at all times and life is messy…and sometimes poop hits the fan…:)

  15. Don’t feel bad, I went through this when my son was around 7. He was on Miralax for a year! But we got his diet adjusted and and things improved. He even likes lots if veggies to this day. It took lots of servings of him only taking 3 bites ( my requirement) and having to toss. But it will happen. And I remember being so hard on myself as well. We’re only human and as mommies, we are learning as we go. I pray that The Lord lifts you up and guides you. Amen!

  16. You are NOT a failure. Sometimes I wonder how my “baby” now 18, got to 18! We too had major poop issues. Not pleasant at all, I sympathize with you from the bottom of my heart. I know you don’t want advise, however, Feed me I’m Yours by Vicki Lanskey (sp on last name ?) got me back on track with my then picky eater. Don’t judge yourself, I am sure you are an amazing Mom! One day at a time filled with God’s love will get you through…It did me! Big Ol’ Hugs from a stranger who’s been there! God Bless you all! : )

  17. Oh goodness!!! This brought tears to my eyes. Our Father is just amazing! Count on my prayers and Thank YOU for your transparency; your realness! Motherhood truly is the most challenging, yet the most rewarding thing we will EVER experience. Many blessings to you and your beautiful, HAPPY family!

  18. You are a mother. Nobody every said it was going to be easy, tear-free, likeable,…however, I do believe that we are handed what we can handle and this to will pass. I pray for strength for you and your family as this is just one “small” hurdle you will face in the life of motherhood. Think of it this way…at least you care. Look at all the children out there who do not have a mother like you. You are doing the best job you know how. We will always have room for improvement…use this as a learning tool not as punishment. Best of luck…

  19. I know you mentioned no tips BUT I must pass on to you what has helped us with our kids’ constipation and withouth using miralax:
    ** AVOID for a bit of time: bananas, carrots, apples,too much milk, too much steak.

    INDULGE: papaya, blueberries, prune juice diluted, grapes, beans.

    I really hope this helps the poor little guy and Julie…. We as moms learn every day ! You are doing the best you can.

  20. The EXACT same thing happened to my son when he was three. I can literally say I know how you feel. From having to push it back in to having explain my son’s love of cheese to the doctor. I even started timing how long he was in the bathroom!!.. He is almost eight now and we haven’t had any problems. When his teachers hand out the paper that says “tell me about your kid” I always write to please let him go to the bathroom when he asks. I still keep a bottle of the super laxative the doctor gave us in the cupboard. I haven’t had to use it, but I can’t go through that again. Much love and many prayers for healing and for your sanity. Thank you for sharing this life moment. You are the first person in five years to know what I went through.

  21. Oh Julie! I wish it was Sunday so I could give you a big hug, but I am praying for you. Luke battled with terrible constipation that made him bleed and for about his first six months and never had a bowel movement that wasn’t induced, and to this day he only eats about five things, so I know how frustrating feeding and bowel issues can be. He poops fine now, and still almost never eats vegetables. :) Faith on the other hand eats a lot of fruits and vegetables, but at her doctor appt recently I was told she was OBESE! I was floored! I knew she was a solid girl, but I wouldn’t even have considered her fat, let alone obese. I felt terrible. So I’ve cut out her sweets completely and tried to control her eating habits, but I tell you the truth, she is hungry 24-7. Yep. These feeding issues can make you wanna jump off a bridge!!! So I’m praying, and I would appreciate your prayers as well! Love, Joyce

  22. Sometimes reaction is magnificently more difficult than proaction. Whichever side your readers are on, I’d love to share what has worked beautifully for me and my 19 month old son.
    To start, he has always refused to drink water. So now, his “juice” is only 10% juice (aka flavored water)! Babies are sometimes picky eaters, but at times they simply CAN’T eat (or chew) something (try feeding an infant spinach). I usually cook veggies and blend (or mash) them into a sauce for meat. For instance, quickly brown your chicken and then simmer it in the sauce for 20 min (while you handle whatever usual dinner time chaos awaits you) until its all done (usually finished at the same time as rice). Carrots are GREAT for “SOFTENING” us up (or at least our by-products, haha). Carrots are on the sweeter side and taste great in practically everything from chicken to spaghetti. If all else fails, slice up papaya or watermelon and they’ll be regulated before the day is through.
    Hope this helps !
    I’ll be praying for you.
    God Bless :)

