Two years ago, Liz Mannegren experienced every parent’s nightmare. While carrying her baby across the room, he did that thing that babies do where they arch their backs and throw themselves backwards. He flipped out of Liz’s arms, and fell to the floor. The little guy ended up with a fractured skull, and Liz left the hospital with a crushing mound of mom guilt. The thing is, this HAPPENS. So much! But it doesn’t make it feel any less awful when it happens to you. Liz shared a Facebook post about mom guilt on the two-year anniversary of that horrible day.
Liz said the day started out normally. “I carried my son across the living room towards the kitchen, same as I had done a thousand times before, same as I would do a thousand times after.”
And that’s when her normal day turned into a nightmare. Liz rushed to the hospital with her son. As they were being checked in, a nurse saw the guilt on Liz’s face and offered some reassuring words. She assured them that they see these things all the time, adding “I dropped my baby once,” she said with a sympathetic smile, “except I dropped my baby on a concrete parking lot.”
Knowing that it happens to other parents (and it does, all the time) does help. But it doesn’t stop the mom guilt.
“While there was some small measure of comfort found in the fact that I wasn’t the first mom to drop her child, it didn’t relieve the feelings of failure that washed over me.” Liz said she felt angry that she allowed this to happen, that she didn’t do more to protect him.
She said she felt like the world’s worst mother. We’ve all been there, Liz.
We are mothers, but we are human. And we’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes are small and inconsequential. Sometimes, they’re far more serious. Liz goes on to say, “Motherhood is not defined by any single action, but rather, by the whole. I look at myself and see a woman who failed to grab her son in time. My son looks at me and sees “mom” — the one who comforts and holds him when he falls.” One day does not determine your worth or success as a parent.
“Today does not define your motherhood.”
Amen, Liz. Be kind to yourselves, mothers and fathers. We’re all just doing the best we can, and our kids know that.
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(Image: Facebook / MommyMannegren)