by Sarah Blight
I got a crash course in parenthood and I wish I would've been wearing a helmet, because oh was it painful! It was more my ego that was hurt than anything, but it was a lesson learned nonetheless. Let me explain.
My first son was 2-months-old and I desperately needed to get out of the house. My friend called and asked us to come over. I was tripping over myself, I was so excited for an "excuse" to vacate my sweatpants and put on some makeup.
I put my wee one in his car seat and ran upstairs to grab the requisite necessities -- diapers, wipes and an outfit just in case of a blowout. I ran back downstairs and put a blankie over him just in case he got chilly, then ran to the car to load things up. I then ran back into the house to grab him and put him in the car.
It wasn't until I was at my friend's house that I realized something. My heart sank. My knees got weak. My palms got sweaty. I had forgotten to strap him in the car seat!
"How could this happen?"
"How could I do this to my baby?"
As tears sprang to my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, my friend calmly reminded me that I wasn't the first person in the world to forget to strap in her kid. In fact, I wouldn't be the last either.
Immediately I felt consoled. But it took me awhile to get over the guilt.
Flash forward 4 months. My son was now 6-months-old and very pleased with his newfound ability to sit up and eat some solid foods.
I was visiting my sister-in-law's house and had just placed my son in her booster seat. The straps were missing, so I just put the tray firmly in place -- or so I thought.
I turned to grab the food and heard a "thunk." My son had fallen out of the seat and landed on the hardwood floor. There was a pause that seemed like an eternity and then cries. The cries were coming from my son, my husband and myself. We were beside ourselves. My sis-in-law quickly told us that our son crying was good and meant that he was probably okay. I wasn't so sure but clung to her wisdom anyway.
My son still has a small dent in his forehead today from that fall, a fall that I was entirely responsible for. A fall that haunted my dreams for nights and nights to come.
So what's the point you ask -- other than to come clean about my shortcomings as a mom?
The point is this: baby safety is incredibly important. Most of our time as parents is spent worrying about safety, ensuring safety and making choices based on safety. Sometimes though we come up short. I wouldn't say they're failures on our part, but they could be viewed that way.
The most important thing is to learn from them and move on. Dwelling on the past won't help you to do better.
The biggest lesson my husband and I learned that day was "don't take chances." Leaving my little one unattended on the bed, so I can run downstairs and throw in a load of laundry…not a good idea. Taking extra time instead of taking shortcuts matters and it matters to the bambinos as well.
Have you ever had a safety "oopsie daisy"? If so, share! Please let me know I'm in good company!
Get a FREE chapter of Sarah's new book "Going to the Motherland" by clicking here (ALL 5 star reviews from other moms on Amazon…you'll love it!).
In addition to being an author, Sarah is the founder of YourBabyBooty.com. She is the mama of a spunky, 3-year-old son and a not-so-sleepy 3-month-old daughter.
Sarah loves helping expectant moms learn what experienced moms and leading experts have learned about pregnancy and birth. In her spare time (insert sarcasm), Sarah enjoys naps.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
© September 24, 2012 Sarah Blight. All rights reserved.