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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Why the Soccer Field Terrifies Me

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)

Yes, it's true: I suck as a soccer mom.

When the skies suddenly turned pitch black at 5:30 last night, I did a little cheer and thought no soccer practice for us! 

But, it's not really that I hate soccer. Hubs never would have married me if I'd hated soccer.

And it's not really my hatred of getting eaten alive by bugs at the field. Or even how practice throws off our usual early bedtime routine. It's not even how crabby my boys are the next day.

No, it's not any of those. Those would be rational.

What bothers me stems from one of my biggest fears as a mom.

The fear that one of my children will be taken.

Stolen, kidnapped, never to be seen alive again.

Because all it takes is to lose sight of a child for just a minute and they could be gone. I'm sure you've heard the same horror stories I have.

Yeah, sure, I've been known to joke when my kids are in a mood that no one would want them anyway or that they are so rotten that someone would give them back.... but I'm joking.

The thought of any of them disappearing forever terrifies me.

And while I can say that their practice is held in a good neighborhood and there are caring people all around and we live in a small town.... kids disappear from places like that, too.

My boys are usually in three different places in the soccer complex. One or two on the playground and one or two on the fields- different fields. It just depends on who has practice that night.

Trying to keep track of all three, when they are spread out... because of course they aren't practicing right next to each other or practicing right beside the playground.... that would be too easy.... trying to keep track of them like that makes my heart race.

I'm constantly doing a headcount. 1....2....where's ? oh, there he is....3....1....2...3...

Sure, there are other parents around and the boys have coaches, but I can't assume that they are going to pay attention to MY kids. They are paying attention to their own or, in the case of the coaches, trying to coach the rest of the team.

So, it falls to me.

And I breathe a huge sigh of relief when it's time for us to leave and I can walk out with all three of my boys. Even if I'm wishing for some sort of sound barrier between their whining and the driver's seat so I don't have to hear it on the drive home. Even their whining is a good thing if it means I have all three.

The soccer field is not the only place where I feel this fear. At festivals, parades, malls, playgrounds, any crowded place, sometimes even in my own backyard,  I feel it. I'm watching to see where my kids are.

But, it seems like I can keep my kids closer to me and closer to each other and therefore easier to watch everywhere else but on the soccer fields.

I don't know how I'd live with it if one of my kids went missing.

I don't hover over their every move because I do believe in giving them room to play, but.... I DO like being able to see them.

And so, the soccer field will continue to be a source of anxiety for me. I just want to keep my kids safe.



Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

Such a fear of mine also..and I also hate soccer just for being outside here when it's 40 degrees with a running toddler..lol

October 19, 2011 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger ckbrylliant said...

Glad to know I am not the only one. Glad to know you are a thinker, if only all Mom's and Dads were!!!!

October 19, 2011 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

That fear is also something that keeps me very anxious. As my kids have started to get older, I am starting to be able to "hide" that feeling a little - but it will always be there, in the back of my head. (It is also one of the reason why I don't watch the news very much anymore or read books/watch movies that have to do with missing kids... scares me TO DEATH.

October 19, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Oh HUGS to you. I don't think my fear is quite as intense as yours, but I run into the same thing at the football field. We are there for two hours. I won't let The Girl go across the street to the playground where I cannot see her at all, but I do let her run around the outskirts of the field with the other children and there have been a few times where I've lost sight of her to the point that the panic started to rise before I found her. On one level, I knew she was okay, but in those moments, I just needed to SEE her!

October 19, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I think this is a rational fear.

I am grateful to the great coaches and parents related to GW and Baby Girl's teams. Both coaches (and I can't say this about every coach) treat every child on their team as their personally responsibility...in a parent like way. I have built bonds with the other parents. Most of us have kids that have to be else where. We take the responsibility of keeping an eye on each other's children very seriously.

We are a family, a soccer family. Just like any family, you have those you trust more than others. Those are the ones that I rely on to help me keep my sanity...those are the ones that rely on me to keep their sanity.

