I read an article the other day about a mother choosing to leave their 11 month old in a hotel alone whilst they had dinner in the restaurant downstairs. My immediate reaction was the same as a lot of her friends, that it is not something I would ever do. It has really got me thinking
So often at the moment I think, I wouldn’t do something. I wouldn’t go to holiday to Turkey or Egypt, I wouldn’t fly with certain airlines and I certainly wouldn’t leave my son in a hotel room so I could have a meal.
Why though, as the person in the article said – the chance of something happening is so slight. The monitor didn’t work at that distance so they checked on their child every 20 minutes. She is right, she weighed it up and decided the chance of something going wrong was minimal.
Life is about taking risks, it is about mitigating the risks and deciding whether you have minimised the chance of the worst case happening and whether it something you have to/need to do. Road traffic accidents happen all the time, so I manage this by having a great car seat, he remains rear faced, and I drive safely. I don’t stop driving him places.
We go to London regularly and I can only imagine how many plots and plans that our excellent intelligence services have stopped. I can’t help but remember what the IRA said after a failed assassination plot on Thatcher “we only have to be lucky once – you have to be lucky always.” I do think about this and have found myself limiting using the tube with Baby B, unless I really have to, as I perceive that as a weak point. But, the trust I have in our security services means that I wont let fear stop me going to London.
Since having a child Mr B and I rarely go out for evening meals, we never have time alone outside of the house and we regularly turn down invitations because of childcare. To me, that’s being a parent. We chose to have children, we know we live no where near our families, we knew that we wouldn’t have the flexibility to go out. The thought of taking a risk, no matter how small, for a dinner alone is not acceptable. The outcome could be my worst nightmare as a parent; for someone to take him or for me not to get to him in time in an emergency. No mitigation would outweigh this.
Life is a risky business and I hope the fear of the ‘what if’ doesn’t take over, the world we live in now is unpredictable and full of uncertainties. I know I can’t protect my little boy from everything, but when I can limit risks I will.