  23. I’ve been struggling this week, feeling like a failure for reasons like I don’t make my kids eat vegetables enough because I’m too lazy. I’ve been on a diet and I don’t want to cook them something so they get two sandwiches for lunch and 2 for dinner and once in awhile I’ll get convicted enough to make the only veggie they will eat (I worked hard to get them to eat steamed broccoli). I was reading someone’s article the other day and realized that I’ve sacrificed teaching my boys good things because I assumed it was too hard and let them read crap like Captain Underpants. I wanted to
    Ask God to put them back. Not as dramatic, but the lazy way is so much more tempting, and I’ve seen a friend of
    Mine who has switched her whole family to eating healthy and her beautiful variety on the kid’s plates, but watching my husband gag over his veggie stir fry Hurt my feelings too much 7 years ago and I never tried that again. I’ll say a prayer for you now because this mommy thing is hard work, I understand and when daddy doesn’t help instill the important morals it seems extra hard (my gripe/prayer this week and throughout their lives). You are not a failure, you are learning
    And I’m absolutely sure that even the seemingly perfect mom’s fail their kids on occasion…they would just never blog about it or pin it. You, my friend, delight the heart of the Father. He loves your transparency and your humility. He has more than enough grace to get you through this (and me, because I want to raise men of God who take good care of themselves …not doofus heads with no respect).

  24. Oh I FEEL you every step of the way! I tell myself daily what a bad mom I am. And I know the constipation issues – my toddler is allergic to dairy so she just sniffs it and she can’t poop for days. I am however laughing so hard at the picture of you rocking in a foetal position. I think i’v done that before! LOL!
    How great is our God, so perfect and so sweet
    Rock on Mom! xx

  25. Oh God BLESS your sweet Mama heart! No advice here, as I’m just a new mama myself of my own 4 mo Happy Baby, but my heart goes out to you that The Lord will give you the peace that passes all understanding and that He will heal your sweet babies and help you get their eating issues resolved.

  26. My daughters are grown now, yes, we made it through, and you will too. There will no doubt be more tears, but lots and lots of love and laughter. I remember sliding down the wall in the hallway outside their bedroom and just crying and crying for what seemed like hours at what a failure I was. God gave us these special little people to take care of without a handbook, without the knowledge of just exactly what we were getting into. Obviously a good decision so we wouldn’t say, “Are you kidding me? No way.” I had never heard of a rectal prolapse, but perhaps my new knowledge will be needed in the future to help someone else. Cudos to your mother-in-law for knowing what to do. Don’t sweat it, follow your heart. You are a special mom, a very special person, which is exactly what your children need. Prayers for you and your lovely family.

  27. You are not a failure–you ARE a special mom. You inspire me every day, even when you don’t post. :) Give yourself the same grace you extend to us and to those wonderful boys God has given you…this too, shall pass. Thank you for being real, and for sharing the hard stuff. I bet there are so many moms who read your blog and look up to you, and you’ve just told them that your life is wonderful…but it’s not perfect. What a blessing to someone else who may be struggling! You keep doing what you’re doing, and please share whatever you try that works (and doesn’t work). Many, many moms struggle with picky eaters, and while there are many blogs that tell us WHAT to feed our kids, I haven’t found any that tell us HOW. Thank you, Happy Home Fairy!

  28. Oh wow! What a thing to have to do. I give you 110% for even being able to push that thing back in. I don’t think I could have done that. You are totally amazing. Good luck with the veggie eating and water drinking! That’s a tricky one for many mothers and their children (and husbands too!!)

  29. Thank you for keeping it real. What a blessing you are to so many. I am in awe of GOD once again!! His Grace Is Sufficient at all times and through all things. Please continue to share your journey. He is and will continue to get the glory through all of this. Praying for all of you.

  30. Praying for you! I totally got chills when I saw your picture of the balloon next to the fruits and veggies….I think I would have broken down in tears right then and there in the produce department :) How amazing that God left you that wonderful message right when you needed it!

  31. Heavenly Father, we know that you are with Julie and her precious family right now. Please help her to feel your presence throughout this day!

    Julie, God gives difficult situations to his special warriors because He knows that they will use them for His good, and that’s exactly what you are doing. Thanks for sharing with us.

  32. You are the best! Your honesty and humor are great! As my mom would say, “Keep on keeping on.” If he gets hungry enough he will eat something that isn’t tan!

