Photo taken from the top of The Niesen.

I never really thought about my own mortality. Before I met my partner my attitude to risk was “it will be alright and if something happens to me I’m not too great a loss to society”. After we became a family I started to become more responsible but I still had a reasonable risk threshold. If something happened to me our son would still have his mum and his granny.

This all changed when I lost my mum and then partner within 6 weeks of each other.

The first few days after my partner left us are still a blur. But I remember one incident like it was yesterday. It was my son’s first day back at school and I was driving to register the death. Suddenly a sports car pulled out in front of me. A suicidal overtaking manoeuvre. Luckily I saw him and managed to swerve onto the grass verge and miss him – just. At that speed it would probably have been game over. All I could think about was our Son. One second slower reaction time and he would have been parentless. The whole incident shocked me. Suddenly there was no backstop for our son. No cover if I couldn’t be there for him.

A couple of years later and it’s a new life. With new dreams, new hopes and new feelings. All the climbing and contact sports have been permanently ditched. No more drinking. No more stupid risks to my body. I just can’t take those chances anymore. I’m even more boring than I once was but much more importantly I feel that I am a much better parent now. Yes the world has changed. But hopefully I have adapted to it. The reality of parenting without a safety net…..

40 thoughts on “Safety Net

  1. I get nervous (not that it happens often) when my husband and I are going somewhere without the kids. What if something happened to us? This makes me realize the importance of trying to come up with a plan now.

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  2. What a scary time ! You are doing so well. My nephew and his wife had their children in their late 30’s and early 40’s. They have both had health issues in recent months, and their children’s grandparents are all in their seventies with health issues themselves. We will have to support them as much as we can so they can keep going while their children grow up.

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  3. Wow. And, I agree with you.

    As we discussed earlier, I was never as adventuresome as you. However, now that I’m a mother I find a natural increase in fear of dangerous things. I used to love heights, for example, and now am slightly terrified. -And, I feel these anxieties directly tied to parenting. “What if they didn’t have a mother?”

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  4. I don’t think looking after yourself is boring… I gave up alcohol when I was pregnant and then couldn’t drink as I was breastfeeding, so after four years I’d lost the taste, anyway. It’s more things like not taking the dark shortcut home instead of the longer, well-lit route, even if it is only five in the evening. Might seem a bit pedantic but it’s not about me…

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      1. Good for her! I’m not risk averse – it is simply the case that there is no one else to bring up my daughter apart from me. So, it makes sense for me to walk the long route home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes…. for me, it’s the fact that I might be injured and therefore not able to get money out and buy food etc rather than bigger issues per se. Anyway, here’s too no accidents.

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  5. I’m the complete opposite to you, I’m terrified of everything! & after having kids that fear of dying has become worse! I know it’s silly but I can’t help it, as I expect many parents can’t, but I do worry what would happen if I wasn’t here… 😞

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  6. I didn’t realize the loss of two women in your lives. And you probably don’t want to hear this, but you will find another person to love and care for in your life, hopefully soon. I can hear the loneliness and worry in your words written here, but have faith. I know that’s easy to say, because I’ve been told the same and it’s a hard thing to have faith when so much tragedy has been experienced. I wish the you both the best.

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