Parenting – The Beauty & The Horror Of The World

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There’s this thing that happened when I became a mother.

I think, I hope, it happens to all people when they become parents, because otherwise I’m a paranoid freak. Suddenly, I was able to see the world in all it’s beauty, but in all it’s true horror too.

Beauty because I had never known the type of love I experience daily from my children.

Horror because I suddenly became aware of every hidden danger, every bit of evil lurking around every corner.

I remember dressing Ava when she was still a tiny baby. How innocent and perfect she was but how truly fragile. She had no defenses against the world, except for us, her parents. And I started to think about the pedophiles in the world, who could destroy such perfect innocence and I remember being overwhelmed by fear.

A trip in the car terrified me. Suddenly, I was thinking about which side of the car was safest to strap her into. Because, God forbid we get high-jacked. Which side will be easiest for me to reach around and grab her out before these would be high-jackers drove off with the car. And even worse, when Hannah came along. Deciding who would sit where based on who was more capable of helping themselves, who could undo their own seat belt and who couldn’t. It is terrifying.

Suddenly, the simplest situations were fraught with danger. 

Like the time Ava nearly lost a toe because of a loose thread in her baby sleeping bag, or the time she vanished into thin air at Pappachinos. I will never forget that day. I was damn near hysterical, running through the play area screaming and near collapse. Or the time Hannah was playing next to the swimming pool and fell in (thankfully I was right there and we have a pool net) but I remember getting such a fright that I spanked her after I’d yanked her by the arm off the pool net. Then I burst into tears and cuddled her.

And don’t even get me started on taking my children to the mall. I hate this. This is my nightmare outing with my kids. I spend most of it screeching at them to stay close by me and hold onto me or me onto them. Every time we see these warnings about child kidnapping syndicates, I freak out a little more and resolve to NEVER take them to the mall again.

If you follow my page on Face Book, you will have read Natey’s story. This is another reminder of how we need to be hyper vigilante as parents but even then accidents happen, on our watch, in the blink of an eye.

Our children’s lives are so fragile and I find most of the time, this both terrifies me and makes me extremely paranoid. I wish I could wrap them in cotton wool and keep them in a padded cell till they’re grown up.

Earlier this week, Ava called me to show me a trick she’s learned. My blood literally ran cold and I’m now I can add her bunk bed to the list of evil dangers lurking in the periphery of my child’s life. She was all like, check Mom, check what I can do. Sitting on the top bunk, she slipped under the bar and turning her head to the side slid right through and onto the floor, there’s just one problem, if for whatever reason, her arms lose their grip and she can’t turn her head to the side, she will hang her self! I almost fainted and spent a good half hour giving her a fat lecture on how stupid that trick is and what can potentially go wrong.

Has parenting also made you hyper aware of the dangers in the world, of the seemingly innocent actions that can go horribly wrong and result in resounding tragedy? 

January 19, 2017
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12 Comments

  • Reply Carla VD Westy (@carlieshell)

    Oh gosh this post! Cindy shared Nates story and I read it this morning… I spent about an hour holding Harvey and crying. Crying for Nate. Crying for his mom. And crying for the future. Harvey is 7 months old and everyday I am grateful for making it this far but still terrified for what could happen. And there is SO much! I don’t want to drive alone or at night because I am scared that we get highjacked and I cant get to him (I put his carseat behind my side after much debate I think this will be easiest to access.) I am scared of car accidents, letting him nap anywhere but his crib where the movement monitor is. I am scared to take him for vaccinations in case he has a reaction (he hasnt missed one but he did have a reaction to the vitamin A drops). I am scared that he gets cancer. I am scared that he gets burned. I am scared of pools and water of course! But then I am also scared that he grows up restricted or scared himself because of me. Being a mother is much harder than I thought. Who knows what the future holds. We just have to have faith that bad things won’t happen and if they do, that we have the strength to survive them.

    January 19, 2017 at 11:54 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Yes, there are elements of motherhood, like the fear and paranoia and suspicion that I was also completely unprepared for!

      January 20, 2017 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Cindy

    I was just about to write a post almost exactly like this. It’s terrifying. I’m so hyper paranoid that Seth gets mad with me because he’s worried that I’ll make them scared of everything. But rather scared than dead right?!