  33. Sharing our emotions with others in the midst of a trying situation can be a very healing thing for us and those we are sharing with. I don’t have words to comfort you but wanted to share a song with you that has been getting me through the trials that are currently in my daily life.

  34. I’m crying and laughing at the same time. That balloon did it for me. What a wonderful reminder that God knows and loves each and every one of us. Having dealt, and still dealing with, mommy guilt on a regular basis I can relate. You and your precious family are in my prayers.

  35. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty in this post. I was so excited to find your blog a few months ago, and have loved following you and being inspired by your ideas. It’s so funny how we all judge ourselves based on other people. I sometimes read your blog and think, “Why can’t I be as spiritual as she is? Why can’t my house look as nice as hers?”

    I also have a very picky eater. She eats about 5 different things – none of them vegetables!! And I, too, have tried all the experts’ suggestions. I let her pick out the veggies at the grocery store, I cook them in fun ways, she even helped me grow some in the garden! But when it comes time to eat them, she soundly refuses. So I’m looking forward to any suggestions you might have in the future!

  36. Oh. My. Gosh.
    Picky eating. Girl, Preach. Over here, rowing the same boat.
    Sending a hug & prayers.
    Follow me on IG, and I promise, no pics of kids eating anything… Except maybe ice cream! Xoxoxo

  37. Mommy of 5 Grandma of 10 Foster Grandma to 6 is praying for you. Our God Is Good …He Has Plans for Good…..Jer 29:11

  38. First, thoughts and prayers…. He chose you for a reason! Secondly, I had to smile at your comment about beige food; I thought only my 5-year-old could pull that off. Talk about feeling like a lousy mom, from frustration to embarssment, I’ve felt it all. And then I read an article about Sensory Processing Disorder and it all clicked… yep, he has other sensory issues too. Anyway, we are currently in Week 3 of Speech Therapy of all things. Who knew speech could help with more than just speech??? We’ve been working through a very slow process involved in getting my child to eat. I’m happy to say that my little guy will now tolerate several foods ON his plate (yes, not eating them yet), and has even been willing to LICK three fruits so far. This is the child whom a month ago would have had a two-hour melt down had a fruit even been placed close to his plate at dinner time. So, not advice, but something to consider. The Speech Therapy isn’t covered by insurance, and is expensive, but I am praying that it will work. He hasn’t had a fruit, vege, or meat since baby food!

  39. PRAY! And I will be praying too. Picky eaters are no fun ~ but if it helps any….they do grow up and get less picky. I do have one idea though…..get some popsicle molds and freeze 100% fruit juice…could be much more appealing to your son in the summers heat and they taste great. Grape is probably my favorite with oj close behind.

  40. No words for picky eating, I still haven’t figured that one out and my kids are teenagers. Knowing that anyone who is a mom has a lot of moments feeling like a failure, I am convinced that God gave us the children he did (remember That they are only on loan from God, they are his and he loves them more than we do) to teach us about ourselves and keep us relying on Him and not ourselves. If we had it altogether we would think we were all “that” and not depend on him at all. I am so thankful that God showed you himself to you in a moment that was unusual and you know that it was him. You are a special mommy, wife and friend. I will be praying for you. Please feel my arms around you in a hug.

  41. I also have 2 picky eaters ages 6 & 2. I tried that sneaky chef cookbook too. I tried dips, making it look cute, making it into a smoothie, etc. Just hang in there mama. It took my daughter 4 years to finally start liking apples & watermelon. It took her 2 years to finally like meat. One trick I do for the whole family is to grate zucchini in our spaghetti sauce. My husband is picky also. Just keep trying. It will get better. *hugs*

  42. You are an amazing mommy!

    Disclaimer, I have a 9 month old who loves everything healthy. Eggs and strawberries are her favorite foods. But, have you tried letting him help cook? Maybe let him pick the fruits and veggies and figure out a way that you can cook it with him? From your descriptions of him, he is a very independant boy. I really think you could both benefit from this. It would be a ‘fun activity’ to add to the list, and hopefully make him enjoy eating!

  43. Hang in there, Julie! The poop sack thing…holy crap (literally). I may have simultaneously gagged and laughed in horror.

    Anyway, we’ve dealt with our share of constipation around here (I’ve given my girls suppositories…ew), but I won’t give you advice. I WILL say, however, that I’ve tried the whole, “Let your kids pick out the fruits and veggies from the store. They’ll totally eat them then! Or better yet, let them pick them from the garden…guaranteed to eat them.” totally did NOT work. These people clearly didn’t have my stubborn children.

