The other day, it happened. I had heard of it happening to
others, and had even been warned that it would happen to me, but I just
shrugged that off with a smirk, as first-time moms are wont to do. But it
happened. It did. My baby rolled off of the couch. I left the room for a
second, to get myself a bottle of water, and I heard the small thud and the
blood curdling screams of my tiny helpless baby. My heart instantly sank.
don’t think I have ever run that fast in my life (that’s another story for
another day—that disaster-mode sprint is something else!) and what I found
completely crushed me.
My sweet little babe was lying on the ground, surely not
where I had left him, crying that terribly unfamiliar, pained cry. It wasn't the hungry cry that I had grown accustomed to, nor the tired cry, both of
which I can handle. No, this was that gut-wrenching cry of “Ouch, Mommy, it
hurts!” that I had never heard before. And it was all my fault. My baby hurt
because of me. The tears were
a-flowing, for both of us.
Instantly, the guilt sank in. I was so upset with myself.
Why did I leave him on the couch alone, unattended? How could I think that he
was safe, if only for a minute? How selfish of me to want to get myself
something without first thinking of barricading him in a safe place where he
wouldn’t get hurt! It was awful. I felt awful. My baby
felt awful. I kissed him over and over. I apologized to him. I told him I’d
never let him fall again. There we were, sitting on the floor together, both of
us with tears rolling down our faces. I’m sure it would have been a very
pathetic scene to walk into.
We forget that we’re doing the best we can. And guess what? It’s more than enough.
His tears stopped. His face got very serious for a second.
And then he broke out into the biggest toothless grin I ever did see. Right
there in the midst of my tears, in the middle of the living room floor, he
smiled at me and everything was OK in the world again.
He was OK. I hadn’t broken my baby!
I think as mothers we are way too hard on ourselves.
Sometimes in the shuffle of life and social media envy and comparing our lives
to the glimpses we see of others' lives, we forget that we’re doing the best we can.
And guess what? It’s more than enough. Please don’t ever call yourself a bad mother,
even in jest. Don’t put yourself down. You are doing a great job.
Since The Couch Incident, as we refer to it in our house,
I’ve learned that it’s OK to let go. I am not in control of every situation,
as scary as that can be. My baby has slept in his own room, without me, and he
was OK. My baby is getting his nutrients from other sources besides me, and
it’s OK. I dropped my baby, and he’s OK.
So here’s the moral of my story: You can let go a little
bit. You should be less hard on yourself. Know that your baby will be OK. And
also, know that babies are resilient. And thank God for that.