October 19, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

It would be scary for me too. Maybe JDaniel will stay a bookworm.

October 19, 2011 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

This makes me want to come to soccer practice with you so I can help you watch the kiddos. =( The worst feeling in the world is when you do that head count and are minus one...until you find them your heart is beating out of your chest! Ugh!

I'm so over the soccer mom thing, but for no good reason other than it can get exhausting! lol

October 19, 2011 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

My fear is not necessarily as intense as yours, but then again I have had 7 years of experience at "the fields" so I feel a little more relaxed.

I have cyber issues with my tween. I fear all that cyber bullying by her peers and cyber stalking by men looking to lure her away from me. I give her no freedom on the computer. I know she hates it.

October 19, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I can absolutely see this, and I hope it gets better as they get older. Moms should automatically get some sort of Go Go Gadget extend-a-arms so that we can always be within arms' reach.

October 19, 2011 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

This is one of my biggest fears! It almost gives me an anxiety attack just thinking about it. My husband however is not so paranoid and he often loses sight of our son when he is supposed to be watching him and it drives me borderline insane.

October 19, 2011 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Katina said...

I have that same fear. Yet, my reasons for truly hating extracurricular activities are the late nights and crabby mornings!

October 19, 2011 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I worry about the same thing and I only have one kid! In this day and age, how can you not worry about something like that happening? It was so different when we were kids. I would go out in my neighborhood and come back at dinner time and my parents never had to worry that someone would take me. Now, kids are getting taken from their freakin' bedrooms and front yards! Very scary.

October 19, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

I don't know what I'd do either. And you're not the only one with these fears. I have fears like this every day. The day I run back in the house to grab my sunglasses, leaving a kid just outide the door could be the day that something terrible happens. It's so hard to shake those fears.

October 19, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Jen Has A Pen said...

I have anxiety about this and I don't even have children yet. I get nervous when I'm at the mall and I see a child that I think might be too young to be 5 steps away from it's mother. I'm scanning the room like a crazy person looking for the adult who should be responsible for this kid. I'll be a mess when I have my own. I hope this gets easier for you!

October 19, 2011 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I understand where you are coming from. Places just aren't like they used to be anymore and whether it be a child or yourself you're going to have those thoughts.

But remember to keep cheering :)

October 19, 2011 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Eternal Lizdom said...

I used to pay a lot of attention to the fear that became a new constant once I had children... I was terrified of all the things that could happen... I was watchful for signs that the bad things that had happened to me were going to happen to my kids... I was scared of cancer and kidnapping and death and injury and mean kids and getting lost and food allergies and strangers and nice people and vegetables and fluffy bunnies that could cause violent allergic reactions.

Then I decided that if I kept paying attention to those small under the surface bubles, I would eventually let them boil out of control and I would live my life in fear.

Can you partner up with another parent? Maybe someone else has a sibling set and you can offer to keep an eye on their kid on your field and they can keep an eye on your kid on another?

October 19, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I'm terrified that someone will take my kids too, and every time I think about it, I get more terrified wondering if my kids would know what to do if it ever happened. We talk about it, but do they really listen? Do they really hear and know what to do?? Ahhh! Panic attack over here.

October 19, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger The Jammie Girl said...

That would be amazingly stressful for me. My boys are so far apart (7 years)and there are only the two of them, so my husband and I never moved from playing man-to-man to zone defense. Good for you for being on high alert all the time, even though it's stressful and exhausting. Too many parents (as I'm sure you've noticed) aren't.

October 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger StylinMom said...

Wow keeping track of three at the same time on a very large playing field....that would totally stress me out....I can absolutely understand your fear....

October 19, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

This is one of my biggest fears as well. I drill it into my kids to never leave my side, but I know that doesn't always work. It is just so stressful to take them places sometimes.

October 19, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

A fear of all parents, so rest assured, you're not irrational. I just wish you can find a way around it so that you're not so stressed out each time when they have practice!

