I considered myself to be somewhat prepared for my kid's arrival. I mean, as prepared as one could be. I had read the books and asked the questions and had the go-bag and the route to the hospital mapped out and my birth plan somewhat solidified. I knew what to do when I brought my baby home for the first time, how to handle sleepless nights, and how to breastfeed. What I didn't prepare for, in any capacity, was the inevitability of my kid experiencing pain. There are thoughts every new mom has when her kids get hurt for the first time; unrelenting, unfair, somewhat ridiculous, definitely scary and intense thoughts that no amount of reading or research can possibly prepare you for. Motherhood can be extremely unforgiving, you guys.
It's hard to see your kid in pain, even though you know that it's inevitable and necessary and part of growing up. It's not like I want to put my kid in a bubble or forbid him from leaving the house or keep him from being brave and adventurous and care-free. Those are all amazing things that I encourage in my son. It's just, you know, they usually end in a pretty nasty fall and a few scrapes and bruises and tears. I have since been able to somewhat handle those moments and, honestly, any crying that may or may not occur doesn't late for very long. For the most part, anytime my kid falls down, I'm the one who hurts. He usually dusts himself off, continues playing and adds to the already extensive collection of bruises on his knees that I'm sure he's not even aware of.
Still, that first time your kid gets hurt is rough. Every fiber of your being urges you to pick up your kid and run to the nearest emergency room, even though that's definitely not necessary (usually). So, if you had (or are currently having) a hard time with the normal bumps and bruises of childhood, know that you're not alone. I guarantee you, most new moms thought the following when their kid hurt themselves for the first time.
"Call An Ambulance, Call An Ambulance!"
It's pretty normal to overreact the first time your kid hurts themselves. Well, at least that is what I told myself (and continue to tell myself). Kids are going to get hurt, it's normal and, honestly, necessary; that's how they learn. While it probably isn't healthy to keep them in a bubble to avoid feeling any type of pain, it's also pretty hard to witness them feeling pain, too. If your initial reaction is to call in the National Guard and have some field medic tend to that tiny little scratch your kid may or may not have at the hand of their first major fall, don't be too hard on yourself. That's just par for the parenting course, my friends.
"What Did I Just Do?"
Anytime my kid is feeling anything other than pure happiness and contentment, I ask myself what I'm doing wrong. Honestly, I think it's easier to look inward and try to see where I can make adjustments because, at least then, I know I'm in control. When you realize that you don't have (and cannot possibly have) absolute control over every situation, well, get that wine glass out, mom.
Still, when I see my son hurt I quickly ask myself what in the hell I did. Why did we go to the park? Why did I let him run around like a mad man aka a toddler? It rarely, if ever, is my actual fault, but old habits die hard.
"Wait, What Did YOU Just Do?!"
Of course, it doesn't take long for me to realize that this is entirely my kid's fault. I mean, what did you expect, beloved son of mine? You can't jump off the couch without sticking that necessary landing and expect to avoid feeling a little bit of pain. I have no idea what you were thinking, but I hope you learned about a little thing we like to call "gravity."
"I Knew Walking Was Dangerous"
As a first time mom, I have to be honest with you, I see danger everywhere. Before I had a kid I was so carefree and rarely worried about, well, anything. Now, even things most people would consider harmless (like walking) pose a potential danger, as my son is far from coordinated.
"Maybe I'll Just Call The Pediatrician..."
Yes, my pediatrician's receptionist knows me by name. Yes, they are very annoyed that I call far too frequently. No, I do not care.
Look, that's what they're there for, right? I would rather get some peace of mind (that I definitely can't find from Google because the internet is terrifying) than sit around and let my imagination run wild with possible health problems that may or may not be occurring under the surface because I'm not a doctor, OK? This is for my mental health, you guys. One quick phone call isn't all that bad.
Alright, it might be a little bad and very unnecessary, but whatever. At least the receptionist is super nice.
"Did They Have That Minor Cut Before?! Is This New?"
Whenever my son falls or get hurt, he gets a full body scan courtesy of my eyes and harnessed detective skills I've definitely learned from watching too many CSI shows. I will observe his head, picking through individual strands of hair like a chimpanzee looks for fleas. I have to make sure there are no deep cuts or bad bruises or any gushing wounds.
"We'll Just Stay Inside The House Form Now On..."
When my son wasn't a year old yet and bumps and bruises were just starting to be "normal," I found myself fighting the innate urge to retreat to the safe confines of our home anytime he got hurt. I mean, at least in our tiny apartment I could watch his every more (although, let's face it, he still fell down and hurt himself anyway).
"...Because I Cannot Deal."
I don't think a parent ever really gets "used to" their kid experiencing pain. You know it's an inevitable part of life. You know that bumps and scrapes and bad falls and trips and running into walls (yes, my son runs into walls) are just part of growing up. You know that being too protective of your kid is a bad thing. Still, rationality can, sometimes, go out the window when your kid is crying and asking for you and just wants to not hurt anymore and you can't do anything but hold them until they stop crying. I can't deal, kid. I just can't.
"I Mean, Get Your Life Together Kid"
Look, child of mine. You're adorable and really fun and yes, accidents are bound to happen. However, why don't you try looking in front of you, instead of behind you, when you're moving in any sort of forward direction? This will keep you from running into walls and refrigerators and coffee tables. This is also, you know, walking 101. Get it together, little one, because I can't handle another meltdown because you didn't realize there was a wall right in front of you.
"I'm So Glad You're Not Seriously Hurt..."
We're talking minor scrapes and bruises here, but that doesn't keep a mom from letting her mind drag her though possible scenarios where the outcome could be far, far worse. You can handle a cut or bruise.
"...But If You Scare Me Like That Again I will Seriously Hurt You."
My child is hellbent on giving me a heart attack before I turn 30. I know it. It's his super secret job and, so far, he's well on his way.
"Well, This Was Bound To Happen, Eventually"
Seriously, kids get hurt. They're tiny little thrill-seekers with no concept of gravity or consequences or even immense, physical pain. They're going to try things and, most of the time, those things are going to end in scrapes and bruises. I can tell you right now, your kid getting hurt is not indicitive of your parenting abilities. It. Will. Happen. Once. Twice. A million times. Make it a teaching moment and maybe it won't happen as much, but no matter what you do (short of putting your kid in a bubble which, hey, I get the appeal) kids will get hurt.
"Where's The Wine?"
I am convinced wine was made for mothers with toddlers who don't understand that what goes up, must come down. Cheers, mom.