#83: The Bad Mum Files

#83: The Bad Mum Files
5 minutes to read

I almost didn’t write this post, because it centres around something so horrendous that I never wanted to think about it again. But, you know, burying and bottling isn’t brain friendly, so here we are.

This isn’t one of those “I’m a bad mum because I accidentally gave my child mouldy bread for lunch”, or “I shouted just a bit too loudly at them today”. No, I’m a bad mum because I misjudged a set of traffic lights changing and I got hit by a car, while pushing my pram. My pram that had Moo strapped into it, and Mouse riding on the buggy board at the back.

You see, the weather was awful on this day. It had been raining fat, heavy drops all morning, but we’d needed to go out as I had a routine check-up with my GP. I’d enshrouded Moo’s pram with the rain cover, and thrown every piece of wet weather apparel onto Mouse that I could find. She’d clutched onto her umbrella the entire time we were outside, so it was actually only me that was sodden and chilled to the bone.

We walked to the Doctor’s surgery, and Moo nodded off. She remained asleep until I was having my blood pressure taken, at which point she woke up with a start and screamed her head off. My blood pressure instantly shot up, and the whole head off screaming thing continued for approximately half an hour solid. I put in my prescription, repeatedly breathed “it’s okay, my baby boo…it’s okay, my silly Moo” and started the trudge home. Fairly near to my house is a gargantuan set of crossroads, involving nine lanes of traffic and three separate traffic lights. I needed to cross seven to get home, but I cross them daily.

I know these lanes. I know these lights. I know the signal priorities, and I know how long it takes me to jet across.

Crying, crying, crying from Moo.

Whinging, whinging, whinging from Mouse. It’s gone 1pm now, and both children are probably ravenous.

Raining, raining, raining.

I get to the first two lanes of traffic, the lights are red. Over I whoosh, thinking about my blood pressure. Thinking about what I’ll make the girls for lunch. Thinking that I really hope this rain stops this afternoon so that I can take Mouse for a sloshy muddle puddle hunt.

I stand on the island between the lanes, with the traffic lights still on red. There’s a car in the first lane, to my right, sat waiting for their change. I make a dash for it, as they flick from red to amber. Ooops, shit! I think. I raise a cursory soggy hand to say thank you to the car for waiting, and I pick up speed to cross the second lane.

I see it, before it takes place. I suddenly know exactly what’s about to happen. A flash of white, to my right. My handbag, upended into the road. Screams, from me. The pram – oh my god the pram – upside down in the road, less than a meter from the oncoming traffic in the opposite lanes. The squeal of brakes and the honks of horns and the “OHMYGODOHMYGOD” from somewhere behind me. Mouse, shrieking, pinned under the buggy board, under the pram.

The hand on my arm. The “I didn’t see her I didn’t see her I swear I didn’t see her.” The “What the hell were you doing, you were going too fast.” The “Mate, you could have fucking killed her”. The “Check the kiddies, we need to check the kiddies”.

The blood on my foot as I tripped on my stupid, stupid scarf while trying to stand up.

The screaming, from me, as I yanked the pram handle up to see Moo, thrashing around in her straps, elevated inches from the floor.

In the same way that I knew what was going to happen when the car hit me, I knew that my girls were okay. Miraculously, okay.

A wonderful, kind lady called Sue strongarmed me and the children over to the next island. The driver of the white car stood with his head in his hands, saying sorry over and over again. Sue phoned the police, who also triggered calls to the paramedic and later, an ambulance. I hopped from foot to foot, wailing and not knowing what to do. Moo continued to scream from inside the pram, but the rain was so torrential that if I’d have lifted the raincover off and cuddled her, she’d have been soaked. I had to let her cry, while poking my hand underneath the cover and uselessly patting her arm.

I gazed around me to see stationary cars everywhere. Nothing was moving, across this busy intersection, because of me. From one of the cars emerged another kind lady, who knelt and talked to Mouse while I phoned my husband. Her teeth were chattering and she had snot everywhere, her hands were flushed red with stinging cold. The lady asked if she could take her, to sit in her car while we waited for the paramedic. Mouse later told me that she’d offered her a drink and given her a blanket to sit on.

The kindness of strangers.

The stupidity of ignorance.

The hair’s breadth that our road network hinges on.

The assumption that the pedestrian won’t be daring enough to cross. That the cyclist won’t cut lanes. That the motorbike won’t undertake. That the other car will wait.

The total, absolute, overwhelming good fortune that nobody was hurt. The worst physical injury was a kaleidoscope of bruising that appeared across my knees over the next few days.

The utterly bizarre sight of my husband, who’d come to the scene to take us home, shaking hands with the driver of the white car, who was almost in tears with the gravity of what might have happened.

The words of the policeman to me: “Someone’s looking down on you, Mrs Wills. You were very nearly wiped out.”

The rain, which continued all afternoon and all evening.

The risk, the rush, the blasé.

The lesson truly learned.

The gratitude.

The respect.

Need to refresh on The Highway Code?

-SJW January 2017

54 Comments

    • January 31, 2017 / 9:34 am

      I know, still can’t quite believe it actually happened. Thank you for reading x

  1. January 31, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Thank God you and your kids are ok. Absolutely crying reading this because it is so scary. So good to share this story as we all get complacent when it comes to traffic xx

    • January 31, 2017 / 9:33 am

      That’s exactly why I decided to post it I think, complacency is so easy but so dangerous. Thank you for reading xx

  2. January 31, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Well that’s pretty scary!! How long ago was this?! Glad you were all OK!

    • January 31, 2017 / 9:33 am

      A couple of weeks ago…that was a great week in my house I tell you!