October 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

Shell, I feel the same way around the holidays. I get paranoid just going to the grocery store. I feel like the holidays make people how lonely they really are and are willing to do crazy things to make that heartache go away.

October 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Moomser said...

You just managed to describe every mother's worst nightmare perfectly...

October 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

When our oldest was of school age and we would go to community days or carnivals, I noticed a lot of parents that would let their kids run off to play with their friends. My daughter didn't understand why I wasn't so willing to let her do the same.

I've loosened up over the past year because she is older, about to turn 10. I still freak out when I can't see her. I also don't understand parents who say "Oh, my kid is around here somewhere." I don't even let my kids play in the front yard if I'm not out there with them!

October 19, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger vinobaby said...

As much as I am a bad soccer mom, I usually don't worry about that too much. Maybe it's because I have just one, and he is out on the field. I usually think there are extra sets of (good) eyes on the kids while we are at parks, whether it's a game or a playdate.

But honestly, I cannot imagine trying to keep track of three, especially when they are still so little. I don't think I could handle trying to chase them all down. I'd go nuts with worry too.

Since I have just one, I work hard trying not to smother him, not to be too overprotective, so he will want me around instead of trying to escape from my side. It's hard...trying to let him be independent, brave, and strong...when he is the most amazing kid in the world and I don't know how I could go on if anything ever happened to him. I worry about that every day.

Hugs to you, and may your soccer field worries ease with time.

October 19, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger finallyMom.blogspot.com said...

sheesh, when you put it like that, of COURSE you're gonna dread the soccer field. HOW STRESSFUL!

October 19, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Kir of the Corner said...

excellent , more reasons for me to hate soccer. :) Thanks SHell.

your fears are not irrational..in fact if I let myelf think about it too much I'd be frozen in fear all the time...but I try to keep it together. Most days.

hugs to you sweetie and those gorgeous boys!

October 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger JamieAnne of A Dash of Domestic said...

You're not alone in the fear of a taken child. I share that fear.

My children are older, and the fear changes a bit as they grow, but especially since I have a 12 year old girl....I worry A LOT.


October 19, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Guess I'm not really a good Mom 'cause this never overly concerned me. (LoL)

There are other Moms (or Dad's) there so you usually form a 'soccer bond' and watch out for each others kids.

You learn who's in your group and who may look suspicious or out of place.

You also learn to keep a cautious eye but, ease up a little as the years go by.

October 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Shell, I so totally understand. Even when I know John or my SIL or someone is watching one of the kids, if I glance over and don't see them right away, my heart starts beating a bit faster until I spot them.

October 19, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

It's so different today than when I was a kid. My friends and I would leave our homes in the morning and not come home until dinner.

With my own kids, if they were outside playing, I was in the yard with them. It's a scary place out there.

October 19, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I'm a head counter too, my sister has 4 and I'm always trying to keep tabs on all of them. I'm also paranoid and will have my front yard fenced in by next spring in addition to finishing off the fence in the back yard. I wonder if I could just go ahead and microchip Jellybean too?

October 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Tayarra said...

I know what you mean. My fear is on the football field. A couple of weeks ago I let Waylon go play on the playground near the field. I could keep him in my sights but couldn't run to catch him if he was falling. He has done this before and I was getting more comfortable until I glanced over to see his shirt one afternoon and couldn't find him. I looked and looked but I couldn't see him. The panic set in and I was about to lose it when he stepped out from behind a corner of the play equipment. It FREAKED me out! There is nothing like that fear!

October 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I have the same fear at the soccer field too.

October 19, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Singedwingangel said...

I think your fears are normal and well founded in today's world. Every parent I would hope has felt similarly. Still it doesn't ease anything knowing you are not alone in your worries does it.

October 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I know that fear all to well. I am so worried about my kids being abducted in public places that I am constantly watching them and when they walk away form me in the store and I don't see them, I freak out. I don't even let my kids go down the road to a friend's house or yard because YOU NEVER KNOW. The neighbor's oldest son could decide to abduct or worse (molest and abuse) your kid.
It's frightening.

