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This should not have happened but it did happen. I'm the mother to a 14-month-old girl. We were going for our usual morning walk in our garden. Suddenly I felt something fall on me from above. Without thinking, and forgetting that I was carrying my daughter, I flung my arms out. My daughter fell onto the earth and she looked frightened and confused. My heart sank when I realized what I had done.. it has been a week but I keep replaying the incident in my mind.. how could I be so immature? So irresponsible? So selfish. I'm shocked and disgusted at my behaviour.

I honestly feel like the worst mother ever - I've never heard of a mother dropping her baby for this reason. I picked her up right away, and consoled her. Then I took her to the doctor who examined her and said that there was nothing to worry about physically. But I'm more worried about the emotional effects. I'm her mother, she should feel safe and secure with me, but I've completely destroyed her confidence in me. How will she trust me again?

  • Has her behavior with you or in general changed in any way? Does she cry when you hold her? Is she different in any other way? – anongoodnurse Oct 30 '16 at 15:50
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    You may be surprised to know that most new parents have had something like this happen. It's not immediately natural to have reflexes that include a child. At that age there is a lot of time to gain full trust again. – Rory Alsop Oct 30 '16 at 16:48
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    We all make mistakes. If I had a nickel for every mistake I've make, I'd have enough money to pay for my kid's college! The important thing is to try to learn from them.... In this case, may I suggest a stroller for your outings? This will protect your little one from accidents like the one you described; it will help you feel more relaxed and less worried; and it will be good for your back. // By the way, is your 14mo starting to be interested in walking, either on her own, or holding your hand? – aparente001 Oct 30 '16 at 20:19
  • Children will usually reflect what they see from their parents. If you seem concerned or worried or hesitant, your child will reflect it. A good first start is to change your username here —as long as you view yourself as the worst mother, your sadness or attitude will come out through your children. – Ian MacDonald Aug 20 '18 at 14:06
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But I'm more worried about the emotional effects. I'm her mother, she should feel safe and secure with me, but I've completely destroyed her confidence in me. How will she trust me again?

This is not your child speaking, but your own worries. I can understand that you are worried, but to reassure you: Your child is incapable of thinking like that.

Babies are biologically hard-wired to trust their carers - after all, they cannot survive without them (even severely mistreated children often still feel attached to their parents).

What's more - your child does not realize (or even care) you were "immature", "irresponsible" or "selfish". All she knows is she fell down, you picked her up and comforted here - so from her point of view everything is ok. She probably forgot the incident half an hour later.

So I don't think there is anything to worry about - accidents happen, and babies are not vindictive, they live in the moment. There will probably be several more accidents for your child until she is grown up, and as long as you are there for her when she needs you, you have nothing to worry about.


That said, if you still feel uneasy about the incident, you might consider some type of counseling. Not for reparing the relationship to your daughter (which is not affected by such things), but to work on your own feeling of insecurity - because if you feel insecure around your daughter, she will know, and that could possible influence your relationship.

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I feel so bad for you, BUT...

The thing she will notice more, is your reaction to it, how your behaviour has changed. You seem like a good mother, it was an accident. They happen! You can't fight a sudden instinctive reaction.

The way YOU deal with it is more important for you and your baby. You do a lot for your baby, you protect her every day. And she knows this. Get your confidence back, and everything will be fine.

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