Today, I spent a good portion of the day feeling like the worst mom ever. I’m obviously not the “worst” mom. I don’t neglect my kids, expose them to drugs, abuse them in any way etc. so I know I can’t be the “worst.” Yet, I couldn’t help but feel immense guilt for something that happened earlier.
A little background, I’m what you call a helicopter mom. If you’re wondering what that is, here:
Helicopter Parent– a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.
I really don’t try to be, but I’m always following my kids around. I can probably blame my anxiety for that, but regardless, I’m usually always “there.”
Except today. Today my daughter’s and I were at a friend’s house. As we were leaving, I was holding my chubs of a baby and trying to get my boots on, which don’t slip on that easily. My toddler Paisley was also struggling to put hers on because she didn’t want to sit on the cold cement (it’s freezing here). I got mine on, so rather than have her walk out into the snow with no shoes, I asked her to sit on the single step leading into the house. My plan was to quickly run the baby out to the car which was sitting right in the driveway. I asked if she was comfortable doing that for a second and she said a pleasant “yes” and sat down.
I didn’t think for a single second that this would be a bad idea because 1. My brain was exhausted and I was ready to get home for nap time and 2. Because she’s usually a really good listener.
All was fine then, right? WRONG.
What I failed to realize was that there was a door next to her that led down into the basement. Cement walls, hard stairs… I bet you can guess what happened. YUP. She fell down all of them. Right to the very bottom.
She had split the little piece of skin connecting her gums and upper lip and a had a red mark on her cheeks but she was giggling by the time I got her out to the car. She was more shook up than anything and yet, I silently cried the whole way home.
How could I be that stupid to leave my 2.5 year old sitting there by herself?
What if she would’ve cracked her head open or broken a bone?
I bet they’re judging me as a mother.
I’ve got to be the worst mom ever.
These are the many thoughts that raced through my mind on my drive home, and for quite some time to follow.
I learned a lesson and next time I will not be leaving her alone, but this whole situation got me thinking…
Yes, I made a bad call and my daughter was put into a dangerous situation because of it but she was and is completely fine. Yes, I was sick with guilt all day because of it. I think as mothers, we are fed this lie that we need to be perfect parents at all times. Like, we are supposed to be instinctual and know how, when and what to do in every situation.
If you can relate to anything I’m rambling on about, I’m telling you right now – STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP AND FORGIVE YOURSELF. You were given your babies for a reason, and you’re the perfect mom for them. Are you going to mess up at times? YES. Mistakes happen. Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean you’re making excuses for what happened, or what you might’ve said, or how you might’ve flown off the handle when your daughter stubbed your toes with her toy vacuum ONE too many times!
Forgiving yourself means owning your choices or actions, letting go of the past and making a mental note to make different choices in future situations.
The saying “happy mom, happy family” is true. If you are carrying guilt and stress, the rest of your family is going to feel it. Set a good example, model forgiveness and honestly, just cut yourself a break mama!