October 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I am so scared of my boys being taken. My husband always gives me a hard time about keeping our oldest on such a short leash, but you just never know...and I would rather be safe than sorry.

October 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

SO not a soccer mom either and I think Little Iggy's going to do it in the spring or fall. Ugh.

Right there with you on all the reasons and the snatching reason IS rational. It happens.

As an aside, have you read Room? Good LORD. Reading it now.

October 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Stasha said...

I think all Mom's worry about their kids being taken.

I worry about Kaylee when she walks to school in the morning. Granted the school is RIGHT across the street and I stand at the end of the driveway watching until I see her purple backpack go around the corner of the school. . . I worry. What if someone snatched her when she turned the corner??

I have had a lot of anxiety over it. But I realize that I have to learn to let go. She needs to be able to have that little bit of freedom.


October 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger MiMi said...

Oh man. I guess that is one fear that I put on the back burner at games...now I will be worrying too. LOL <---- not really

October 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Jocelyn said...

I feel that EXACT same way. We only have 1 right now, but I know the day when we're toting 2+ around to very public, crowded places is coming, and it will scare the living shit out of me. I don't know what would happen to me if something happened to my child(ren). It makes my heart hurt to even think about.

October 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Tri Mommy said...

That is a fear of mine as well, I coached my oldests soccer team and had my little one in tow... Oy!
What has worked for us is getting to practice early giving them time on the playground and then they were gued next to me at the field that practice was at (of course I had my mad bag of "fun" stuff for them).

October 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

I worry about my 250 pound, gun toting, 2nd degree blackbelt husband being kidnapped, so I totally get this.

October 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Ali - My Suitcase Full of Tricks said...

I'm with you. I only have 2 players and a toddler to look after. I have a friend whose 4 year old daughter wandered off and ended up on the other side of the ball field. She was tending to her other 3 kids and thought her husband was watching Meghan. The worst part: Another mom made a comment that she overheard "What kind of mother could lose her own child like that?" It just made it that much worse.

October 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

You are so not alone in this. My hubby doesn't get my fears at all.

Our town's soccer field is surrounded by woods and a deep ravine. Definitely no moms on that planning committee!! It also has a splintered old wooden climbing structure, which I refer to as the Death Trap. Between whatever, or whoever might be lurking in the woods and a possible fall to their death...I was a wreck at soccer games.

Add to that, the only available washrooms at are the far end of the parking lot....so they would have to walk away from the fields, past all the parked cars, to pee.
Yeah, I came dressed to do a 1500 metre sprint each week.

I let them bring any and all toys they wanted to games. Stuffed suckers in my pockets.
I'm not above bribery to keep them close to me.

October 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

This is my biggest fear. And also the number 1 reason we are done having kids. I dont want to have more kids than hands, precisely for that reason.

October 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

That's why I don't like volunteering on field trips. I'm petrifed of losing one of the kids I'm responsible for.

October 19, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger mintifresh said...

Big open spaces like that scare me, too!

October 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Maggie S. said...

I think every mom identifies (or at least they should). I have had my wake up calls recently as well.

I think it is okay to be vigilant. In the end you'll be glad you did all you could to stay alert and if that is nerve-wracking that's just part of the job.

You can't "un-ring a bell."

October 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

We went to a local festival on Saturday and my husband walked off without my oldest child, who wanted to go with him. So, oldest child TAKES OFF into a crowd and I'm left with the 2 little ones sitting down, eating. I didn't know if he would catch up with him. Thankfully he came back to me. That kind of stuff scares the bejeezus outta me!

And you KNOW from last week's post how I feel about the soccer fields... ;)

October 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

Shell, as usual, I can totally relate! Tim coaches Cole's soccer team and for the first few weeks, I would go to practice so I could watch Cole, feeling as if he'd think he wasn't important to me if I didn't. But that left the other 3 kids bored so they would often want to play on the playground, which was a little bit of a walk from the soccer field but within eyesight.

