When you feel you aren't Mum enough

I walked into the kitchen to put my mug down, returned to the lounge and heard a thud. Little had just face planted on the floor. I had left her next to her big sister, but I hadn’t been paying enough attention. I also hadn’t asked M to keep an eye on her.

The words "good parenting is probably 50% luck" on a gold background

I swore (more great parenting just there) and rushed to pick Little up. She cried and cried for what seemed like ages. I tried to get her to feed but she wouldn’t latch on, I hugged her and rocked her and bounced her and apologised to her over and over for being a bad mummy.

M was upset too. She hid in a corner cuddling one of her dolls. I gave her a quick kiss and cuddle, but I had to focus on Little.

I noticed Little’s lip was swollen on one side. Combined with the wet patch on the floor it suggested that was where she had connected with the floor. That gave me some reassurance that she hadn’t bumped the top of her head. Eventually (although probably only after a minute or two) she calmed down and had a feed.

As it was about Little’s nap time she started to fall asleep, but I wasn’t confident enough to let her sleep that close to banging her head. And we had to get to nursery.

I took M to nursery then popped to the shops where Little sat in the trolley and was her normal self. On the way home she fell asleep again, but this time I let her sleep. When we got home I picked her up and put her in her cot and let her sleep. I have a movement sensor and video monitor so I could be confident that she was sleeping safely. With her fat lip.
All parents make mistakes. We all have lapses in judgement or attention. Shortly before the incident I had put my knickers in the bin instead of the washing basket so clearly I wasn’t at my most switched on. I know that no one can be super human. You can’t (and probably shouldn’t) watch your children all the time. Good parenting is probably 50% luck. You read all the time about tragic accidents where children are hurt or worse. Easily preventable deaths. Preventable by being there, by paying more attention, by making the environment safer. But no parent is always there, your eyes aren’t on your child every second and there will be hazards that you don’t spot. Most of the time you are lucky and nothing happens, some times you will catch things before it gets too far (you catch the baby as they are about to roll off the sofa) or it doesn’t result in any harm (if your child runs out in the road, but there are no cars). It’s all luck. 

I was unlucky because my daughter was hurt, but lucky that she wasn’t badly hurt. My super Mum senses weren’t switched on. I made a mistake and it won’t be the last time. I feel like I wasn’t good enough, but my daughter is fine and I’m the only Mum she has so I have to be enough.

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