Making mistakes simply means you are learning faster.

Last week in New York a woman killed herself by jumping out of her 8th story apartment window.

She had her 10-month-old son strapped to her chest.

The baby, miraculously, survived.

In fact, he was almost unscathed.

Postpartum depression appears to have been the reason.

This mom was also completely overcome with guilt because her son had fallen.

Twice.

Once from a playset, and once from the bed.

She (wrongly) thought she had caused him permanent damage.

And it pushed her over the edge.

I’m thankful that I’ve never had any issues with postpartum depression.

But I have had plenty of issues with good old major depressive disorder.

So I can relate on some level.

And the mom guilt…

Well…

We’ve all been there.

Most, if not all, of us have had a scare with at least one of our kids.

A scare that sends you spiraling into the “what ifs?”

But I don’t think people want to talk about a lot of that stuff because, well,

you feel like shit.

A failure.

You can’t imagine that any other mom would ever let anything bad happen to her own child.

Well, at least not a good mom.

So let me make you feel a little better.

When Number 3 was just a couple weeks old, I was breastfeeding him in bed.

I fell asleep with him on my chest.

And I was jolted awake.

By the sound of him falling face-first onto the floor.

No carpet.

No nothing.

Just his face and the hardwood floor.

A combination of a SMACK and a THUD.

I will never forget that sound.

It was one of the worst moments of my life.

And I’ve had some pretty bad moments.

I was sure I had fucked him up for good.

He was screaming.

And bleeding.

Just thinking about it now still makes me sick to my stomach.

And I couldn’t even silently live with the guilt.

Because my three-week-old son had a busted lip.

And bump on his forehead which was growing increasingly larger.

So I had to call the doctor.

And tell her that I just dropped my infant on his face.

I couldn’t even get the words out.

I was hysterical.

Almost hyperventilating.

The nurse told me I was not the first person to make this kind of call.

And that babies are pretty resilient.

Kind of like Bumbles.

Bumble022

They bounce.

So ultimately, Number 3 was fine.

But I wasn’t.

It took a long time to get over that one.

A looooong time.

If you are there right now, I get it.

And while I can’t totally comprehend the magnitude of what postpartum depression does to your thought process, I sure as hell understand the magnitude of the grip it has on a person.

I know it’s real.

If you are struggling, please know this:

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And if you’ve had a fuck-up and your kid has gotten an injury,
 don’t beat yourself up over it.
 You’re going to make plenty (more) mistakes during this whole mom thing.
 Take it as a learning experience and move on.
 You’re doing the best you can.
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 Oh, and if you’re breastfeeding your baby in bed….
 Get your ass in the middle of that sucker.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! PLEASE!!!  

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13 replies
  1. Patti Halstead Jude
    Patti Halstead Jude says:

    My kids are adults now, but I remember fearing that I would fall with them, drop them, & I did scream at my oldest son when he was colicky & I couldn’t soothe him to help him stop crying. I was exhausted, as he would cry from 9am till noon or one. Then he’d have another bout from around 8pm till 1:30am. His father would get angry that I couldn’t quiet him. When I lost it, I was so ashamed of myself…I adored this sweet child(I still do), had waited 8 1/2 years to have him. Thank God I was not so desperate as that young mother, was able to collect myself. My heart aches for her, her child, her family, and the many other women whose hormones tear them apart. We all make mistakes; that makes us human, not bad mothers!

    Reply
  2. monica x
    monica x says:

    You are so brave and I love your honesty. Admitting things like that is not easy, but it really does help to know that other moms fuck up, too. I love your blog more and more with each post and read daily. (Actually the only blog I read!)
    I totally get that guilt, where every time you think about the incident it stabs you in the heart and you just can’t stop re-living it. Thanks for writing everyday…you do what I wish I could…thanx.

    Reply
  3. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    Great post about postpartum depression. I suffered from it and it is amazing the thoughts that run through your head. Unfortunately, most woman don’t even know they are suffering from it. I appreciate your honesty. We all make mistakes as a mother. I used to fall asleep with my baby while breastfeeding also. I was just lucky that nothing happened. Guilt sucks, doesn’t it? And the kids grow up just fine in spite of it!

