Monday, April 23, 2012

Mama fears

It was Easter Sunday: We had a lovely day, a visit from the Easter Bunny, an easter egg hunt, visit from the grandparents and then one of hubby’s mate over for dinner. It was a special day.

And then, in a moment of inattention, I hurt my bubba boy.

Koby was starting to get a little bit cranky and was almost due to go to bed for the night, so I decided that he needed his dummy to start to wind down. We have a couple of the same dummy, and the one I picked up was attached to a dummy chain so that it can be clipped to clothes.

Absentmindedly I grabbed a piece of his shirt and clipped it on… and then he screamed. And shrieked. And howled. And hyperventilated.

I didn’t just clip his shirt, I clipped his skin as well. 

Oh my poor little boy!

Have a look at that clamp in the photo - that sucker bites down HARD.

Hubby made light of it until he decided to clip his own chest to see what it felt like. Umm, yeah – ouch. I felt terrible, walking around the room and trying to hush and calm my shrieking infant. He had a small rising welt where the teeth had crushed his skin together.

After a couple of minutes I sat down and burst into tears, which was highly embarrassing seeing as how we had company and all.

Mother of the Year!” I blurted out through my tears…

Slightly melodramatic, but I was caught up in the emotion of it all.

Koby calmed down shortly afterwards, into those gorgeous little hitching sobs that kids do once the real drama is over and they’re recovering just fine in mamas arms.

But I didn’t feel fine. I fell into a bit of a funk all night. Couldn’t sleep that night either. I lay in bed, hour after sleepless hour, and let my imagination run away from me. Thoughts of not being able to protect my children. Thoughts of scary things happening to them, imagining future hurts, future spills, future fears. How could I possibly protect them from all that, when it was possible for me to hurt them? Me – the one that loves them the most?

I went through a stage like this when Skye was a baby too, after THIS incident. Danger seems to be everywhere for a while, in every corner of the house, in every moment. Ordinary household objects become something to be feared. I found myself wandering around each room, looking for potential hazards.

For the moment I feel somewhat safe in the knowledge that they are still little, and still cling to me. I know where they are, every second of the day. They are safe here with me, at all times, rarely out of my sight. They cant open doors (yet), they don’t go anywhere without me knowing where they are or being with them.

But I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to let them go once they start kindy, or start school. How do you not worry? How do you put aside that constant fear that something could happen to them - my two precious creations?

And then it goes on – all too soon they will be older and want to sleep over at friends houses… They will want to be dropped off at the shopping centre with friends… Go to the movies… and don’t want their over-protective mama around.

At what point do you relax and let them spread their own wings? I know its necessary, I know its part of growing up. I guess its a gradual thing - this letting go -  but I really wonder how I'm going to be able to sleep at night in the years to come!


Kristy said...

I have don't children yet, but I still wonder these same questions. I feel your pain at having to let go one day. My Mum shared these same fears with us, but as kids we didn't understand, funny how it all comes around...

Thank you for sharing your story with us...

Francesca @ Francesca Writes Here said...

Try not to beat yourself up about about it (easier said than done, I know). Miss L fell down the stairs not long after she started crawling and even though she was fine, I felt sick about it. I still sometimes shake my head at myself two years later. Having sent my eldest child to school in February, I can tell you it's hard letting go. But as parents, worrying is part of the job description. We can't live their lives for them, but I guess we just have to prepare them as best we can. And it is gradual, thank goodness. It was timely reading your post tonight actually - tomorrow my big girl catches the bus to school for the first time, eek!

linda said...

It's something you live with and it does get easier once the little 'releases' happen. If we didn't feel this way then I guess a lot of kids wouldn't be here today.
When my kids were teenagers I used to envy parents whose toddlers were having tantrums- as you said, at least you know where they are all the time. Our son was badly injured in a car accident when he was 21- he survived and so did we. That urge to protect never goes away.

Schez said...

I have two children, one is 2 and 3 months, the other is 6 months. I am 27 and I swear I get a new white hair through worry every day!

Yesterday my little boy fell flat on his face as he was running to greet me. The scene played out in slow motion and he bumped his head and nose. I was so near yet too far to stop it from happening... To make matters worse it happened when we were already having a 'bad' day. The baby was screaming and the house was a tip!
My little boy was ok, and he even told me was but it didn't stop me from beating myself up about it. It took a while to feel better!

As parents, I guess part of the journey is that even though we never stop worrying or caring,we learn coping mechanisms!

Anonymous said...

Accidents are going to happen, no matter what you do or how much you put it to prevent them. It must be hard seeing your children injured and then worrying about what else could hurt them.
I got beaten up during school and my mum was petrified of letting me go in as she couldn't bare the thought of it happening again. It ended up being me comforting her than the other way around. You got accept the fact that bad things will happen to those who mean the most so be ready to support them and help them through rather than worrying and end up them supporting you. They are your children, they will come to you wen they need you. There were some things i really needed my mum to stay out of but she wouldn't and it used to make things wrose, she soon came to realise she had to let go and understand that if i needed help i would go to her. Hope you are okay now, and don't blame yourself, accidents happen.

Hilary said...

Kristy you are right, we certainly dont think about these things as kids-- its only now that I'm really beginning to think about this kind of stuff. Really puts things into perspective when you have your own!

Francesca I hope it wasn't too stressful sending your eldest girl to school on the bus! I know what you mean about feeling sick, but I guess as time goes by and they get older, we'll worry less (I hope!)

Very true Linda! My mum says the same thing, she still worries about us kids now. Glad to hear your son is ok, that would have been so scary xx

Aww Schez your poor little boy! HOpe he is ok, and yes I think you're right - you just learn to cope!

Thanks Emilie, I understand what you're saying. I'm not overprotective (I dont think!) but some things really do stab you in the heart, especially when they are so little and helpless! Hopefully I can put these things into perspective when they are a bit older and more resiliant.

Hilary xx