You might recall that I recently penned a piece on the importance of car seat safety. I do *not* mess around when it comes to safety - but I also know that it's entirely possible to make honest mistakes. Just recently, I figured out that I had been installing my son's car seat incorrectly. Thank God we hadn't been in any accidents, he was safe despite my error. I have no idea how I missed the seat installation directions. They're plastered on the side of the seat and they're clear in the owner's manual - which I read, I swear.
So how did I have him strapped in? I had his rear-facing carseat installed with the Latch system through the back of the seat - not under his legs. The beltpath through the back of the seat is supposed to be used only when forward-facing. I don't know what would have happened to Shep's seat if we had been in a serious accident. I don't want to know, honestly. The thought puts fear into my bones and makes me sick to my stomach. As if my average anxiety wasn't enough - this is just torture.
And I can't blame anyone but myself. My husband, my in-laws - they all trusted me to teach them how to properly install the seat. I failed them, and most of all I failed Shep.
I don't have to admit this to you. I could have just changed the way that I installed the seat and carried on. But I wanted to tell you - because I know I'm not the only one who has felt this guilt. Some have told me that I seem too be a bit cocky - like I know everything. I don't know everything - at all. No, sometimes I just feel incredibly confident in my opinions and what I've researched. As I've gotten older, I've gotten a lot more comfortable in accepting that I'm wrong more often than I ever suspected. Most of the time when I'm wrong, there's not a life hanging in the balance.
Instead, I admit that I did it wrong when because it's important to me that you know that I know that I am not perfect. I don't have this parenting thing figured out - not by a long shot. Like most of you (I hope), I'm just winging it, trying not to do too much damage to these tiny helpless people I'm responsible for. My writing on this site isn't intended as my high horse - a place of superiority where I can look down on other, "lesser" parents. Not at all. This is supposed to be a safe place, a judgment-free zone, where you can trust I'll be as honest as can be. And not all of my life is pretty or wellkept. I'm not always right.
After I recovered from the shock of leaving my son's life up in the air, I vowed to do better. Know better, do better. I'll be triple-checking both the seat and the owner's manual next time, you can rest assured.
Have you ever discovered you were doing something that wasn't safe for your children? Did you feel guilty afterward? Stop right now, mama! You tried your best. Come try with me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.