    Reply
  4. April
    April says:

    Every mom has days when you feel like you did everything wrong. The best advice my mom gave me when I was pregnant with my first (20 years ago!) was that I couldn’t do anything “wrong”. She said every parent makes mistakes but because you love your child you won’t every do anything to hurt her. Depression is a real thing and it completely changes your perspective. If I could say one thing to all new moms it is to breathe, enjoy them, and take care of yourself. When you are exhausted, not eating right, and inactive it makes the whole world look different. We, as moms, owe it to each other to be positive and supporting. The worst thing we can do is be judgmental because every mom is different and so are her children.

    Reply
  5. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Oh man, my “worst mom moment” is SO similar to yours but what’s awful is that I was conscious when I, uh… threw… my one week old. This story is so awful I plan on never telling my daughter about it.
    I was up at night breastfeeding her in the living room so we didn’t wake anyone up, and you know, it was that first week so I wanted to stare adoringly at her perfect little face in peace. I was also sleep-deprived. So when a MASSIVE spider crawled up my arm, I used my other arm to quick as lightning swish that horrible monster off of me. But the arm I used to sweep the spider off was the arm that was holding my one week old baby. She went flying, like 6 feet away onto the wood floor. The sound alone made me want to throw up. And then when my husband ran in to find out what happened and I had to tell him? Damn.

    I wish it were easier to reach out to new moms and tell them that no one is judging them. We’re all looking at you and your screaming baby because we miss those days, believe it or not. We all think you’re doing a fine job. Maybe they could tell pregnant women that in birth classes or something.

    Reply
  6. Bethany Kelly
    Bethany Kelly says:

    I went through PPD, and it was terrible. All I felt like doing was crying. I was lectured so much about being a perfect mother by my mother that I basically felt like a failure before I even had her.
    When my daughter got majorly hurt for the first time it was rough for me. She just started to be able to sit up on my lap and I was sitting at the table with her while eating dinner. Her neck got tired and she fell face first into the table. She got a huge bump on her forehead and I would not leave the house until it was gone. I called the doctor as well and he informed me that babies were resilient.
    I also suffered from PPD with my son. I had him quickly after my daughter and I was a stay at home mom. I had no adult interaction at all because my husband worked 80 hours a week so we could survive. That is when I finally got help, and I am much better now!
    I love reading posts like this to know that I am not alone.

    Reply
  7. Kara
    Kara says:

    I did this with my daughter. We were on the couch because we didn’t want to wake up daddy because he had work the next day. I moved her to the side and in the middle of the night she fell and hit the carpet, it was like a foot fall but I was so sure something was wrong with my baby. I have never gotten over it, ugh……

    Reply
  8. Joy in Comfytown
    Joy in Comfytown says:

    I agree. If you never feel a little bit like you’re failing, you may not be doing it right. The fact that we worry is what makes us good mothers. No one is perfect, but we do our best. YOUR BEST is different on different days. When you’ve had a total of 4-5 hours of sleep for weeks, you lower your bar. You do your best for THAT DAY.

    Reply
  9. Gabriel
    Gabriel says:

    As a young mother of 4, there have been many times that I’ve felt as though I am ruining my kids. really appreciate knowing there are mom’s out there that do the things I’ve done and it makes me feel like maybe I’m doing an ok job. Thanks so much for sharing! your blog honestly helps me out every single day! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a new mom, I’ve made some mistakes and have definitely had a few scary moments. We all make mistakes, but its reassuring to hear when others do too.

    Reply
  11. Gina
    Gina says:

    I remember when my son was about 7 or 8 months old. He was in his walker 😳, he followed us out the door, fell and hit his head on concrete. I had to call the advise nurse and admit that he was in a mobile walker. Felt like the worst parent on earth. How did I deserve this precious human if I couldn’t even follow basic directions? Such as don’t put him in a walker. 12 years later we can laugh about it. I cannot fathom the despair that the mother in New York must have been experiencing. There is help, please for the love of Pete seek it out. Please.

    Reply

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