But it all got to be too stressful for me, esp with the little twins who are only 4 and still tend to wander off at times without thinking I'd be worried.

So now I stay home when he has practice. He understands fortunately but somehow it still makes me feel guilty.

I can understand that sigh of relief you feel when practice is over. The stress of keeping everyone accounted for and safe can be extremely taxing on the emotions!!

October 19, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

You are a GOOD momma, Shell. But I can't imagine how disconcerting that would be, trying to keep track of three kids all at once on different sides of the field.


October 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I just try and not think about things like this or I will be paralyzed in life by fear. Especially any time I hear about something like this really happening I have to try an distance myself from it

October 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger John said...

This has my heart racing. I do the "one, two" thing often.

This past Saturday, we went to the Baltimore aquarium. It was me & Duffy & the babies . . . we had the kids matched - one to one. But, therein lies the rub.

See, it's so easy to let your attention wander, just for a second, because you assume the other one has watch of the kids.

I know it's a completely irrational fear . . . especially as the kids get older (occurrences of child abduction by non-family are absurdly rare), but it still freaks me out. A lot.

October 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous A Mother's Thoughts said...

That is a horrible thought. And it is true, bad things happen to good people and it doesn't matter where you are, there are bad people in every community. All I have to say is that soccer season isn't that much longer and then you will be able to monitor you boys alittle easier. Trust your motherly intuition!!


October 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Hines-Sight said...


Such a good perspective because I've never really thought about that before or from that angle, and keeping an eye on three boys.

Thanks for sharing. It makes total sense.

October 19, 2011 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

That is such a huge fear of mine as well. HUGE. All I can do is hope to to indicate to my kids in any way that I am terrified :P

October 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM  
OpenID pmlevitt said...

I know that feeling; I felt this way at V's b-day party at a local pumpkin patch. Every time I turned around she was with a different kid or parent and I felt like one of those moments, she'd vanish on me. Parenting is so often a terrifying job.

October 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Jen@ADropintheBucket said...

TOTALLY a scary thing. I have that fear even when we are in a very controlled environment. We were at a mom's group this morning, and for a second I couldn't find my son and I get that feeling where my heart beats faster and I panic a bit, until I find him. And now that my 8 month old is mobile..eek, that just adds to it!

October 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I have this very fear too.
I once had a scary comment from some jerk saying that they knew where I lived and "you better watch your son very closely"...that was enough to plant a very dangerous seed.
When my son naps I stay in my bedroom just so that I can hear anything.
I don't judge you at all for the way you feel. This world is messed up.

October 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Natalie @ MamaTrack said...

I think we can all identify with this. There is nothing more terrifying to me. And it seems to be happening more and more.

Hugs to you. Because that's all I can offer. But know you aren't alone.

October 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I worry about the same stuff! I can't imagine anything happening to my babies.

October 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

You are certainly not alone in feeling this way. I have the same fear. I don't know what I'd do if one of my kids was ever missing.

October 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger An Imperfect Momma said...

I am so the same way! I wouldn't be able to talk to anyone for fear of losing sight of them. You can never be too careful. Like you I want to give them their space...but as long as I can see them

October 19, 2011 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

Makes sense.I remember when I played soccer as a kid our coach would only wait for us to get picked up for so long.

October 19, 2011 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Juan said...

Throw together bad weather + a late supper + that latent fear in the back of mind of the possibility of abduction = soccer games just aren't all that

October 19, 2011 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

I'm the same way. It can happen so quickly, and that's terrifying.

October 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

I can definitely understand that. I think we all feel that way about our kids. I think of Adam Walsh all the time. I remember how he got kidnapped outside of a Sears store in the '80s more frequently than you would think. It can happen so quickly. Thanks for the reminder to be more vigilant!

October 19, 2011 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

You aren't alone in that. The fear of someone snatching my kid when we go somewhere is enough to make me sick to my stomach. I would be doing the constant head count, too.

October 19, 2011 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

I would like to tell you it goes away as they age, but it doesn't. It just adds new worry. And I totally do the head count thing at parks. That only gets easier with age because they are easier to spot!

