It’s not healthy, and it’s not realistic, but I constantly worry that my kids will end up really hurt, or worse. That some freak accident will happen and my kids will be gone forever.
I like to think that I’m a good mom. I’m capable of keeping my children fed, healthy, happy and safe. But there is always that nagging thought that freak accidents happen all the time, and sometimes they are unavoidable. And sometimes parents just make mistakes. We are human, after all.
It’s paralyzing knowing my husband and I are solely responsible for these two precious little people. Little ones who don’t yet know how to swim and don’t always remember not to run out in the street. I wrote last week about how I wasn’t paying attention and my daughter fell off the bed and careened into the corner of the dresser, bruising her face and giving her a fat lip. What if it had been worse?
What if? The question that keeps me up at night.
It’s easy to judge other parents when horrible things happen to their kids. This week, we saw in the news that Olympic skier Bodie Miller’s toddler daughter drowned in a neighbor’s pool. She had walked away, unnoticed by her mother. I’m sure many could point the finger – Why wasn’t she paying attention? – but I won’t.
Did you know that on average, 37 kids die each year from being left in hot cars?
I’ve heard these stories in the news before, and cringed when others would say “How could you forget your baby was in the car? What a terrible parent.” I have the opposite reaction. I feel a deep despair in the pit of my stomach. What if it happens to me? To my kids? I have never forgotten where my kids are, but I’m sure those parents never had either, before the unimaginable happened.
Most parents believe forgetting their child in a car is something that will never happen to them until it does.
Dr. David Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida.
I haven’t seen hard statistics, but I’d bet with these accidents a very, very small percentage of these parents were unfit; they were on drugs or had an untreated mental illness or were even murderous. I’d bet the great majority just made an honest mistake – one that cost them so very dearly. I don’t mean to strip them of culpability, but I would bet money they had amazing intentions and loved their kids profoundly. It could have been me! Or you! Or any sane parent just trying to do the best they can.
What keeps me up at night is the thought that the best I can might not be good enough to keep my kids out of harm’s way.
What are your thoughts? Am I crazy for worrying about these things?
This is Day 11 of my 30 Day Writing Challenge.
Feel free to join me by writing about the thing that keeps you up at night.
Post a link in the comments below and I’ll be sure to read and comment.