Having children comes with so many wonderful experiences. From the moment they are born you learn an entirely different love. It’s innocent, precious, genuinely sincere and really does feel like the greatest gift. It’s no wonder there are such titles such as “Helicopter Parenting.” As adults, we know there’s a lot of crazy in the world and you want to protect them from it. From falling off the monkey bars to the situations that no one wants to think are real. We hold that fear because very unfortunate things happen on a daily basis, and despite our best efforts, we can’t always stop it.
The scary thing- it is real. Does anyone else feel completely terrified at times because of this? Like you wish you could be a fortune teller and predict what will happen that day, so you can aide your children to avoid certain situations. I know I do. Because those bad things, they do happen. And you know what? You’re not alone.
I have read to my kids how to avoid certain situations. I got creative with my explanations to create a comfort zone and drilled it into their sweet little heads that I am a safe place for them to talk. I encourage them if they ever have to defend themselves for any reason, I would have their backs. There were certain things I thought I had in the bag. I assumed those scary situations would be avoidable because I had educated them and did my best to prevent them. We could only hope so, right?
About a year ago, I started getting this weird feeling something was going to happen to my kids. Rather than looking the other way, hoping I was just being crazy, I approached it head-on. I took all the steps and vocalized my concerns to avoid it from happening. I got all Mama bear to protect my littles. I felt pretty confident I had covered any chances of the No Good I feared, from happening. I consciously created this barrier around them that if anyone or anything with bad intent came close they would get drop kicked, Bruce Lee style. I was too late. It had happened. One of the things I had taken so many steps to avoid, happened. It felt like the twilight zone. I thought I was predicting something avoidable from happening in the future, but to my disbelief, it was actually a thing of the past. It happened. The real-life nightmare I had to learn to choke down was my family’s new reality. It was something I couldn’t wake up from. It happened and slid right under my nose.
I felt like a complete failure to my kids. I didn’t understand how something like that was possible with all the steps of prevention I had taken. I didn’t know what to do from there. I had focused so much on how to prevent things that I never even thought about how to handle something if it did happen. I think I always blocked that part out. No one wants to think about the No Good things happening to our precious little gifts. But now the aftermath was happening. I felt like I crossed over into this world I never knew existed. Know what I learned? I was not alone. Just because it’s not something people come out and say, “Hi, I’m *blank*… this happened.” It doesn’t mean they’re not there. It doesn’t mean people don’t understand. But there would be times I would share very delicate information with the wrong people because I felt close to them. It made it worse. I would be so angry at them for not understanding. I would scream into my pillow because it was so frustrating that I couldn’t find the right support. I got full-on mama bear at any given time because I didn’t even understand it myself. I came to learn there are reasons why there are books and support groups out there. They’re there for just that, to support you, your children and your family in learning how to move forward.
These children are our world. Even on the days when they act like total A-holes and we wish they’d stay at their grandparents for the weekend, our love for them never stops. The needing and wanting to protect them never ends. We would take down any walls and barriers to be there for them in any given moment, for any scratch-no matter the size. I have no degree in this, I’m not a specialist in any way. I’m just a Mom who is being real with you about the things that tend to get silenced. If a bad situation occurs, no matter what it is, there will be a whirlwind of emotions. If you thought you were a basket case already… woah baby, you’re in for a ride. I hope this is never the case for you. But if it is, allow yourself time to cope, to heal, to learn how to ride the coaster. It’s wild and unpleasant. But I promise you, there is a teeny tiny light somewhere at the end of the tunnel. And when you see it, keep your eyes on it and keep pushing. Be patient. You’ll fall along the way, your grocery cart will fill up with awful comfort food, and your pillow will be your best friend. But don’t get stuck there. Let it be a resting spot to move forward. You will cross people who will upset you. Keep pushing. You will feel guilt and rage. It’s not your fault. Keep pushing. You’ll find love, comfort, and strength. Grasp it and hold it close. Your children are your gift. You are theirs as well. You will adapt, you will make it through. You and your kids will laugh again. The light will get brighter. If you’ve been there, you know. If you’ve never been there, I hope you never know. Either way, find the strength for whatever situation may come about in life. I promise, you are stronger than you think and you are not alone.