Blame and Shame.
2016: The Year of the Perfect Parent
"Accidents don't JUST happen."
Surely there is someone to blame.
There has been a lot of crazy talk floating around the internet due to recent tragic media events.
Not only does my heart ache, but I also can't help but shake my head in disgust at all of the judgement these parents face as they mourn and try to move past their trauma.
How many of us this week have second guessed decisions, kept a little tighter grip on our toddlers when out, or felt the pressure to be the perfect parent because of it?
This past week at Great Wolf Lodge, where my family was enjoying a week long vacation full of pools and water slides, I had a moment.
A moment of crazy inside talk.
Or what felt like I was driving myself crazy, when my son said he wanted to go on a water slide that was too big for him.
We had a good thing going on the little slides.
Dad took him up the steps and placed him on the slide, mom (ME) caught him at the bottom.
Why rock the boat?
But when Oliver, our son, saw the bigger toddlers, going down the bigger slides, naturally he wanted to go.
My gut mom instinct said, "NO WAY." What if he flips over, gulps water, and goes under?
My nurse gut instinct said, " What if he gets water in his lungs, he could die!"
My trainer gut instinct started to think, "How long would it take me, and how agile would I have to be to bust a$$ up that slide to grab him?"
I looked at my husband, "The answer is NO."
But my husband said, " He can do it. It doesn't go fast. I'm right there."
Then I started to question myself.
"Great. Mean mom says no. What if I'm being too overprotective? What if he really can do it? What if I'm denying him a fun experience?"
We over think and beat ourselves up for our decisions, as if Oliver at two and a half is going to remember that I didn't let him go down the bigger slides.
That's something he's surely going to say at therapy when he's 20, right?
He's surely going to like Dad more than me!
That's just crazy talk!
At first I got angry at my husband, "Sure bone head, place your kid in danger for the thrill of it."
But before I spoke, I thought it through.
I admire my husband's desire to show Oliver that's he capable of anything he puts his mind to.
I love that my husband wants to give him that little push and create memories with him.
My husband lives to see our son smile and through his eyes, no matter what, he's a proud dad.
That little push was coming from a place of love. A place of "Go get em, little boy!"
Isn't that what we all want? Someone to believe in us.
Just as I said NO the second time, a tiny toddler who wanted the same experience, flipped over on her stomach, tumbled forward, gulped water, and had a melt down.
"Maybe you're right," said my husband. (Mark that down in the books!)
So we stayed on the little slides and made some amazing memories.
This experience this past week taught me:
1. Trust your mom gut instinct. It has never failed me yet.
2. Appreciate your spouse and their drive to push their kids a little bit further. We all need that encouraging leadership to play up in our lives.
3. You won't screw up your kid by saying no. That's the best part of being a human. We aren't like wolves or bears at the lodge or in the wild.
We have higher brain function that at ANY time in our life, we can make a different choice.
We can create different experiences regardless of our past.
And if you see a gulping crying toddler, don't judge their parents. Lend a helping hand and a kind smile.
We are all just learning after all.
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