You are having a great day. No one has pooped, peed or puked on you so far. You have actually managed to put a dent in the mountain of dirty laundry and, miraculously there are no dirty dishes in the kitchen (visible). You have a free hour of time before supper, so you figure why not get bath time done early?
You wrangle the 1 and 3 year old upstairs, start running water for the bath, and go get the towels from the linen cupboard. Then it happens. It gets quiet. Too quiet. The hairs on the back of your neck start to rise. You return to the bathroom to find the door closed – but you are sure you left it open. You can hear the baby playing inside. You try the knob. Locked. You look for the three year old and find him hiding behind the bed – guilty as charged. Now panic sets in. The baby is locked in the bathroom with the tub filing, you are pretty sure you neglected to secure the safety lock on the cabinet after setting out the shampoo, so your little one has access to numerable poisons. And worst of all – this door has no key. Your stomach is now officially trying to climb up your esophagus. The cold sweat has arrived. WHAT THE F**K DO I DO NOW!!??? You have just been Sucker Punched.
As mom’s, we often have the most gut-wrenching, mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, terrifyingly stressful situations thrown at us out of nowhere. I call this getting Sucker Punched. No matter how much you try and prepare for all eventualities, your kids, and this crazy Mommyland we live in can always come up with something new to knock the crap out of you. And somehow it always happens just when you think you got it all under control.
Just last week I finally managed to arrange for a babysitter to watch my kids for me for an hour and not 20 minutes after I leave does my kid throw up on the babysitter (who was Alice by the way). Then, when Alice is trying to put the baby to sleep, my puking three year old climbs on a chair to get a snack in the kitchen and falls off, hitting his head and resulting in my frantic return to nurse him back to health for the next four days.
In nature it is said that when animals are faced with a stressful situation like this they have one of two possible reactions – Fight or Flight. This evolutionary instinct is supposed to have passed on to humans as well. However, I think us Mom’s only got the Fight part. No matter how awful the situation, if our kids are involved we never run away or give up. Yes, when things are calm, or if our husbands are around to watch the kids, we may occasionally ‘escape Mommyland’ to read a book or meet with friends but when our kids really need us, when that sucker punch arrives, we are ALWAYS there – we never run away.
Eight days after my son was born, after one day of being home with him, I had my first experience with this. Although I had only been a mom for a little over a week my Momstinct was already up and running. I just knew something was off with my little one. After taking his temperature and getting a high reading we took him back to the hospital we had so recently vacated. While his temp ended up being fine, during the examination the doctors discovered another problem, and informed us that my new baby was going to need surgery. I have never in my life been more devastated.
Yet, while I admit to indulging in a lot of tears, I never gave up hope. My husband and I began frantically researching the condition, evaluating options, rating hospitals, and doing anything we could think of to help our baby. The hardest moment came when I had to hand my little three-month-old baby over to a nurse to take him to be cut him open. But I would not let myself cry then because I did not want my son to be scared.
My point is, us Mom’s are made of some tough stuff. When life tries to knock the crap out of us, we don’t just lay down and take it – we fight back. We fight for our kids because they deserve the best, whether that means we swallow our tears and find our courage for their sake or whether we cancel our plans to provide comfort and get puked on, we will do what we must. So what do you do when the baby is locked in the bathroom? Well, personally I (who had taken one too many kickboxing classes) decided the best course of action was to kick in the door. So three kicks and one broken door later the baby was rescued, unharmed from the bathroom (though I had lost three years off my life). But my point is, somehow you survive, you fight for your kids and make it through to be sucker punched again another day.