Friday 8 July 2011

The Friday Column

The risk averse mother....

Risk Averse - to avoid risk, to avoid something that could have a negative outcome.

That is me, it doesn't apply to general things in life just things that could result in death or injury...

I am sure I wasn't always like this but then as I got older I started to notice the danger in seemingly harmless activities. Maybe I noticed it after I was on a roundabout in the park and older children spun it so fast I was flung off of it cutting my knees wide open, or maybe it was when I was with other children watching a boy spin round with a sports bag in his hand and it escaped from his clutches and smashed into my face, ruining my pretty little nose forever.

I have already mentioned my phobia of dogs in a previous Friday Column that means that an innocent walk in the park in my head will result in being bitten.. If I go to a water park I will not go on those really high water slides as I am sure that I will be the one that falls over the side. I once was sunbathing by a pool and there were people playing water polo and of course when the ball came out of the water it hit me on the head, hard. I think you can probably see where I am coming from with this ? Please do not ask me if I want to do a bungee jump, don't you know that the chord could snap!

Then I became a mother.. At first it was quite straightforward, it is easy to protect the precious little bundle as they don't move much, then they learn to roll and then crawl and then toddle and walk. Each stage brings its own heart attack inducing moments, well they did for me as I could see every potential danger, you really need eyes in the back of your head and arms that stretch out for miles. Lightening speed movement would be highly beneficial, Superman powers would be ideal. Accidents happen of course, they are inevitable when you are dealing with such curious, inquisitive little bodies. There isn't much you can do unless you wrap them in cotton wool or bubble wrap (believe me, I have been tempted).

As I see danger in everything, the place that causes me most anxiety has to be the children's playground. Whilst other mums are chatting away to each other, letting their children run, jump, climb and explore, I am usually to be found following Aaron around like a hawk. Usually I am saying 'Don't do that, don't touch that, be careful!' My stomach lurches every time he climbs up high, falls over and I only relax when he is back on solid ground. One of his favourite pieces of equipment is this huge apparatus of a climbing frame that has a gaping hole on one side, who on earth designed that! He has wanted to go on that since a very young age as he has seen all the other children on it.

Learning to let go 

My husband takes a lot more relaxed approach to Aaron and if I am in the playground with them both it used to really get to me that he wasn't watching Aaron as closely as I was. Now he is 3 I have learnt to relax a little. I still keep my eye on him, I still say be careful but not nearly as much as I used to. I know I say it too much as Aaron tells me 'Mummy I am being careful'. He is probably a bit more cautious than other children and I have noticed that they seem to be a lot more fearless and adept at climbing things at a younger age than he was.

I am so conscious that I don't want to project my fears onto him that I am really trying my best to bite my tongue and just let him be, I am there to catch him if he falls.

My next challenge?

Handing Aaron over to nursery school and then school... 


  1. I know exactly how you feel! When my daughter was two she tripped over in the garden, got a stone stuck in her head and was left with an awful scar on her forehead.

    I knew at that moment that she was going to be the type of child who fell over, fell off things and was just clumsy.

    She is 11 this year and no matter how hard I have tried to keep her safe and unblemished she will trip up, fall off things and sting herself! I'm used to it now and it just goes to show that no matter how careful you are children will be children and do their own thing.

  2. I'm like that too. Now every time my daughter bumps into something she says 'oh! Be careful!' to herself lol.

  3. I totally understand you, Bettina! And I consider it is totally normal. I am not a mum, but I am sure that in the future I will almost certainly be like that.
    I am sure you will handle it step by step and this attitude makes you a wonderful mum.

  4. Thanks so much for understanding :-)

    You are right though, children will be children no matter what.


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