    Praying that Jesus gives you wisdom and insight and works on Happy Buddy’s heart and taste buds!

  44. Oh Julie, You are the most special mom!! I have followed you for years, and I feel like you are my friend and really my neighbor. Hang in there, and know that thoughts and prayers are being said on your behalf and your precious children and hubby.

    My daughter is a picky eater….heck, I am surprised now after reading your blog, that she hasn’t had the same thing happen as Happy Buddy did. She has gotten older, and that has seemed to help, but we want our kids to be healthy and happy, and as a mother, when our children hurt, we hurt. Keep us posted on how things are going, you are a true inspiration!!!

  45. I am a grandmother and happy to say that I am past that trying to be perfect mom. Thank you for sharing your pain. I never knew about that poop sack. OMGoodness! You WILL get through this. I will pray for your wisdom and patience and for the children s willingness.

  46. No judgement. I have an idea or two, but since you specifically requested no advice, I’ll simply say thank you for sharing your struggles with other moms. Looking at the over 50 comments, you have to understand that you are not alone! So many moms only post their “facebook best” and leave the struggles out so every mom who reads their blogs think nobody else in the world has struggles and they aren’t “doing it right”.

    Oh, and my daughter won’t eat chicken. Or meat that hasn’t been processed to death. She once sat with a minuscule piece of chicken in her mouth for two hours. It was broth by the time she finally got around to swallowing it. Keep going. It gets better. Better to fight these battles now than when he’s 9! You can do it and so can he!

  47. Girl… You have no idea how ironic this is! Literally was in a great state of panic this morning as I was walking home from the corner store, because I had just bought my kids a slurpee (with no caffeine of course)… On my way home starring at the sidewalk thinking omg what am I doing. I’M a horrible mom my youngest never eats any thing at all, all she wants us chocolate, candies, and icecream. If it wasn’t for milk she wouldn’t be getting any nutrients. Boy oh boy it eats me alive (the guilt) I hate it. And we don’t keep those kinds of food in our house. In she’s the type that she’ll starve herself (very strong minded & stubborn) so I know were your coming from. You have totally trumpted me, can’t say ive experienced that before. But on the other hand the bathroom situation oh dear I am so sorry you had to go threw that, its not easy being a mom. But you gotta keep your head up, you got this girl. He wouldn’t have blessed you with those beautiful children if he didn’t think you could do it… I hope I was able to enlighten your situation, just a lil bit….

  48. Julie- as a mom of a 15 yr old teenager who has POTS, and other medical issues (and who iIS STILL a picky eater), i am sending you lots of hugs, patience and prayers.. it’s ok to hide in the bathroom.. You’re doing you’re very best

  49. Thanks for sharing. I just ended up with yet another round of testing for one of our boys and an emergency ultrasound to just find out ONCE AGAIN it is his constipation that is causing all of these various problems. Worst Mom ever syndrome kicks in and I feel terrible that all these problems could have been prevented ONCE AGAIN if I wouldn’t slack on his water, eating habits and his miracle Miralax! Your not the only one and thanks for reminding me I’m not only. Tears were brought to my eyes when God showed you how special you are! Thanks again!

  50. You can do it, Julie!

    I have to tell you. A while back, Coleman was getting awful headaches for like, a YEAR … He would cry and cry and it was awful. We tried everything – including advil every dang day – and one night I happened across some website and saw some article about dehydration and realized, DUH! He wasn’t drinking enough water! I felt like such an idiot. And such a failure. But, we fixed it, and he’s been fine and dandy and HYDRATED ever since.

    So, hey, I’m happy that for me and for you guys it’s an easy (ok well maybe not EASY, but you know what I mean) fix and not something horrible, and he’s okay and you’re okay and everything WILL be okay – and hopefully his poop sack will stay right where it is for the rest of his life. :)

  51. I just started following your blog a few weeks ago and I LOVE it! I am a SAHM of a 2 & 3 year old and my 3 year old has been constipated since birth (seriously) so I completely relate to this post (except for the pushing the insides out part – scary!). I see you are getting SO much advice, but this is what has worked for us: cutting way back on dairy and gluten (not cutting it out completely, but way back), and drinking GREEN SMOOTHIES!!! My son knows that if he drinks a green smoothie every day it will help with his poop. And we constantly talk about what he should he eat to help him poop. He’s so scared of being constipated that he listens and tries hard to eat better. Anyway, what we put in our green smoothie: 1/2 banana, handful of frozen mango, peaches, & strawberries, a handful of spinach & kale, and a tbsp or 2 of flaxseed. Add some ice cold water & blend it all up. He drinks it every morning with breakfast. We also push the water thing with him too. He lived on miralax and prune juice for years, but since we started the green smoothie he hasn’t needed either of those. Good luck to you!! I feel your pain.

