I follow a blog called Domestic Wrecks. One of its authors is a good friend (and once upon a time she got me to contribute to her blog) – and I love the honesty of the blog. Who doesn’t have their share of domestic wrecks anyway?
As I was writing this, I came across their most recent post called Bear-Phobia. I almost just re-posted the entire blog here because I think the main message was the same thought I had in my head.
There is nothing in the world that will prepare you for a sick, or physically hurt, child. And as a mother I think you will never stop worrying about your child and what could (or couldn’t) happen to them. I loved the line in the blog, “at least when they’re with me, I can protect them or die trying“, because I do think along those lines more often than not. I feel compelled to have them both within sight and arm’s reach at all times. Ironically though, I can’t.
It’s really heartbreaking to have one of your babies get hurt. Each time Sam trips or falls, or her fingers get caught in some door no matter how small, my heart skips a beat and I lose a few minutes of my life. You know how the internet has all these “calculators” to compute for your life expectancy given your history and lifestyle? They should add a portion about the stress or worry caused by injuries and illnesses your children suffer.
My immediate thought is always, what could I have done to prevent this? How is this my fault? It seems masochistic, I know — because these things will happen beyond your control. But it’s something I’m learning. Slowly. I am that over-protective mother.
Recently a few nights ago, Jamie fell off the bed (note: she is 3 months old). She sleeps beside me and for whatever reason she must have squirmed and rolled off her pillow. I heard a thud and a cry, and of course my heard jumped out of my throat in the nano-second I realized what had happened. She was in my arms almost instantaneously, and she cried for all of 5 seconds before going back to sleep. It took two hours after that for me to fall asleep again, and I held her in my arms the rest of the time. She is fine of course, but I am scarred for life!
It’s funny how motherhood does change you and make you worry more. The worst part is to show them that you’re not panicking, because it will aggravate the situation and make it seem worse than it really is. When Sam’s teachers called me one time to tell me she dove off the bouncy house onto the cement floor, I had to take deep breaths before showing my face to her. There was a little egg on her forehead and she was crying, (and I wanted to cry too believe me), but I had to stay calm, say it was going to be alright. Again, she was fine — but I swear I didn’t want to let her on another bouncy house ever again!
The thing is, you can’t prevent them from happening. It’s part of life, isn’t it? No matter how many times it happens there’s really no getting used to it. And yet you have to weather it as well. Maybe when you have a child, a part of the birthing ritual should be for you to say your vows as a mother, “In Bumps and Bruises, In Slips and Illnesses, Through all kinds of heart-ache and life adventures….” Is there a mother that doesn’t worry about their children, no matter how young or old they are?
I know that this is only the beginning. There will be more things we will go through as the girls get older, for sure. I do tell myself that what doesn’t kill them will only make them stronger (and hopefully make me stronger too!), and I pray and pray and pray, more fervently than ever before, that they always always be kept safe and healthy and protected. Amen!