After She Dropped Her Baby & Fractured His Skull, This Parent Has a Message About Mom-Guilt

mommy mannegren
MommyMannegren/Facebook

With endless filters and the option to take multiple photos before getting the perfect one, many moms only post the best versions of their family on social media. If they do share something that looks closer to reality, it's usually for a dose of humor that other busy parents can relate to. However, instead of making her life seem perfect or laughing at her parenting, one mom just got real about a massive mistake. She shared a devastatingly raw image from one of the worst days of her life, not only to admit to an unthinkable accident but also to help others learn from it.

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Two years ago, blogger Liz Mannegren dropped her baby boy and he fractured his skull. She needs parents to understand that this day, that is still incredibly painful to remember, started out like any other morning filled with Cheerios and teething toys. "I carried my son across the living room towards the kitchen, same as I had done a thousand times before, same as I would do a thousand times after," she wrote. "And that was when it happened."

mommymannegren
MommyMannegren/Facebook

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Liz explained that "with all the strength and speed of a tiny acrobat," her son flipped backwards out of her arms and onto the floor. "In mere seconds, a perfectly normal day turned into an absolute nightmare," she wrote. "Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Most of us have had at least one of those days in our lives: a day when your world comes crashing down upon you, knocking you over with the suddenness of its ferocity. A day that you look back on, and simply wonder, 'How could this have happened?'"

After she rushed to the hospital in tears with her whimpering baby, Liz was assured by an an emergency room nurse that not only do they see this type of situation all the time, but that the nurse herself had also made the same mistake -- only her child had been dropped on a concrete parking lot. "That nurse had taken one look at me and seen the crushing weight of mom-guilt I was struggling to carry," she wrote. "While there was some small measure of comfort found in the fact that I wasn't the first mom to drop her child, it didn't relieve the feelings of failure that washed over me."

Those intense pangs of guilt only intensified when the doctor walked in with X-ray results that confirmed her biggest fear: Her baby fractured his skull. "I was angry at myself for letting this happen, for somehow not predicting this and catching my son," she wrote. "My little boy had trusted me to protect him and to keep him from harm, and I'd quite literally let him down."

Liz felt like the world's worst mother, but in time, she learned from it:

"Motherhood is full of difficult lessons, and this one felt especially tough.

Try as we might, we cannot protect our children from everything. There will be days when we fall short. Days when our feelings of failure and guilt thrive on imperfect moments. Days when life is difficult and complicated. Days when we feel unworthy and broken. Days when our kisses aren't strong enough to rub away the pains and hurts our children carry.

Today we might feel like a failure-of-a-mother, but we are more than our bad days."

liz mannegren
MommyMannegren/Facebook
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Life is filled with miserable, distressing, and just completely awful days, but those terrible moments are important reminders to savor your life as a parent. "Life is fragile. It's moments like these that remind us to never take these days for granted but to soak up each and every snuggle, each breath, and each precious laugh," she wrote. 

As her child healed physically and she started to recover emotionally, Liz realized that motherhood is not defined by a single action, but instead by the whole. "I look at myself and see a woman who failed to grab her son in time. My son looks at me and sees 'mom' -- the one who comforts and holds him when he falls," she wrote. "So to all the mothers struggling with a miserable day of your own, and to the mothers fighting feelings of inadequacy and inescapable mom-guilt -- you are MORE than today. Today does not define your motherhood. Today may be horrible, but that DOESN'T mean that YOU are."

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