I want to applaud Jessica Glassberg for her recent post about throwing her baby down the stairs. I mean, she didn’t really, but it feels like it when you fall and the baby falls, too. Not that I’d know…
Actually, I would know. I do know. Very well.
I am afraid to share all of the mommy mess-ups I’ve had because I am still afraid someone will call Child Protective Services on me. I may or may not have been eating my second bowl of Cocoa Krispies and assuming the baby monitor was working fine while my first-born 9-month-old was crying on the floor of my in-laws’ home in Utah. I may or may not have watched that same child three years later tumble down a flight of stairs as my entire existence flashed before my eyes. I may or may not have accidentally hit my own trumpet into that same child’s mouth this weekend, causing his lip to bleed.
Moms who have those things happen are bad, right? Negligent. Careless. Too consumed with their own mishegaas to be fully present. Right?
Wrong. It’s so important to talk about these things. The first time I admitted that I was having bizarre and intrusive fears of accidentally dropping my newborn, one of my closest friends almost started crying. “You too!?” she said. We marveled at how good it felt to not be alone with those scary feelings. We shouldn’t be alone with those feelings. No mom should be.
Disclaimer: Some fears and obsessive thoughts are on the normal spectrum post-partum, but if you are having persistent, intrusive, or disturbing fears and thoughts, especially in the three months after giving birth, please seek a certified professional to assess if you are having clinical Post-Partum Depression.
I applaud Jessica and also other brave and fearless writers here on Kveller.com — most notably recently Jordana, Carla, and Alina — for sharing the hard and dirty and sometimes ugly parts of parenting. It’s what makes Kveller different, we think, than those other parenting websites. We don’t sugarcoat it here, friends. And it’s for the benefit of this bizarre but wonderful internet world that we all live in that we can share all of this and hopefully make others feel a little less alone.
We shouldn’t have to hide. I’ve heard that we are as sick as our secrets. It’s only when we talk and share that we can learn how to frame things, how to prevent accidents, and how to forgive ourselves when they happen.
Because they will. But knowing I have other parents out there who I’m not afraid to be real with makes me a stronger mama. Not a perfect mama, but a stronger and more resilient one. And thank goodness for resilience.
Especially the resilience of my first-born, who clearly has nine lives.