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Mommy Mondays: Parenting Is Hard and Mistakes Happen

Baby Mess: The results of our daughter spilling paint on the floor
I think that anybody who has had the privilege of being a mother for longer than 2 seconds develops a great sense of compassion. Before becoming a mom I viewed mothers I saw with a harsh lens.

I judged those in the store whose kids cried and begged for candy. I used to look down my nose at the mothers who took their kids out of the house with mismatched clothes.  And I definitely would have judged harshly the mom who was jogging in Seattle and lost control of her stroller and her baby was saved by a garbage man.

I have been blessed that I have not had any accidents this extreme. I used to believe that was because of my great parenting skills. Now I realize that it has been the grace of God.

When my baby was about ten months old she rolled off of the sofa because I was too preoccupied blogging to realize that she had inched towards the edge. Then, she fell. She cried. I cried. And I felt incredibly guilty.

There was that unfortunate time when she ate poop...

And the other day on the way to church I put the brake on her stroller, bent over to pick up her sippy cup, and the stroller, with the toddler in it, bounced down the steps, which were quite steep. There were some extenuating circumstances, but the bottom line is, she was at risk and it was my fault.

I cannot describe how scared I was.

We were not close to the street.  I suppose if I had a real understanding of physics and I was not an overprotective mom I may not have freaked out. However, since I only had one year of high school physics and I only got a  "B" because of the generosity of a kind teacher I failed to realize that she was not in any real danger. Instead, I screamed loudly and my heart dropped. I beat myself up all day. I could not believe that I had been that careless. 

She landed at the bottom of the steps, unscathed, wearing a smile.  You gotta love my Baby Trend Expedition Jogger-Phantom stroller with the large rubber wheels...

I may have previously been more thankful at church. However, I cannot recall when that might have been. 

I used to believe that parenting required perfection.  I have learned that perfection is impossible.  Becoming a mother expands your skills in indescribable ways. However, you remain human. Sometimes you make mistakes.   However, every day we can do better.

I no longer immediately judge other mothers who make mistakes. As parents we can all learn from our mistakes and improve the way that we protect our children. People aren't perfect. However, systems can be.

Because as much as we love living in a world where we enjoy God's grace and the kindness of helpful garbage men, we don't really want for them to be our primary safety plans...

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