Monday, September 30, 2013

Questioning my right to motherhood

Monday - 9.30.2013

Have you ever done something that accidentally put your child's life in danger? As parents it's our job to keep our kids safe, to keep them out of harms way at all cost. So when you do something or forget to do something, well, I can only begin to tell you how it makes you doubt your right to parenthood.

Yesterday I had such a terror strike me. Thank goodness the worse didn't happen. I'm hesitate to write this, in fact its hard to write this, it's taken me all day. As I type my fingers tremble. I know the criticism to follow, I beg you go easy on me, I spent the last two days crying and I'm still very upset.

You know those commercials that start airing at the beginning of the summer reminding you not to forget your babies in the car? And when you see one, you think to yourself I would never, ever do that! Who could forget their baby. It would never happen to me. Well I'm here to say it happens to the best of us.

Yesterday morning the Rosebud and I were off running errands, just us two, the other kids were home with dad. We stopped to visit a friend, than to Costco. When I left my friends house I got on the phone with my mom (through my sync system of course), I pulled up to Costco still on the phone and jumped out of the car. The baby had fallen asleep. It didn't even cross my mind! I ran into Costco for the pasta salad I order for a going away party we were going to later, jumped in line and ran out. Ten minutes tops.

As I opened the back door to put the pasta salad in, my heart stopped. I saw her laying there in her car seat, just praying to God she was still alive. I jumped in the car and thrust my hand out to her chest. She jumped but stayed asleep. I cried. I just sat in the backseat starring at my baby, balling and praying to God "Why oh why did you bestow so much responsibility on me? I'm not fit to be a mother!"

My precious little love
How could I forget I had a baby in the car!?! How? I can't even fathom how I could forget. My babies mean the world to me!

I called my mom first just sobbing uncontrollably, she calmed me down enough for me to get in the car and start driving home. I was afraid to tell my husband, not that he'd be mad, but that he may never again trust me with our children. How could he? Now I don't trust myself! But I called him, as I drove home, he was calm and understanding, desperately trying to keep me calm so I could get home.

When I did get home, I got the baby out of her car seat and just held her tight. I walked in the house, makeup running down my face, clutching my baby girl. My husband and mother greeted me at the door, I practically throw the baby at my husband and hit my knees, crying so hard I was nearly hyperventilating. My mom pulled me up trying to comfort me and thats when I realized I was going to vomit.

Once I finally did calm down, it really sank in just how bad that lapse in memory could have been. I could be mourning my 5 month old's death. I would not have been able to live with myself. As I told my mother later, if that would have happened she'd be burying me too or checking me into a mental institution. I can't get the image out of my head, seeing her there, thinking she was dead.

My mom did try to make me feel better by reminding me that Mary and Joseph forgot Jesus in Bethlehem and only remember him after a relative informed them of his absents after 3 DAYS of traveling! Thanks mom!

I will do everything in my power to keep this from happening again and hope that this serves as a reminder to my readers to always check the back seat before you walk away.  I never thought I'd be the one I'd need to keep my kids safe from.

I blame my being distracted and the fact that I'm stressed out over the situation at home. I have made a promise to myself to not use talking on the phone as free time while driving, even if it is handsfree! I also downloaded an app called "Don't Forget Your Baby". It's available on Androids and connects through your Bluetooth. I'm even tempted to buy IAlert Car Seat, it has sensors in it that communicate with an app on your phone. It's $300 but apparently I need it and it's well worth it!

I read I comment from another blog on this subject, where the mom said she leaves her purse in the backseat every time she gets in the car, that way she has to go back there to get it. I will start doing that.

I'm afraid to ask for comments, but please if you do choose to comment, be nice. I'm already in more than enough mental anguish over it.

Thanks for sharing another adventure with me!
Stay safe, stay sane and stay absolutely splendid!

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  1. Don't be so hard on yourself, it happens. Just be thankful that she is ok and nothing did happen. Give her lots of love and I hope you feel better!

  2. It's called being on auto pilot. It's not because you're a bad mother. It's a well documented state of mind. I read an article (which I am not going to link you as it is a similar situation to yours which turned out badly and will only make you more sad) that says psychologists have studied it and it is because the baby is asleep, unseen and unheard, that means that auto pilot can take over leaving baby in back seat.
    PLEASE don't hate yourself. Buy the app or the car seat to make yourself feel more in control, put your handbag in the back seat, and try and move on. Baby is safe, which is all that matters.

  3. You are human. She is ok. Forgive yourself.

  4. That is one of my biggest fears. Parents make mistakes, but the fact that it hit you so hard shows how much you love your child. A mistake does not warrant questioning of motherhood, only intentional acts of hate. I am glad she is ok. You will be ok. No matter what anyone says, you love your child, you deserve to me a mother and it was an accident. It is a good thing you put this out there because everyone thinks it would never happen to them, it happened to one of their friends so we will all do double checks. You sharing your story may be saving a life. Give God a high five and kiss that baby :)