  52. I’m a grand-mommy, not a mommy anymore but feel your pain. Raising children is a very rewarding but tough job. Hang in there you sweet thing…God entrusted these precious boys to you and your hubby so you have a high compliment from God Himself! This too will pass but in the midst of it, God is developing your faith like He does for all of us while allowing you to use a gift to encourage others! I’m impressed by all the love and encouragment your followers have shared with you. Bask in all the love Julie! You are a good Mom, just hang in there!

  53. You know the analogy of how a catapiller has to struggle to come out of his cocoon and once he does he is a Beautiful butterfly. God must be transforming you into a beautiful and strong butterfly! Thank you for sharing your struggles. I feel like a failure as a mother often, thank you for the reminder that God chose me to be my kids mother. I’ll be praying for you and for wisdom.

  54. I’m so glad you shared this with us, Julie! You will definitely be in my prayers! I was a very picker eater as a child, so I understand what you are dealing with:( I am sorry you had to go through the rectal prolapse with your little guy; how frightening! Even so, you made me chuckle with your book title:) Hang in there, and don’t forget that you ARE an awesome mom! <3

  55. God bless you sweet mama! I am praying for you. I have felt the same way…often. You are going to be alright. Google : Sarah Groves lyrics to “It’s Gonna be Alright” and know that He holds you close…He loves you deeply and dearly. Let your mama heart rest and know you are LOVED!!!! It’ gonna be alright…truly:)

  56. tears sprang to my eyes when I saw that balloon for you! How sweet a message and God’s love for you is also God’s love for me too. He knows us and knows what we need. This totally made my day!
    Good luck with the veggies! I just keep putting them on the kids plates and I make sure I eat them in front of them too. Sometimes it takes a while to find what works so keep trying. One day it will “stick”. maybe teach (and reteach) what good things for our body are and how they make us stronger and bigger like superheros! (Appealing to boys here). I tell my son if he wants to have big muscles he has to eat meat and veggies. Some days it actually works!

  57. Oh, sweet Julie,
    There is a great reality that God uses anything to remind us that we need Jesus. Even pushing rectum back into a butt hole. Daniel had lions, Paul had shipwrecks, you have butt holes. And amazingly all of you needed Jesus. May these weary days be dotted with simple, tender reminders that even when you are balled up without blinking for 60 minutes (who’s dehydrated now?!) our dear Savior is there and the Spirit hasn’t deserted. Holding onto hope for you all. This too is only a season. A butthole season.
    Hugs,
    Debby S. (you know!)

    ps. this story will be shared at Bunko tonight! It just makes me giggle!

  58. I don’t think there is one Mother on Earth, since the beginning of time, that hasn’t experienced a picky eater. I have a friend that the only thing his son would eat was cherrios, once he started eating food. This went on for about a year. He ended up having the same experience as Noah. He is now 25 years old and a successful musician. You my sweet friend are one of the most wonderful, loving, joyful, creative and beautiful mothers I know and not this or any other lessons along the road of being a Mom will take that away. We are all works in progress, including how to be the best Mom’s we can. Love you bunches. xoxox

  59. Love and prayers your way, Julie!! You DO need a get away!!! :)) loved your honesty. You WILL get through this and no doubt about it- you are a VERY special mom! Amen, sister!!

    Sent from my iPad

  60. Hey girl, share all ideas and tips for your future “vegetable boot camp”!! My 4 year old son would live off donuts if he could. Tonight he wouldn’t eat the last bit of hotdog from my husband’s fork, because the fork had also been used to eat slaw and potato salad. It might have “yuckies” on it! :(

  61. Wow! You poor mama! God bless your family and you, and for my teeny two cents worth – give them diluted juice (half/half) to drink all through the day. Or even full strength juice like apple juice – a daily dollop of prune juice is hidden nicely in full strength apple juice!