    January 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      The saddest moment for me as a parent was when we had to sit Ava and Hannah down a couple of years ago and explain to them that if the burglar alarm goes off in the middle of the night, they are not to come out of their rooms, no matter how scared they are, they have to roll under their beds and stay there until mom or dad comes to fetch them. I HATE that we live in a world where we have to tell a 5 year old this!

      January 20, 2017 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Caroline

    OMW!!! You sound Exactly like me!! …the pedophiles and kidnappers… I cannot trust anyone! Its my worst fear… only made worse by my 4 yo daughter who literally will walk up to every stranger and hug them and talk to anyone who’ll listen… we’ve told her she cant hug strangers… “why not?” so now she asks them their name first… so now she knows them and hugs them!! Now we are trying to tell her that mommy & daddy don’t like it when you give our hugs away… they are our hugs.
    Seriously… stranger danger is something my kids don’t have and even though we are doing our best to teach them and I hate taking their innocence away, it still doesn’t seem like they understand and it makes me pet.ri.fied!

    January 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Yes, stranger danger is one part of it. But there are like dangers lurking everywhere. My other great fear is accidentally reversing over one of them in the driveway at home. I check where they are about 20 times before reversing out the garage!

      January 20, 2017 at 9:27 am
  • Reply Nats Jorgensen

    my mind is playing nasty tricks on me…after the school run and on my way to work I would ask myself…did you really drop him off…and then my day is ruined…I will HAVE to check with his teacher (using a silly excuse) to double check that he is in fact in class and safe…or when I get in my car that was standing in the sun for hours and look at the car seat and shiver what will happen if I ever forget him in the car…..the swimming pool is the worst fear as we have had so many birthday parties at our house with lots of kids and if I wasn’t at the right place at the right moment…I can’t go there…he is 6 now but it doesn’t make it any easier..in fact…now he comes home telling me stuff that makes me realize that I will have to have the private part and “where babies come from” talk soon and he is only 6!!!! how and where do I start?…because with some of these talks you only have one shot….

    January 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      YES! I’ve been through that too! Where I suddenly can’t remember if I dropped the kids off or if my husband did and I have a moment of complete panic.

      January 20, 2017 at 9:26 am
  • Reply pregnantincapetown

    I wrote too. I also spent half my therapy session today talking about that story. My anxiety was almost 100% based on numbing paranoid fear of all the things that could happen, my biggest one being a stray bullet in one of the seemingly endless armed robberies in shopping malls. It became debilitating to the point that I had to seek help. Because I was terrified that Charly would be terrified of everything. I don’t know the answer. I am still scared. But I work through the fear, or more like I bottle it quietly, smile and meltdown in therapy instead of around C. Parenting can honestly be the worst sometimes. Sending love xx

    January 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I hear you Mands. I almost NEVER take my kids to the mall, it’s a recipe for pushing my anxiety into overdrive. I’ve also become highly suspicious of EVERYONE! It’s exhausting but I feel like I have no choice where my children’s precious lives are involved.
      I’ve also been thinking about people’s reactions to this story, like you wrote, one reaction is judgement. It reminds me so much of the “Gorilla Mom” story, where so much hatred was unleashed on a mother, but the fact remains, no matter how vigilant we are, no matter how paranoid, how suspicious, bad things happen. Accidents happen. No matter what precautions we take, we can’t watch our kids 24/7, we can’t preempt certain outcomes and that is VERY hard for me to come to terms with.

      January 20, 2017 at 9:25 am
  • Juanita Coetzer
    Reply Juanita Coetzer

    Yes, I am a paranoid freak as well. My little girl just started playschool this week and the things that’s been going through my head!! Mother’s hearts must bear such heavy burdens.

    January 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Eeek! Sending them off to play school for the first time is terrifying.
      Since my kids started school, I’ve become like the suspicious mom. I actively look for reasons why their teachers are shitty because those are my babies!
      P.S. The teachers are not shitty, it’s just that now, aside from paranoia, I can also add suspicious to my list of character traits!

      January 20, 2017 at 9:22 am

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