October 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

That's definitely got to be hard with all that chaos going on. It would make me nervous too.

October 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

That's my worst fear also. For some reason I think of things like that before I fall asleep at night and then I pray, beg, that nothing bad ever happens. Ugh. I feel you but life is life and you have to live it.

October 19, 2011 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger We 2 Bees said...

I hear your pain! I feel the same way. I'm always counting and others laugh at me but I don't know how I'd go on if one of them went missing. And my three love to scatter and scare me to death!

October 19, 2011 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Lizbeth said...

I know your pain. My son went MIA after school two days ago. I was in a panic. A PANIC. Turns out he was in the bathroom. I almost had a coronary.

October 19, 2011 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

That's so hard when you can't see all your kids at once! I have more fears at home with my kids. I wonder if our house is secure enough at night. Are all the windows and doors locked. And I always leave lights on, even at night. I'm a little extreme.

October 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Tracy @nystoopmama said...

Oh, my god. Reading your post made MY heart race, and I have one kid snug as a bug in bed! After people pointed out that I was too much of a "helicopter mom" at the playground, which was in turn causing my daughter to be overly timid when climbing and going down slides (etc.), I learned to sit back and let her go off on her own. The playgrounds are all enclosed and I know she wouldn't go far away from me, but I'm TERRIFIED if I turn my back for one second she'll be gone. Taken. My eyes are on her at all times, and if I lose sight for even a few seconds I start sweating.

You're certainly not alone in your fear. They're your babies!

October 19, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger championm2000 said...

This fear has led me to going back on everything I have ever said about baby leashes. Strollers--we don't leave home without them! And, we haven't even made it to the soccer fields yet...heaven help me!

October 19, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I think all moms can relate to this and have this fear on some level. I hope your anxiety eases a little as they get a bit older.

October 19, 2011 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

I know this so, so very well, girl! You articulated my heart perfectly!

October 19, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

I totally get this, Shell...and I only have two kids. I was always frantic trying to watch one while another was playing!

But now? I sit on my butt in my chair, watching only one kid, and she's on the field.

October 19, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Mrs Montoya said...

This is my same panic when my guy plays baseball and his sister wants to head to the playground with her buddies. KILLS ME!

I always say that even if it seems like overkill I would never forgive myself if I lost viligence for even a minute.

You are definitely not alone.

October 20, 2011 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I have 2 kids and I'm always watching them carefully when we are out in public. You never know what might happen. It's really sad that this is how we have to live life.

October 20, 2011 at 2:39 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh no! I never even thought of that! Hmmm, well, I guess I'll have to scratch soccer off the activities list! ;-) The last thing I need is to be the mom with the darting eyes and fear plastered on her face! LOL!

October 20, 2011 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

It hadn't occured to me before but now that I've read this it makes complete sense and I would be terified too.

October 20, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger KSK said...

That is such a terrifying thought!

October 20, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger The Mommy Therapy said...

I feel like this at soccer practice too, but fortunately mine don't practice at the same time. I won't let the non-practicing one go to the playground because I am super paranoid. They mainly sit next to me and complain and beg to play.

I told them next year they could maybe go by themselves, but we'll see. :)

For now they can dig through my purse or kick a ball around with me and their one year old sister...I can't imagine why they would want to do anything else!

October 20, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Joann Mannix said...

Hi Honey! I'm back and now you're gone, I see on Twitter. We'll talk when you get back.

Then I probably shouldn't tell you my story, after reading this, but you know me, I will anyway.

My girls play in an all girl soccer league. We're like the forgotten stepchild of the soccer league. The co-ed and boys' leagues get first pick of the practice fields and then our league is last. So, of course, we get the crappy field. The field is on the edge of town in an area inhabited by migrant workers. A lot of the men will come out after working in the hot sun all day, to play soccer. They play on the practice fields sanctioned for our soccer league. And unfortunately, when they are asked to leave so the girls can play, they are intimidatingly aggressive, especially to the women coaches. The police have had to be called a number of times.