  62. Oh, Julie…
    I just saw this post for the first time, today. As usual, it made me think of some of my own parenting issues, in tears of course. And, as usual, by the end, it made me laugh. Isn’t it funny how God uses unsuspecting people to send us just the message we need at the time? The “balloon person” was used to speak to you, and you are used to speak to and inspire me and so many others. Thank you for that. By the way, from what I can tell, you are an amazing mom…NOT a failure. :0)

    (((Hugs)))
    ~ Brandi ~

  63. Hi Julie!
    I’ve been thinking about you and this post a lot this week. I have prayed for you and your boys, and I hope that on this sabbath day, our father in heaven will fill your soul with with love, strength, and determination you need. You are an amazing momma, and woman in general, and I sincerely hope you never forget it. Good luck with the fruits and veggies!!! You can do it!

  64. Julie, you & your son have been on my heart and in my prayers since I read this last week. We are enduring a health challenge in our family right now, and feel like this song has been a gift from God to get us through (much like the balloon that showed up in the produce for you –AMAZING the LOVE our God has for us!!) May you continue to be encouraged that He is with you – always :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJKZxB_Hx70

    • Robin this ministered to me so much today. Right after I posted this last week I came down with the worst sickness I have ever had. It has slowly worked its way through our whole family and it has been a rough rough week. Thank u for sharing this important song with me! It is my new favorite anthem. You are a precious sister to me!!! Xoxo

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Oh, Julie, I am so happy to hear that it was an encouragement for you! Many blessings and continued prayers for you. I will think of you & pray for you & your son when I listen to it, too. Our God is with us! :)

  65. I got half way through this post and had to read it aloud to my family. First because oh.my.goodness that is a serious Mom thing you had to do… Brava! And secondly because I needed my girls and hubby to hear that all us Moms have those moments when we feel like the worse Mom on the planet.
    I hugged my girls through my tears as I had them come see that special balloon. I am uplifted by your honest words. Thank you Julie and many blessings to you and yours.

  66. You have been a blessing to me through your website. I miss reading your emails and wanted to send you some encouragement. But, what can I say to help you? Well, the verse comes to mind that encouraged me at a difficult time. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. God bless you!!

  67. Oh my word, I have to admit I read half of this blog post with one eye close!!! How the heck you dealt with that and didn’t end up institutionalised is an out and out miracle!! I have a strong stomach and am usually good in medical emergencies but that would have freaked me right out.

    You are not alone in having kids that won’t eat veggies, and this is where I’m thanking the Lord I didn’t have that bathroom experience you just had because from the age of 2.5 until the age of about 12 my son ate NO vegetables whatsoever. He didn’t like any messy food so sauces “with hidden veggies” was a no no for us too. I feel your frustrations, when you look at all those books that say, just make a veggie pizza in the shape of a smiley face and they’ll gobble it right up. Yeah right! I got the same reacion as you, yeah that’s great mum, I love it, now where’s my lunch?!! LOL

    You are doing a great job!! This is just a hiccup, you will get through this and the Happy Buddy will be just fine! There is no instruction manual for motherhood, we don’t study it at school and take a masters in it at university before we have children, we are all winging it! ;) Some of it we get right, some of it we don’t, but we learn from our mistakes, put them right as best we can and get on with it.

    I will certainly pray for you, but I know God’s already on it! :D

    ((Hugs)) and sending you memory erasing sprinkles! LOL

  68. You are a beautiful person and mother. Your kiddos are lucky to have a faithful, honest, loving mom. You’ll do great with the veg! When I saw the balloon it made me cry because of the love God has for you (and me too)! Thanks for this post.

  69. You should try V8 Fusion….it’s the best. Variety of flavors, fruit juice and veggie juice, low sodium, no added sugars, etc…..my 5 yo son loves Peach Mango. Stop being hard on yourself….we all have our struggles. My child is a great eater…however he throws tantrum fits (on the floor, screaming, kicking, spitting, etc.) when he doesn’t get his way, even in the middle of a store, even at school, even at my job (I’m an afterschool director). We do not give in to his demands. Never. But it doesn’t stop him. We’re praying this storm will pass soon. But it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad mommy. Your child’s eating habits don’t mean you’re a bad mommy. It’s just another bump in the road…this too shall pass.

