We all want the very best for our children, but it’s impossible to do everything right all the time. Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons. That’s the idea behind our Monday Mom Confessions and we’d love for you to join us – share your own confession in the comments below! Let’s throw off the weight of perfection and get real around here!
It had been an exhausting few months, and my thirtieth birthday was approaching.
I didn’t want a party. I didn’t want a big present.
All I wanted was a low-key birthday outing with my husband and baby, so we planned to walk on the ferry to San Juan Island, spend the day exploring Friday Harbor, and maybe grab a nice dinner on our drive back home.
It was the perfect way for this introvert to begin my new decade – slow, relaxed, and quiet.
The day arrived and it was one of those perfect Northwest summer days. The bright sun matched my mood and as we walked around the ferry’s upper deck the blue of the water, the blue of the sky, and the green of the islands reminded me of the unique beauty of our region.
The day went exactly as planned – we sauntered around the town, ate lunch, browsed local shops, and walked up and down the docks, looking at the boats bobbing in the water.
Until the day drew to a close, at which point it went sideways.
Preparing to head back across the water, we walked back toward the ferry landing. At some point we had to climb a couple of stairs and instead of taking the long way around and finding a ramp with our stroller, we decided to climb them. Grabbing the stroller, we headed up.
And then, it happened. We had one of those frame strollers where the infant car seat snaps in. Somehow, it detached from the frame. Sensing this happening, we desperately tried to catch the car seat as it tipped, and we did – but our baby wasn’t strapped in.
With all the walking around – in, out, in, out – we got a little lax in buckling him in. We’re not driving; what does it matter?
It mattered plenty. We caught the carseat before it hit the ground and then watched helplessly as our not-quite-six-month-old rolled out of it and landed face first on the concrete steps.
I grabbed him, flipped him over, and did my best to examine him. He screamed and cried. People stared and whispered.
Long story short, he was okay but I was wrecked. Even well after we were assured he was physically unharmed, I was haunted by ‘what-ifs.‘
What if he hadn’t been okay?
What if we’d dropped him somewhere else and he’d fallen into the harbor?
What if we hadn’t caught the car seat and he’d tumbled further than the six inches he’d fallen?
It was a long time before I stopped being haunted by that day. And I was borderline obsessive about strapping my daughter into her stroller by the time she came along.
But besides the what-ifs, the other thing that haunted me was the shame. What kind of a mom drops her baby?
Through the years I’ve learned that it happens far more often than you’d think – as I’ve quietly and shamefully shared my story I’ve been met with similar stories from other moms. Some of their babies were unscathed, while others did sustain serious injuries.
Now obviously I’m not advocating that baby-dropping is a good thing. Nor am I suggesting that it’s normal, or that it’s not dangerous.
To be clear, it is serious. Moms should always take the greatest of care, and babies should get medical attention for any injury or suspected injury.
But another thing I’ve learned is that I can’t be 100% in control 100% of the time. So if you make a mistake and have an accident, don’t walk through it alone. Don’t carry the shame and guilt.
That stuff is heavy.
As a mom who personally dropped her infant son on his head and still loses her breath when she re-lives that moment, trust me when I say that we’ve all made mistakes.
You’re not the only one.
What’s your Monday Mom Confession? Tell us in the comments!
Would you like to be featured on Monday Mom Confessions? We’re looking for guest writers; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your 1-2 sentence confession. If it’s approved you’ll be asked to write the full article and it will be published on allmomdoes!