A mum of two has opened up about the dangers of leaving kids unattended at bath time, after her baby girl almost drowned in a matter of seconds.
Siobhan Rennie from Australia wrote about the mistake she’d made when watching two-year-old Alfie and her baby daughter Aoife in the bath in a post on her blog. At first, she was worried about sharing the incident because of the judgement she might face.
‘I’ve thought long and hard about whether I wanted to share this. I know what some people will think. But what’s more important than that is what I want you all to keep in mind and be aware of…’ she begins in her post on her blog, MeOhMy.
‘I’ve just done the worst thing. I am a horrible mum.’
Siobhan detailed how she had put her kids in the bath together, and while playing with them, she had remembered that she had to hang up one of her husband’s shirts to dry, just a ‘few metres’ around the corner from the bathroom.’
‘I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary, just a tiny bit of splashing,’ she wrote.
‘I went back to the bathroom maybe 15-30 seconds later (I really have no idea, it was very quick) and Aoife was under water flailing around.
‘Harry was laughing. I grabbed her so fast out of that bath and held her to me… she was coughing and screaming. Harry suddenly realised she wasn’t playing and his face fell.’
‘It could have been so much worse. Aoife is fine. She coughed briefly, cried for a little bit while I held her and cried myself, then was back to her usual smiling self a few minutes later. She fed as normal and went off to sleep happy.
‘But still…what I did was completely unacceptable.’
Siobhan then explained the reasons for her wanting to get the housework done, writing ‘… as you all know I have severe anxiety and am a huge perfectionist. This has combined, all my life, to result in me never being able to relax until everything is ‘done’.
‘And in my book that means the washing put away, the dishes done, everyone fed, everything tidy etc…so I can relax at night knowing it’s all sorted. It’s more than a little OCD of me, I know.
‘Tonight that side of me dominated as I thought I’d ‘just quickly’ pop into the other room to put the shirt away.’
‘This is the hardest post I’ve ever shared. Because many of you out there will be thinking I’m a bad mum. You’d never do it, right?
‘Well, I thought that too. But I had a momentary lapse in concentration. I guess I thought Harry would look after her. Stupid stupid stupid…he’s only 2.5 years old!!!’
Siobhan then wrote a warning to other parents, saying that no matter how old or independent your kid might be, you should never ever leave them alone in the bath if they can’t save themselves if the worst happens.
‘Our babes don’t care if the house is clean. They don’t care if there’s a pile of clean washing on the floor. They just need us there, 24/7, whenever they need us.’
‘And not just present – they need us ‘ALL THERE’ mentally. Give them all our time, all our attention, all our focus.’
‘I’m sure many people out there will be judging me right now. And wanting to troll me. Go for it. Nothing you can say will make me feel worse than I already do.
‘I hate myself. My babies are my world and I will feel guilty about this for the rest of my life – and I’m not exaggerating.
‘Please, heed my warning and never take your eyes off them. It could turn out to be your worst nightmare.’
People have commented on the Instagram post, offering support to Siobhan and telling her not to beat herself up over her mistake.
‘Thanks for the reminder. Chin up – you are an amazing mother – don’t let one mishap define you,’ wrote one user.
‘Don’t beat yourself up over this. It is good you share your story with the world. We all make mistakes… and we all regret them. As long as we learn from them we are ok, as human beings (and also as mothers)’ wrote another user.
Although it can be nerve-wracking at the time, sharing mistakes can have the power to stop others from doing the same thing!