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  71. Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for sharing about this. I hate to say it, but I cracked up as I read the story. Then I felt guilty for laughing at your (and your son’s) expense. But, it was so therapeutic for me. Seriously, that laugh helped a lot. We have other health and development “issues” in our home, ones that make me feel like a failure almost daily. And like you, I have to fight those feelings by running to our creator, who reminds me that He loves me, and cares. I am finishing up year 10 in the failure department, with baby 5 on the way, I am so glad God cherishes us in our frailty.

  72. My children are in their forties and I never had to push part of their body back in, but I love your blog. I can imagine this happening to me, as I always get into situations. I admire your honesty and faith. Marcia Brown

  73. Julie, I love your blog! The balloon made me cry… God always knows just the right way to get our attention! I was having a rough week once and I prayed (well, lets be honest, asked rather gruffly) for God to show me that he really cared. Then I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and the florist gave me a beautiful arrangement of flowers, for free, because she wanted to. It has never happened before or since and as soon as I accepted the flowers God said “I care”. Don’t ever think that that balloon was just a random thing… you are a special mommy! You are doing a great job! :)

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  75. Thank you for making me feel like that “special mom”. I too have battles with a picky constipated eater and no suggestion has worked as of yet and I’m no longer looking for any. Your words really made me feel “normal” whatever that is! Prayers! Keep blogging!

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  77. I had a perfect first child, like no problems, EVER. I though, “what’s all the ‘this is so hard’ I hear?” Well, second child comes, and she had reflux, threw up every other breast milk meal I have her, from breast or bottle (I tried pumping for bottles hoping it would help, it didn’t). She was loosing to much weight, the Dr said if her next check up, she wasn’t gaining, she may need to be admitted for tube feedings…talk about heartbreaking!?! Well, at about six months she outgrew the reflux, but had colic instead…..I fed her homemade baby food which I mixed all together (veg/fruit/banana/meat or egg/baby oatmeal. She are it great until she was two years old, she getting mad seeing us all eating something different then her. So I started putting her food, on my plate! She was happy for a while with that one, then she got to smart!! (Lovey)
    For a while, all she would eat was chef boyordee. Talk about feeling hopeless!!!!! Then she started liking her yogurt, so much so, she DEMANDED she had yogurt every day, and BOY did that help the poop issues! Then, on a whim, I made Shepard’s pie, my husbands favorite meal I make. (Ground beef with dehydrated onions, canned green beans, canned organic corn (Publix brand, cause corn is one of the major genetically modified things grown, and I’m already had enough trouble, I didn’t needs third eye popping out somewhere!!!) topped with mashed potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese, baked until cheese is melted and warm allege way through. *DID I EVER HIT THE JACddKPOT* she tried it, and LOVED it!!!!!! She would eat it all and want more!!!! She pretty much lived on that and yogurt, but the days of holding her down, while she was screaming and kicking to put yet another depository into her rectum passed right on bye! Watermelon became another favorite. She had a lost the same thing to eat every day, but next Dr a Visit, she was gaining weight and getting back on track! If you find a few things they love, hopefully you will start seeing a turnaround!! BTW, if they likes blended smoothies (fruit, yogurt, frozen fruit) I add a little Coconut Oil (huge jar at Costco for $19 and it’s good for TONS of stuff) maybe a teaspoon to start with. And work up to maybe 2 teaspoons, that lubes up their intestines and helps things go right on through! I LOVE coconut oil!!!! I use it in everything!! Making muffins, if it calls for Veg Oil, I use Coconut oil! You just may have to melt it over low heat to make it liquid, it hardens when cool at all.
    Make pancakes, use coconut oil! Anytime it calls for Veg Oil, Substitute Coconut oil! Banana Muffins are THE BEST with it! Some Coconut oils are strongly coconut flavor, but some you find (like the Costco one, or Trader Joes one) that are totally mild, you don’t taste the coconut! It works wonders for digestion!!!
    I have diverticulitis so I have to keep coconut oil in my diet daily. And most of the family never even knows!!!! Another favorite of my girls is home popped popcorn(you can get organic popcorn from Amazon super cheap) popped in coconut oil, with a little butter and sea salt. There’s all sorts of things, you’ll find yours!!! ((Hugs)) from someone who has not pushed a pooo sack out, but many,any time had to manually remove poorocks from their rectum. (Gloves and A&D ointment)……. Being a mom is HARD!!!!!!! But, you will find what works!!!! This just helps us to look at other moms and NOT judge!!! But truly have empathy, because we have BEEN thereNmKmn

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