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Need to let this out somewhere

my 4 year old almost got ran over in a busy parking lot this morning. it all happened so fast, literally within seconds. me and my 3 kids (6, 4, 2) went to the dollar store this morning so they could use their money to buy gifts for people, since the gingerbread shop at school closed early this year. i was holding my 2 year old's hand since she's the runner (so i thought) and my other 2 were trailing closely behind as we got out of the car and headed toward the building. i stopped where you have to cross the street, as the plaza was quite busy today, waiting for the cars to pass. i see my 4 year old coming up on my left side and she keeps going past me into the street. the cars all stop as she continues to race all the way to the other side, THEN turns around and runs back. like i said it was a matter of seconds. im standing there screaming her name and we were both in tears when she got back to me, she kept apologizing over and over. i wanted to put them all back in the car and go home, i was so pissed off and scared at the same time. everyone was looking at me like i was a shitty ass mother, and i felt like it too. now all i keep thinking is why didn't i go in the street after her? rationally i know it's because i didn't want to let go of my 2 year old who would've ran in another direction or into the street as well or drag her into the busy street either, and i kept thinking my 4 year old would stop. i think she freaked when she realized she was in the middle of all those cars and didn't know what to do so she kept running. needless to say the guilt is eating me alive and i feel like a horrible person. i just can't stop replaying it over and over in my head. nothing like that has ever happened to me, i usually have a good handle on them in public.

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Asked by tnm786 at 12:16 PM on Dec. 21, 2012 in General Parenting

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • It happens. There is nothing you can do now. Just relax and give yourself a break. Hopefully she and your other 2 learned a lesson today. I've been there, believe me.

    Answer by mompam at 12:19 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • Don't beat yourself up mom. I have 4 kids 4-12 it can be difficult when your the only adult. Just next time make eveyone hold hands. If I have one free arm I get the wild child and have him hold someones hand and my 12 year old will get 2. Be glad nothing happened and just chalk it up to a lesson learned.

    Answer by txnmomof4 at 12:20 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • NOT your fault. What were you supposed to do? Carry them all? Strap them to you? Your 4 year old knew what she did was wrong. You both deserve to take it easy on yourselves. It's so easy to make ourselves feel like crap when things happen so quickly. I'm so glad you're all ok!

    Answer by ABeaverhausen at 12:22 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • My 4 year old does this for kicks. I don't know what to do. He doesn't do it ALL the time but occasionally he'll rip his hand away from mine and run out and stand in the middle of the street and just stare at me. Luckily he really only does this in front of our house and we live on a really quiet street. BUT STILL. I hold his hand each and every single time but when I'm carrying him along with other things he finds the change to rip away. At least you have an excuse, you have 3 kids. I only have one!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:23 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • It happens. Forgive yourself and put everyone down for a nap.
    You are not a bad mother. Things happen

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:24 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • happens. You only have so many hands. I highlydoubt any one thinks you're a shitty ass mother if you were holding hands of a two year old and SCREAMING the 4 year olds name. Be glad the drivers were actually aware of their surroundings and nothing happened. Next time you're all out you'll be more strict with them to ensure the 4 year old doesn't go running off and it'll be the six year old that gives you the "Mommy heart attack". These are the moments that give us gray hairs.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:24 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • it happens. the fact that you feel so bad is proof that you are NOT a bad mom. my oldest is 4 and has run out into a crosswalk before and didnt realize what she'd done till she heard car breaks (luckily it was at school so only one car). maybe your 6 year old & 4 year old could hold hands from now on, kinda like a reminder to not run out in traffic?

    Answer by okmanders at 12:44 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • You're an awesome mom. Remember: You can NOT be in all places at all times. And, kids will do the damnedest things at the worst possible moment.

    This is a good teaching opportunity. When all of you are calm and rational again, sit down with the 6 and 4 year old and remind them why it's NEVER a good idea to go running through a parking lot.

    As for the drivers, it seems like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas any shred of decency people have goes out the window. Thankfully it returns after New Year's. I HATE how stupid and self centered people get this time of year.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:08 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • So glad the cars stopped. Everybody is safe. It sounds like your little girl was scared and saw that it was serious. Forgive yourself (the way you want your children to be able to forgive themselves as they go through life) and respond to the situation by communicating what you want from them. Focus on "Next time" and the seriousness of your/her fear will help to drive home the importance. Focusing on what you want & why is very helpful (rather than focusing on recriminations, or "should have" & "shouldn't have" thoughts & statements.)

    Your scared feelings make sense. I'm glad things worked out.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:20 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

  • Dont stress about it too much. Things happen so fast and just be happy everyone is okay! :)
    Take a deep breath momma!

    Answer by jeffsgirl9 at 2:08 PM on Dec. 21, 2012

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