When This Happens I Feel So Unprepared As A Parent

You know how you’re raising your tiny human being (or beings), and everything is going so smoothly until BAMSomething happens to remind you what an amateur parent you are? Still, after nearly 4 years in this game, I feel like I have no business doing what I do.

The week was going pretty well until we had a 24-hour stretch that reminded me that as a mom I have two tiny people depending on me no matter what happens.

I have to be on my toes.

I have to always be paying attention.

I need to be prepared for any eventuality – at home or away.

I need to know what to do in emergencies.

So much of a parent’s life is filled with hum-drum dishes, teeth brushing, and cleaning up – mostly the cleaning up, right?! When something out of the ordinary happens, it can be hard to react perfectly – I get it – but I feel like parents are held to a higher standard and need to be on top of the situation immediately.

So what happened?

  1. We were at the park Tuesday afternoon when a bee stung Squish. And holy hell did she cry!!! It was so loud that everyone looked at her, sure she was seriously hurt. What could I do for her? Absolutely nothing – except hug her and wipe the spot with a wipe. I had no anti-itch cream with me, no calamine lotion, nothing. We two have two tubes of the stuff (expired in May 2015 … how handy) at home – hmm, could one be for my purse now?!
  2. Two hours later I was finishing cooking dinner and the girls were playing at the kitchen table. All of a sudden I heard crunching even though no food was on the table yet. Puff had grabbed Squish’s chewable vitamin – as we put our daily vitamins on the table for dinner – and had mashed and swallowed half of it before I could fish the remainder out of her mouth. Oh geez, now what should I do? Is that safe for an 18mo? Did I need to induce vomiting? Where is the info sheet for her vitamin? Well, I assumed she’d be fine since Squish started taking that vitamin when she turned 2yo … but I did skip Puff’s vitamin the next day! But what if she’d gotten to my vitamins?!
  3. The next day after lunch, I showed Squish a free package of natural candy I’d gotten. They were hard candies, like traditional round swirly peppermints. She wanted the pink one, and I figured, “Sure, why not?” Squish happily sucked for all of 30 seconds before she burst into a wailing cry – she’d swallowed the candy whole! I guess it hurt her throat going down, so I tried to calm her down. Next thing I know she’s burping and the candy’s coming back up – only it seems she’s on the verge of choking! I tell you, the next three seconds felt like 30 as I mentally reviewed how to do the Heimlich procedure on a child and tried to determine if she was in fact choking. Luckily the candy was up and out of her mouth – and into my hand – promptly thereafter in one big and one small shard. You’d think my child would be distraught? No, the naive, invincible-feeling turd grabbed the small piece, saying, “I think I can still eat this small one,” and then put it back into her mouth! A few crunches later it was down safely. Both of us were shaking slightly, but after a long hug we recovered. But wow … wake up call! Parents: learn how to do CPR and the Heimlich on a child, and remind yourself every six months … just in case you need to use it for real.

I hate the expression, “lesson learned,” but it’s true here. Do I have to keep learning the lesson, though? Can I just somehow learn now how to be prepared for all this crazy stuff? I’d just like to not feel the #parentingfail vibe as strongly as I did during those 24 hours….

Please tell me I’m not the only parent to “get smart” after the fact! Any stories to share?

26 thoughts on “When This Happens I Feel So Unprepared As A Parent

  1. Yikes! Three in a row. That’s almost unfair. I’m glad everyone is ok, if shaken up. We all have parenting fails, I think. I like to think that I learn things but Babystar has fallen down steps TWICE. So I’m missing a lesson in there. 😶

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yah, it seems we are always ready for what has happened, not for what could. Can you imagine how heavy your Momma bag would be taking along all the stuff to ward off disaster! Sort of a bit like France preparing for WWII with WWI thinking~Maginot line? Or having to take off our shoes to get into an airplane!! Jimminy! Kids will keep surprising you as to what they will do, almost without thinking, ie. biting on a prickly pear cactus! It’s our job I guess, to outguess them!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh my goodness, #3 would have terrified me. *Adding learning CPR to the list*

    I feel you on the parenting fails. Every. Single. Day. It’s usually not something big, but there are always goof-ups.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How scary! Yes, this phase of baby-toddlerhood is so crazy. Kora perpetually runs around the house mischievously looking for something to destroy or get into. Ant traps, cherry pits, medicine, vitamins (she’s dying for sissy’s tummy v’s!) — I’ve had to fish many an item out! Great job parenting! Seriously!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m renewing my certification for CPR on Friday (required for coaches – should be for parents!) We do all we can, and life still throws us curveballs. I’ve found that trusting in your instincts is the best way to go about a life that can surprise us at any moment – parenthood!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I swear even when you think you’ve made their world safe they dive head first into something else we hadn’t considered. They will always catch you out because we can’t bubble wrap them and would need a family size suitcase to lug around things do every eventuality and who has the time to check that every day? You’re doing great 😘 xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sometimes the most bizarre things happen and I think “I don’t even know what to do in this situation”. Like Noah dropping a glass jar of baby food on the tile floor when I have raw fish all over my hands. What do I do? I have no idea!
    Parenting is hard. But you’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would love to say “Don’t worry”, because as a mom you will anyway, but hear this: this is a process where your kids are learning too, the hard way, that some things are not safe, like smooth round candy…
    Knowing CPR is invaluable. You are a great mom. I agree with all of the above comments, keep up the good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Weekend Reads II: Partnership, Peace and Parenthood – Coach Daddy

  10. I have a vague awareness that things happened when my daughter was little. Blissfully, she’s 12 now and I can’t remember any of it!

    It is a great idea to review those CPR/first aid protocols and keep in mind that a wet wipe and a mom cuddle is the best medicine for all bumps, bruises and stings. As long as she’s not allergic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we should all keep up with that; it worth more than time spent choosing new clothes or something! With a 12yo, do you worry about her injuring herself? Or is it just “go with the flow” nowadays?

      It’s so true that a mama’s love is better than anything for minor injuries. Thank goodness my kids don’t seem to be allergic to anything!


  11. Being prepared for any circumstance is almost impossible. I am a nurse certified in CPR and with training in wound care and let me tell you, it comes in handy, not only with my kids (who are all adults) but also with my grandkids. I can assure you though, from my experiences, that you (and your children) will survive. And perhaps have some interesting stories to tell along the way, as we have collected in our family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Poor Momma! Kids don’t have instruction manuals, and every day is on-the-job training for parents. Your candy story reminded me of when my daughter was young – well past the put-everything-in-the-mouth stage – and she choked on a RING that I gave to her to look at, and before I knew it, it was stuck in her throat! Immediately called 911, and almost immediately after that she coughed it up. I was weak in the knees for hours after. Never a dull moment with kids. Glad your little one is all right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness! Weak in the knees for sure; I really feel you there. Some kids just get weird urges to put things in their mouth, right?! My 4yo is suddenly putting things in her mouth again; I have no idea why or really how to stop her. I guess that’s just why we need to keep our eyes on them all the time!


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