Lately, I have been quickly reminded that as parents, we are not always going to be able to protect our little ones. For some reason, I thought that as my babies got older, things would get easier. Boy was I ever wrong!! It is only going to get more and more difficult to protect them. What was I thinking?! I should have known better!! I just hope I can get better at “letting go” and “dealing with” the fact that I can’t control everything. I can’t keep my kiddos in a little safe bubble forever and ever (even though I wish I could).
Just recently, my oldest (she’s almost 3) slipped and fell in the shower. This was not her first time in the shower with her dad or I, and it wasn’t even the first time she has slipped. Kids slip, kids fall, kids can even get hurt, but this time was different. She developed a goose egg above her eye immediately that I noticed as soon as I scooped her up off the floor. I had a pit in my stomach and the “I want to vomit” feeling instantly, but did my best to remain calm and get my husband. She never lost consciousness and eventually stopped crying, but her eye kept swelling, to the point where she could barely see out of it. We put ice on it and got some advice from a family member who is a physician (it was a Saturday night of course). She ended up going to bed that night, but I couldn’t help but worry about her and if it was going to be okay. My husband ended up taking her to the ER the next day (here’s a helpful site on when to take your kiddos to the hospital). Everything turned out to be fine, but it’s over 3 weeks later and the little thing still has a bruise and a bump. If I could just protect her from everything, this never would have happened! I couldn’t help but blame myself.
As parents, we’re going to beat ourselves up about every little thing that happens to our kids. We can’t help it; it’s how we’re programmed. It doesn’t mean that we are bad parents when our little ones get hurt or injured. It just means that we love them when we sit and think about not wanting anything to ever happen to them! We have to lighten up on ourselves though! I took total responsibility when my little girl got her first black eye/goose egg. I was worried sick about her. I felt like the worst parent in the world, but it happens. It wasn’t my fault. I’m not the worst mother on the planet. She’s probably going to have more goose eggs. It took me a long time to come to terms with this, and I am still working on it.
We experience this feeling of guilt for a multitude of reasons and on a daily basis. My “mom guilt” occurred instantly when my little girl slipped and fell. Sharing what happened with others and hearing them respond with stories of their kiddos having similar accidents, made me feel like I wasn’t alone. People reminded me that things like this are going to happen, no matter how much I try to prevent them. It’s how my kids are going to learn and grow, but we have to let them. They can’t aren’t going to stay babies forever.
So, for all you parents out there who might have experienced something similar with your little ones or are just worried that someday you will . . . IT IS OKAY!!! You’re still a fantastic parent and your kiddo is going to turn out fine! If you still worry all the time, that’s okay too, but cut yourself a break sometimes. You’re not alone. We are never going to stop worrying about our kids. We are always going to want what is best for them and to protect them. It just means we care!