Scary, Imperfect Mommy Mistakes That Nobody Wants To Talk About But Every Mom Experiences (Read & Share)
Scary, Imperfect Mommy Mistakes That Nobody Wants To Talk About But Every Mom Experiences (Read & Share)
My spit-fire tots are now 4 years, 8 months & 3 weeks old.
I was just reading an article on AOL news (link below) about the guilt mothers feel about being imperfect when something happens to their child. Let’s face it, being a mother is about the toughest job in the world, and it’s the one with the most pressure to be perfect because little lives do rely on us. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. But this story is about a mommy moment that changes perception, changes a life, and we all have these scary, ‘take my breath away’ moments. Nobody really talks about them. Moments where something super scary happens on our watch, and we feel so frightened and awful inside. Like we are such a bad mother. The guilt felt is incredible.
Being a mother is such a guilty job. Moms take everything to heart. (I do mean everything.) It doesn’t have to be my fault or your fault at all, but we ALWAYS inwardly torture ourselves with guilt over things that happen to our children, even outside of our own hands. Guilt seems to be just part of the job title.
So this mother in the story had looked away, assuming that her husband was watching their 9 month old on the changing table. We all know those look down, 1/2 a second look away moments where we never think anything bad could happen that fast, but infants and toddlers they are like mini race car drivers. Things can happen lightning fast that we never imagine possible. In a blink of an eye really. Misunderstandings between parents can also take place.
She heard a thump and she screamed. Her baby had fallen to the ground, right onto her head This is a petrifying situation, as though I don’t think there is any one of us that didn’t have a similar type of fall occur throughout baby-hood at one time in our lives as mothers, but it potentially can cause damage, so yeah, it is very serious. We all have or would race to the doctor, naturally, all the while blaming ourselves as mothers do, crying our eyes out more than the child. It kills us to see our baby hurting. This kind of moment just takes your breath away. You don’t get it back until you find out all is well, and even still the immense shock persists.
In the emergency room while this mom was awaiting word of her child’s condition, she saw a woman with a young child. She was rocking him so lovingly. He was sick. She looked like such a wonderful, perfect mommy. This woman had overheard what happened to the woman’s child, and she felt compelled to tell her that it had happened to her one son when he was young and something very similar to the other when he was young as well. Almost the exact same incident. They both were fine. And her little girl did end up being fine to. A small bruise and a trip home. This is when she shared her story online and quickly found out she was far from alone. Stories poured in by the dozens. This helped her feel better, as we all feel better to know we aren’t the only ones.
These moments aren’t talked about, but they are forever remembered. And so if it could happen to this seemingly ‘perfect mommy’ in the hospital not once but twice, and all of these other moms to, well then maybe there is in fact no such thing as perfect. And there really isn’t. No matter how hard we try and try, mistakes will be made. Misjudgements occur. The small child never remembers, but the mother remembers for the rest of her days.
There are so many women out there who feel guilt over an imperfect mommy moment like this. I think moms need to know that nobody is immune to them, and that it doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad mother. It makes you a human being. Talking about these moments, making other moms realize that they are not alone, I think is a really good thing, hence my post today.
My most scary, imperfect ‘mommy moment’ story:
(On my watch.)
My absolute scariest mommy moment was definitely when Mikayla, I wish I could remember her age exactly, but she wasn’t crawling or very mobile yet. Not rolling around too crazy. She was still pretty mellow. She wasn’t like 3 months old. Maybe 5? Not really sure. Definitely not less than 4. OK, let me forget about age here and just tell the darned story. What happened that night was unlike any other imperfect mommy moment I had ever known before. It’s not anything I ever got over, despite the outcome, and honestly I just felt those butterflies of nervousness in my belly simply recalling this incident from 9 years ago just now. It comes back like it was yesterday.
I was changing Mikayla on the bed and getting her in PJ’s for bedtime. I have always had the diaper changing tables, but they scared me so I rarely used them. I just had to always have one anyhow to complete the nursery 😛 . I was using a temporal thermometer to take her temp while she was lying there. That type has a round sensor to be placed on the child’s forehead. I took her temperature and the round cap that goes on top I popped back into place, and then I plopped the thermometer down on the bed a little ways away. The cap was clear plastic. You couldn’t really see it with the color of the bedspread coming through, especially.
I never quite figured it out, but apparently, it either had not fully been snapped on like I remembered, or it just fell off when it hit the bed, I’m not sure. I bent down to pick up the diaper, as it had fallen to the floor. I kept one hand lightly on Mikayla as I squatted and looked down, so she was there and safe, or so I thought. She flipped onto her belly when I was about the change her. My hand still followed. I had no clue that when she went onto her belly she somehow picked up and palmed this small, round thermometer cap. Honestly, in recalling the incident, it was like she knew it was something I wouldn’t ever let her have, and she was like a little magician or something. Like she was trying to hide it secretly, and she did a really great job of it.
