Regardless of how hard we try as parents to protect our babies, they will get hurt.
Your baby will be learning how to sit, and fall over- several times.
Your baby will have mastered learning how to sit, and still decide to randomly forget how, fall over, and bonk her head- several times.
Your baby will be holding a toy, flailing it around, and hit herself in the face with it- several times.
Your baby will decide to bite down on something, bite down too hard, hurt herself and cry- several times.
Your baby will decide to fling her body backwards, just as you are walking into a doorway, and hit her head on the door jamb- hopefully not several times because mama will learn it’s coming.
Your baby will scratch herself with those pesky little baby nails that you feel like you just cut yesterday- several times.
Your baby will pull herself up, lose her balance and fall over, and hit her head- several times.
Your baby will stand up and not know how to sit or lay back down. So again she’ll fall- several times.
Your baby will get an arm or a leg stuck in the crib rails- several times.
Your baby will walk- bringing its own set of disasters waiting to happen- several times.
Your baby will run- and all bets are off.
YOU will accidentally clip the skin of that delicate finger while you are clipping her nails. She’ll bleed, but she’ll hardly even notice. She’ll be ok.
YOU will accidentally hit her head on the car as you are putting her in the car seat. She will cry. She’ll be ok.
YOU will accidentally hit her head on the car as you are taking her out of the car seat. She will cry. She’ll be ok.
YOU will take your eye off of her for a split second, and she will fall down. She will cry. She’ll be ok.
YOU might even hit her head on a moving ceiling fan (or some other seemingly serious incident). She somehow will be un-phased by the incident or maybe she’ll scream and your heart will break. She’ll be ok.
YOU will be ok.
YOU might decide that even though you know she is ok, you still need to check with the doctor- just to make sure. You call the after hours and tell them of your parenting fail. They go through all of the possible scary symptoms. Everything checks out ok. They still advise that you take her to the emergency room.
YOU get to the emergency room and everyone knows your are first time parents. They tell you of their parenting fails and remind you of all of the above incidents that can and will happen. They laugh and tell you that if they came to the emergency room every time they had injured their baby, they’d live here. They reassure you that everything is ok. You feel silly for being there. You feel like you have “first time parent” written on you in bright bold letters. You are comforted by the fact that you came, and comforted to hear the stories of other parenting fails.
YOU are not alone.
Your baby will survive- despite you.
She is built to survive.
You are built to survive.
So, forgive yourself. Keep putting her on your shoulders and running around the house- because she loves it so much. Just remember the ceiling fan the next time around. Learn from your parenting fails, and experience new ones. They will happen, expect them to happen, forgive yourself when they happen.