  3. January 31, 2017 / 8:55 am

    Oh my gosh, what a truly traumatic experience. I’m so glad you’re all ok.

    P.s. you write about it beautifully.

    • January 31, 2017 / 9:32 am

      Yep, def a few risks taken that I’ve not taken since. Thank you for reading x

  4. January 31, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Shit Sam! That’s awful you must have been terrified 🙁 Much love cxxx

  5. January 31, 2017 / 9:35 am

    Oh my god. I don’t know what to say. So scared and sorry for you. So so pleased you were all ok. Well done for getting it down and sharing. Must be replaying it over and over in your head. Loads oflove x

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:09 am

      Thank you – yeah, I replayed it for a good day, then had to block it out for a while, then wrote it down. These pesky Soton roads!

  6. January 31, 2017 / 9:49 am

    Oh my god! This just gave me goose pimples. So glad all of you are ok. Xx

  7. January 31, 2017 / 10:17 am

    I think it’s amazing and brave that you wrote this post, very well written, crying whilst reading this! It’s easy to get complacent about road safety and we’ve all been there where we are desperate to get home for the little one whose so upset and hungry etc and easy to misjudge. So it’s great to remind everyone of this. So glad you were all ok! ????

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:53 am

      Thank you for reading and your comment – absolutely, so easy to misjudge things and get bogged down in the million other things we’re thinking about as mums.

  8. January 31, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Oh my goodness, I’m sneakily reading this at work and trying to hold back the tears. This is beautifully written and I can feel your pain and worry and angst that it was all your fault but these things happen, it was an accident and something you and everyone involved will have learnt from. Thank goodness you were all ok 🙂

    • January 31, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Thank you for reading and sharing – sorry I made you weepy! It was a definite stark reminder of how everything is so reliant on everything else. X

  9. Ellen
    January 31, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    Oh my darling I’ve just cried reading this, you poor thing. Sending you so much love, I’m so glad you were all ok. This has reinforced to me that you can’t be too careful when it comes to roads. Please don’t feel like a bad mum though – we all do things like that.

    • January 31, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you lovely Ed – definitely something we all need to be reminded of from time to time x

  10. January 31, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    I welled up reading this. Thanks for the kick up the bum that it’s not worth the risk of that dash… so glad you’re all ok. Your writing is superb! X

  11. January 31, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    Oh gosh! It just goes to show that nothing is certain. I’m so glad everyone was alright! Scary stuff. Big hugs x

    • January 31, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      I know – we take so much for granted. Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  12. January 31, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Thank goddess you & your babies were ok. I have to admit I’ve done it before crossed when I knew deep down I probably shouldn’t have. Thank you for having the courage to share, a lot of people think it will never happen to them but you just never know.

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      It’s the human condition to always think it won’t happen to us – I’m not taking any chances now!

  13. January 31, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Oh Sam, my heart was in my mouth for the duration of this. I can’t imagine how terrifying it was.
    But please, please, please don’t beat yourself up about it.
    Sending you love.

  14. M
    January 31, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    So glad you all okay, you are certainly being looked after. Stay safe lovely and make sure you get it out, don’t bottle it up. X

  15. Lynsey
    January 31, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    By goodness – this came up on my timeline. I’ve just cried reading it and my heart has gone cold. Society makes us all busy – what an important message you have to tell. So pleased all of you were ok. And fantastic to hear of kind strangers “doing the right thing”.

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Absolutely – I was so shocked that I was pretty much helpless for a while and thank goodness I had immediate assistance just to gather up my children. I never want to be in that position again but I hope I’ll always help if I’m a passerby.

  16. January 31, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Oh my God hun! Awful. I’m so glad that you are all OK. Claire x #triballove

  17. January 31, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    You gripped me from start to finish. Thank GOD everyone, the driver included (bless him…the head in the hands bit…I almost burst into tears reading it) was alright. This is just so beautifully written despite it being about such a harrowing event. I am so sorry but well done for airing it. This will stay with me for ages.

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      Thank you – definitely, I think about that bloke a lot and have never felt any malice towards him. He was utterly mortified, and was just going a bit too enthusiastically off at the lights in bad weather, exactly the same as I was doing on foot. Thanks for commenting and sharing xx

  18. January 31, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    Im so God damn glad youre okay sweetheart. Big hugs and love xoxo

  19. January 31, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    Goosebumps all over reading this ???? So glad you are ok. Try to give yourself some extra care over the next few days and weeks, that’s a big thing to deal with. Also thanks for sharing, so many of us are always rushing rushing rushing (I know I am) it’s a good reminder to slow the f-k down! X

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Yes – I’m trying to condition myself to think that if we’re 5 mins late for something, an extra minute doesn’t actually matter…better to arrive alive than not at all! Thank you for reading xx

  20. January 31, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    The most horrific incident, so brilliantly written. So glad you are all ok. Alison x

  21. Fox in socks
    February 1, 2017 / 12:07 am

    Tears are streaming down my face for you. How terrifying. So glad you’re all okay. Cuddle those children tight and be gentle with yourself. Go easy x

  22. February 1, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Oh my god. Thank god you were ok! We’ve all done it but my word you are definitely one lucky lady. I can’t even imagine what went through your mind xxx

  23. May 7, 2017 / 4:11 am

    Just read the whole post and am sat in the library wishing I hadn’t said such harsh words to my son before he left for drama rehearsal today… I am so, so relieved that this story had a happy-if not terrifying- ending . Please don’t feel bad . We do our best x

    • May 7, 2017 / 6:36 am

      Thank you – I hope that you don’t feel too bad either, as you say we’re all just fighting to do our best xx

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