Just this last week I had a day where my toddler got pretty significantly hurt not one... not two... but THREE times in the span of two hours. First I was vacuuming in my bedroom and my two-year-old was on my bed. He decided it was a great idea to catapult himself onto a pillow and ended up falling off the bed and hitting his eye on the wooden bed frame causing a bruise and some bleeding. We got that cleaned up and within no more than 30 minutes he ran through the house, his hit head on the dining room table, and then fell back and hit the back of his head on the dining room floor.
Thoughts going through my head
**Oh man, I should have been watching him more closely**
** Are people going to think I don't watch my kid since he has a cut by his eye??**
** How did I let this happen??**
**What is my (mother, husband, MIL, friend, etc) going to think when they see this??**
I decided he had a lot of energy and needed to run it off so we packed the stroller and headed to the park. While he was balancing on the curb walking (and holding my hand!!) he slipped and cut his leg. It was about a 4 inch long cut down his thigh and blood was everywhere! Thankfully once we got home and cleaned it up it was quite shallow, but man. What a day.
Not only did my son get hurt a lot that day but I also found myself struggling with something I think all mamas struggle with at one time or another - Mom Guilt.
This is the guilt that we have that we aren't doing something well enough, that we aren't good enough parents, or that we are failing our children in some way.
With all of the expectations and Pinterest perfect images on social media - it's easy to see where this guilt comes from. This along with the (often unsolicited) parenting advice that you may receive from strangers or family members may leave you second-guessing yourself.
I'm here to tell you mama - you're doing a fantastic job. You are the perfect parent for your children. You were created to be their mama :)
But.... how do we handle the guilt that can come when children get hurt on our watch?
1) Watch That Self Talk - How we speak to ourselves matters. If you find yourself beating yourself up when your kids get hurt - stop it! Saying things instead like "all children get hurt sometimes" or "I can comfort them and help them feel better" are much more helpful, productive thoughts to help you get back to your day.
2) Break Out Those Affirmations - This is a great time to bring out those affirmations (if you want more info about affirmations, check out my blog post all about them here!) to build yourself up and remind yourself of the truth. You are a fantastic mama!
3) Call a Mama Friend who GETS IT! Reach out to someone who loves you, knows your a good mom, and knows that kids are wild and crazy sometimes! They will give you helpful words of encouragement and reassurance if you're struggling to give them to yourself.
Remember Mama - You are the best mama for your child. You are doing a good job. We all have hard days. We all have days when things feel overwhelming. If the overwhelming and hard days are coming more and more - please reach out for help.
I'm here for you Mama,
Kylee Nelson, LMFT