Let The Kids

Mothering is a tough job. Every day we are faced with multiple challenges. We start our days sleep deprived. We have a long to-do list to prioritize, that with every passing moment gets longer and longer. A mother is constantly weighing the consequences of their child’s actions. If they fall from there, will it leave a mark? If I make this for dinner, will they eat it? If I stand my ground, is it worth the fight? When a mom is out in public, these decisions are put on display for the world to see, and pass judgment on her mothering skills.

Recently I took my 3-year-old to see the SING Movie. It was so much fun. I love our dates together. Whenever our mother-daughter relationship is feeling strained, or she is a little jealous of Lil Sis, a mommy and me date can usually do the trick! It was a rainy weekend, hubby stayed home with the baby. Cora and I got popcorn and M&M’s and watched all the little animals sing and dance. We were in the front row, it’s our preferred area so when she wants to stretch her legs she can. In the second half of the movie, she got a little antsy. I let her dance around and climb on the railing. I had a choice. I could be a “helicopter mom’ and tell her to get down. I could tell her to sit in her seat. I knew both of those options would end up in a meltdown and her wanting to leave. If she melts down I become the mom who shouldn’t have brought her child to the movie, or the mom that can’t “control” her kid. I chose to let her be little. Let her have a break, let her dance to the fun songs. To not worry about the others around us and only what I thought was good for her. She was being quiet and the theater wasn’t full. I was right there. If anything happened I could catch her. WHOOPS! Right as I let my guard down, my poor girl flips head first over the bar, falling face first onto the lower level. She was fine. Shaken with a fat lip. Crying, but okay. I now doubt my choice, but I want her to have the opportunity to have these accidents in a safe manner. I wish I would’ve caught her. I’m lucky she landed the way she did. I know it could’ve ended worse.

It’s hard to make these choices for our kids every day. Decide their limits. Sometimes we miss the mark. Sometimes we lose our cool. Some days we look away at just the wrong moment. I believe every mother knows their child and what their limits are. We all want to do right by our little ones. In this moment I felt like a failure. I was embarrassed but knew I didn’t have time to let myself be upset, I needed to tend to a crying 3-year-old. I had to get her calm enough so I could get back to our seats to grab my purse, so I could get her out of the theater. My mommy guilt swallowed me wholly by the time we were to the car. I had to run to Target on our way home, so of course, I had to get her a toy to make her feel better. To make me feel better. Every time I looked at that little face, with her fat lip little smile, my heart ached a little more. I reminded myself how lucky I am that there were no stitches or ER visits. My first big boo-boo. I still shake my head writing this in judgement of myself. We are so hard on ourselves as mothers to protect them every second. I will go forward, I will make more mistakes. There will be more ouchies on my watch. Hopefully, they will all be as minor as this one. I stand strong though, when she is with me I will let her be a kid. I will continue to let her explore and test her limitations. After all, she will only be a child once. The world will only be new and exciting for short time, and I don’t want to steal that from her. So to all the moms out there who let their kids fall, I’m still with you. We can’t learn to get back up if we are never down.


  1. Erin

    She will thank you someday for letting her learn things on her own…what a fabulous mama you are to be so conscious of this

  2. marsmanlangit

    Motherhood is so tough at times! Awesome movie btw..loved the soundtrack!
    But in the midst of the chaos, it is so important to stop a min and recognize the moment. That our children wont be children forever and all the dramatic moments filled with provoking screams, are just moments. It doesnt make them the kid that they are..its just a moment.
    Thank you for reminding me of this.

    1. Chelsea

      Every day I remind myself that everything she experienced today will change the person she is tomorrow. The good, the bad, the fun, and the sad… all change her perspective of the world and I try so hard to not interrupt that too much.

  3. harryandjules

    There are days when our kids will fall and we cannot catch them….and days when we slam their fingers in the car door (I know I’m not the only one!) That’s Life. We make mistakes and learn right along them, especially with the oldest. Everything new for them is new for you too. You’re doing great and I’m sure handled it all with grace. 😀

  4. ceglutenfreefoodie

    Hang in there, everything that happened is natural. Even if you stood there under the railing there is no guarantee she would of fell perfectly into your arms. As parents…its literally…just look forward and be there to kiss the booboos. Thats all she will remember that mama was there to kiss her.

  5. Ash @ Spit Up and Sit Ups

    I’m glad she’s okay! Kids fall. I think we can only do so much as moms. My son has a Harry Potter like scratch on his forehead from my ring. The scratch just glares at me because I was careless and didn’t see him. I know he’ll be fine and I’ll be fine. I know falls, bumps and bruises, and scratches are just part of the process.

  6. Forever Young Moms

    We are so hard on our selves as moms and the amoutn of mom guilt we put on ourselves can be overwhelming at times! Kids fall, it happens, and you did everything you needed to make sure she was okay- you got this momma, you’re doing great!

  7. Jen C

    You should see the picture of my little with her first fat lip- it was epic! The first is the hardest… after that it’s not early as bad. Or at least you become more immune to it by the 100th boo boo! At some point you can separate yourself from your child and just offer them compassion when they get hurt instead of feeling like their boo boo is literally ripping your own heart out. It gets easier!

  8. Cookie Crumbs

    Do glad your little one is okay. We’ve all definitely had these moments. We are our own worst critics that’s for sure. My daughter is always on the move, climbing things, barreling down the side walk on her bike, etc. It’s all I can do sometimes to just let her be a kid. Making those decisions between being cautious or letting them play and potentially having an accident are hard to gauge sometimes. The best we can do is brush ourselves off, hold our babies and kiss their boo boos when we miss the mark. 💕

    1. Chelsea

      Yes! We would go crazy, and they would hate us, if we tried to prevent every possible accident… I’ll enjoy giving the hugs and kisses as long as they want them!

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