It seems like for any parent, there is that one situation that you can go back to as the first time you were truly scared in a situation regarding your child(ren). In the past 3+ years, I hadn’t experienced any such thing… until recently.

About a week ago, I had the biggest scare of my mom-life. I am sure that in relation to some other things that I will have to deal with pertaining to my children, it isn’t that big. But at the time and even know looking back on it, it scared me half to death.


Scary Parent Moment

The week after we had moved into our new home, my girls are I were out and about running errands and picking up some home goods. It was around 4 pm when we pulled into the driveway at our home.

Like always, I grabbed my purse and got both girls out of the car and into the house before unloading anything from the car. I never leave them in the car without me or for longer than need be out of habit and worry.

I set everything down on the counter and told the girls to wait inside. I had just got done texting my husband about some not so great news I had received earlier and left my phone inside, along with my keys and everything else.

I walked back outside to start unloading what was in the trunk. When I came around the side of the car, I saw my three-year-old standing outside of the front door with it shut. Even though I didn’t know exactly what happened yet, a huge sense of panic immediately rushed over me.

I dropped everything and went to the door as she said, “I locked the door for you mommy”. And she had… with my 1.5 year old inside of the house where my keys and my phone also were.

I burst into tears right away. It was all I could do not to scream since I had my toddler outside with me. I was more scared at the moment in time then I have been in many, many years.

At that point, we had only been in our house a week or so and hadn’t made a new key to give to someone or to hide somewhere. The only keys to the house were on my key ring, inside, and my husbands, who was at work and I had no idea what was happening.

I ran to the closest neighbors house to use a phone and call my husband, but no one was home. I didn’t want to cross the street or leave the door really because I didn’t want to lose sight of where she was in the house. I tried to get our oldest to sit there with her sister and talk to her through the glass section of the door while I went around and checked all of the windows and doors. Of course, my habit of obsessively making sure everything is shut and locked tight bit me in the butt on this day. No luck. I even tried to pick the lock with my earring and a stick. Unfortunately, I have never taught myself the act of picking a lock or breaking into something.

All I could do was sit there and cry as I tried to get her to unlock the door. She could reach it and she wiggled it a couple of times, but at 1.5 didn’t understand what I was trying to ask her to do. She thought it was a game at first, as she pressed her face against the glass and laughed at us outside. I don’t think it was until after the first 15 minutes of us not coming in and her not being able to come out that she started to feel like something was wrong.

She just sat there and laid on the floor by the door, sobbing. She would peak her head up every few minutes to make sure that I was still there. I felt so helpless in that moment.

Sure, you may think “well at least she was locked in YOUR OWN house”. True, but without me being able to get in and her not being able to get out…all I could think about were all of the dangers that were inside the house without me in it. Anything she could get into, pull over on herself, turn on… Your mind goes crazy places when you are afraid.

I sat at the door praying that for some reason my husband would come home early. He wasn’t due home for an hour and a half at that point and I was on the verge of a heart attack trying to figure out what else to do.


About 30 minutes later, my husband amazingly pulled into the driveway. He told me later that when I wasn’t answering any of his phone calls or texts that he got worried and had a bad feeling, so he came home.

I could hardly speak as I ran to him and told him to unlock the door. As soon as I did, I grabbed up our little one and both she and I sat and cried on the couch together for a good 20 minutes. I felt like I never wanted to put her down or let her go.

In those moments right after my husband got home, I just kept thanking God for putting it in his head to come home early.

Right now, I can’t imagine going through something like that again, although I know it’s inevitable with the soon-to-be four children we are going to have.

My view on motherhood has always been one that is a little overprotective and worried about the small things. If anything, this only validated to me that even the most careful and protective parents can have things happen to their children that they cannot control.

What is the scariest moment you have experienced as a parent?

*Here’s to keeping our children safe and sound*

joanna at motherhood and merlot