On top of that, even when they do get off the field, they stand around, watching our girls play. Last year, two of the men approached some of the girls who were taking practice laps and said some obscene things to them. It was the final straw. I joined the group who demanded safety for our girls or we would quit the league. They have since found us another field, but it is still nerve wracking, trying to keep an eye on all my girls during practice.

I totally get what you're saying.

P.S. I hate soccer and not just for the safety reasons. It's just one big pain in the ass. Hmph.

October 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Mom of 12 said...

Anywhere we go I am doing the head count thing. Even with the big people. It's so easy to get separated, especially in a crowd. I think you are good to be cautious. What a great mom!

October 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Man, I was totally wrong. I thought it was going to be a childhood attack by a man wearing a soccer ball on his head.

Now I just feel silly.

October 20, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger I'm Jennifer. said...

I know how you feel, and I feel for you! It's a sickening feeling when even for a moment you think you might not see a head during a headcount. For me it's gotten a little better since my kids are a little older now (5-1/2 and 7-1/2). I still keep an eagle eye on them when we're in busy public places. But my kids are acutely aware of "stranger danger" and far less apt to wander off...
Maybe you can find a mom on each kid's team that you trust to have your back.

October 20, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Taylor said...

This is a post I could have written! When my oldest 4 were young I was constantly anxious! Now they're older it's so much better - though of course I still worry. And I just have one in soccer right now - so much easier to watch So it does get better. (Of course *then* you have to worry about teens and driving... An entirely new subject and worry :-(

October 20, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger blueviolet said...

Moms love so big, and I'm thinking there's not one of us who can't relate to what you feel.

October 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Oh goodness, I know I'll be like you if I have to supervise activities at soccer. First of all, I know I'll suck as a soccer mom because I prefer to relax at my home thank you very much, but I know those times are coming. But I also angst over the stranger danger stuff and worry a little about my child's safety. I try not to hover but I kinda do. I love your post below too about the detox! Good job!

October 20, 2011 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am the same with my boys. I am ONLY comfortable with when they are with people I trust- which is very few- so I hear you on this!

October 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Mommy2ยข said...

Oh girl, I am right there with you. I'm a worrier by nature. It's in my blood. I too hate being in situations like that. I can feel my chest tighten up, my forehead crinkle (this is what's aging my face, I swear!), shortness of breath, and I'm pretty much like that the whole time. Of course watching shows like Criminal Minds doesn't exactly help that anxiety either.

October 20, 2011 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

Really? That's why? Not because it's irrational, but it's the one thing I wouldn't have thought of. I get worried too, but I think if I were to grumble about soccer practice, it's more from being cold. :-)

October 21, 2011 at 3:08 AM  
Blogger misssrobin said...

This is one thing I don't miss about having small children -- constantly worrying that one of them will disappear.

Yes, I still have this fear now that they are 13 and up, but it's less. Much less.

Although having my daughter in Russia for four months has made my heart stop. Is it December yet?

Thanks again for visiting me on my SITS day.

October 24, 2011 at 1:55 AM  
Blogger Rusti said...

this freaks me out too, and I'm not even close to where you are yet - only one kid and she's not yet old enough for organized sports! she even sticks close to me when we're at the playground, although get her in a grocery store or the mall? and she's GONE! flying down the aisles as fast as her little feet will take her and giggling all the while. thankfully, I can still be quick when needed, and I can out think her in my strategy to get where she's heading - for now. *phew*

October 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Just Cherish Today said...

It's reality what you are pouring your heart out about. We live in a cruel world - and I can definately see why the soccer field scares you.

You seem like a mom that keeps good eyes on her babies tho :) Just stay positive :)

October 25, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I'm totally with you and then I make fun of myself like I belong in one of those scary Lifetime movies that scars you for life. Thankfully, I am a constant counter (thanks, teaching career) and use other people as a back up pair of eyes.

October 26, 2011 at 6:55 AM  

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