riverMost mothers of toddlers live in at least a semi-permanent state of fear of their toddlers darting away from them at any given moment. It can happen in a split second in a crowded mall, a busy parking lot, or other places full of perils. For a 34-year-old woman in London, it happened when she was walking along a path near the River Thames this week. Her toddler daughter ran right under a railing and fell into the water below.

Surely the mother must have panicked in some ways, but she immediately went into action and dove into the freezing water after her 2-year-old daughter.

According to The Telegraph, the water was about eight feet deep, and she was there holding onto her daughter for dear life for about 10 to 15 minutes until a rescue crew could get to them. That's an incredibly long time to be treading water with a toddler in your arms. I bet it felt even longer to her.

Amazingly, they were both fine. After being checked out at the hospital, they were said to be "very cold" but otherwise fine. That mother's quick action surely saved her baby's life.

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But while what she did was absolutely brave, can you picture a mother doing anything less? Sure, everyone reacts differently in times of a crisis, but when it's our babies in trouble, I think something instinctual just kicks in. Suddenly we find ourselves doing things we never thought we could -- from little things like cleaning up other people's puke to jumping into icy rivers without thinking twice.

Our kids make us stronger and braver than we ever thought we could be. But that doesn't make us heroes, it just makes us moms. Which, really, when you think about it, are often pretty similar.

What's the most extreme thing you've done for your child's sake?

 

Image via Maxwell Hamilton/Flickr