I turned her back onto her back and started changing her diaper. Nothing in my brain was registering the danger to come. I had no idea of what it turned out she was holding. So I was wiping her bottom and putting cream on as always, looking at her lower half, and next thing you know I see her face get red and her gasping for air. Of course I freaked out. I had zero clue what was going on in that moment so I grabbed her, picked her up, and this was soo scary because my husband had gone out to pick up Chinese food and wasn’t at home with me at the time. He found me absolutely hysterical, though the incident was over at that point.
She was gasping, and I could tell at this point when she was upright in my arms that something was causing her to be choking, or so it appeared, but what? Yup, she obviously had put the cap inside of her mouth, and it was the perfect size to be potentially lethal. It may have been slightly too large to swallow, but it was cutting off the airway it appeared, and certainly you can’t tell in that moment. It may have been able to go down, who knew? I just knew my baby needed this out of her mouth STAT!
My heart literally stopped. I couldn’t tell you if 10 seconds passed by or 2 minutes, but it all was all in slow motion. I’m sure it was closer to like 30 seconds really. My thoughts were putting her into the car and going down a few blocks to the hospital, but would that be too late? Calling an ambulance was in my thoughts to, but would that be too late, maybe even more so? I saw what was going on inside of her mouth and decided to become proactive. If I ended up making the wrong choice, dear Lord, I can’t even begin to imagine the horror. It would forever plague me.
I put my thumb and finger into her little mouth. Her eyes were wide and frightened. I was about the most petrified a parent can ever possibly get. I tried grabbing the cap, but it was upright, like blocking the back of her throat but not down her throat obviously. However, there were no edges to grab on to, so I could pull the cap from her tiny mouth at first. I saw that I had actually caused the cap to back up a little in her mouth. Just what I did not want to do, so I was really flipping out. I thought about the hospital again, but I knew in my mind I guess that leaving her unattended in a car seat and just taking the time to buckle her in and get there all alone, it may have proven to be a very big mistake on my part. I wanted no mistakes here, but time was ticking on.
If I did anything wrong I just, oh my God, I just couldn’t imagine, and it was such a tiny, little mouth and such a absolutely dangerous situation. No parent is ever trained to take care of something like that. It wasn’t like a regular choking-type of situation. I never expected it. I didn’t even know how it was possible what was happening here. She wasn’t yet putting anything but her thumb and hand into her mouth at this point, so it was nothing I ever thought about, but here it was, happening to my child.
All I could think about at this point was tipping her forward so that it wouldn’t likely go back any further, as it seemed to keep doing, but it would hopefully move closer to the exit of her mouth. The size and shape of it wasn’t at all a benefit in this situation, but this course of action did help tip the cap to the side, and that enabled me to grab the very teeny tiny edge, and within a couple of seconds I had the cap inside of my hand, and Mikayla was able to cry her little eyes out, as I was doing the same. I held her close and remember just saying, ”Thank you God! Thank you!”
I was crying and shaking like a leaf. I literally threw the entire thermometer in the trash. I never wanted to see it again. My husband came in, and I don’t know if he could even understand me, but Mikayla was fine. It could have turned out very differently. The fact is that one moment in time can affect you and a child forever, and that is such a scary thing to think about. I think God totally had control of everything that night. From that moment on I never underestimated the Houdini that even small infants can be. I mean in a second that cap was palmed and put inside of her mouth. I never would have forgiven myself had anything happened to her. All moms feel that way during these scary mommy moments. I never forgot that incident. It made me become even more of an over-protective then I already was, and I always thought I was quite over-protective. But it was absolutely terrifying.
So see, no moms are perfect. Babies can have falls, babies can shock you, as Mikayla did to me that evening. It is scary the things that can happen, but it is also an eye-opener for you if you are reading this right now. You aren’t ever alone. You need to go easier on yourself and do the best you can for your kids. Love them, care for them, but don’t expect perfection because perfection does not exist. These are the moments that make us most thankful. These are the moments we hold our kids closer than ever before and are totally aware of the depth of our love for them. These moments change us, and they shape us, and they make us realize we are not alone. For every story, another mother has a story of her own.
(Oh, and men have imperfect dad moments to. I remember being upstairs working once, and one of the twins fell on hub’s watch, and I lashed out on him, blaming him. I should have remembered back to my own fupa. I think it’s just human nature to place blame until you know everything is alright, but remember… your partner is only a human being to.)
If you wish to read the full article of ‘My Worst Parenting Moment Turned Into One Of My Best‘ that prompted my post today, here is the link. It does make us realize that we aren’t alone and should be more forgiving of ourselves and our mistakes.
Have a great Sunday friends, and if you should feel so inclined share your imperfect mommy mistake with others. I know that it always does help to know you aren’t alone, as again, these aren’t things that are brought up in usual mommy conversation. However, they are experiences that do happen the world over. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it does leave it’s mark on poor mama. That is for certain.