When I first thought about writing this post I thought “oh only have a few of those, not enough to write a whole blog post on!” But the more I thought about it, the more I remembered those times I’ve messed up and felt like the worst mum in the world.
In fact whilst writing this I’ve remembered it was only a couple of days ago that I was in floods of tears talking to my husband and remembering a time when I had been trying to get April down for a nap when she was only a few months old.
I’d been rocking her for about 20 minutes whilst she scratched my face, screamed at me and constantly tried to get out of my grip and I just lost it. It was the first time I had ever shouted at her. “WHY WON’T YOU JUST GO TO SLEEP!” I immediately felt awful. She stopped crying and just looked at me in surprise, then I just broke down in tears, hugged her tightly and told her how sorry I was. It was one of my lowest moments of being a mum and something I hate to talk about because of how guilty it makes me feel, but I was sleep deprived and had been having the same battle three times a day for what felt like forever. When writing it down it doesn’t sound that bad, but the sight of her little face in shock just killed me.
Thanks to a useful website called BabyCentre where I’m part of an online forum for mums who have babies the same age as April, I have realised that a lot of mums go through the same. Without that space to vent and read about the struggles other mums were having I think I would have been even harder on myself every time I made a parenting mistake.
Anyway…let’s get onto the list of mummy fails I’ve made to date.
This one happened when April was only a week or so old! When babies are born part of their umbilical cord is still attached to their belly button which the midwives put a clip around. It then just dies and falls off after a couple of weeks (gross right?).
Just before bath time one evening I was giving April a cuddle, she was in just her nappy and I stood up to take her to the bath. Suddenly she screamed! I’d knocked the clip of her tummy button and the cord had come off a bit too early. There was blood, there was pus and there was panic! Her belly button is still weird to this day.
Pretty sure this one happens to 99% of parents but it doesn’t make you feel any better at the time. That’s right. The little rascal fell off the bed just after she had learnt how to roll. The whole thing happened in slow motion as I reached over to catch her just before she fell but didn’t quite make it. There were lots of tears, probably more from me than April!
I refuse to accept full liability for this one! We were on holiday recently and the cleaner in the hotel room had moved my hair straighteners from my carefully chosen safe, very high up, place, to a much lower location in front of a mirror. I was getting ready for the evening, used my straighteners and put them down where the cleaner had left them. Switched them off and carried on getting ready. Next thing I know there’s a scream. April had stood up, started scouring the sides for something to play with and picked up the hot straighteners! She ended up with a nice beefy blister on her thumb and finger for the next week. My husband was sat next to her when she did it so I’ll force him to share the responsibility with me for this one. And that stupid cleaner.
April has recently discovered the joy of climbing. I was filling out a form on the coffee table and April decided to use me as a climbing frame, climb up me and then onto the table. I’d been trying to fill out this form for days so I carried on writing whilst thinking “just 2 seconds and then I’ll get her down”. Well in that 2 seconds there was a thud to the floor. She’s not as careful getting down as she is getting up…
I’m sure there’s more that I just can’t remember right now, and of course the small ones like leaving the house with no nappies, forgetting to take her coat when I go out and leaving her milk behind when we go to stay at friends’ houses. The worst part is, when all these minor accidents have happened I’ve been practically next to her! It’s not a case of me leaving her unattended, more a case of underestimating how fast the little madam moves!
At the end of the day we’re all human and I’m yet to meet a child that has survived the baby/toddler stage without a few scrapes. Whilst I beat myself up at the time I know that accidents happen no matter how careful you are. We’re hard enough as it is in ourselves as mums, we want to be perfect but giving yourself a hard time when no permanent damage has been done doesn’t help anyone.