I’m the mom I never thought I would be.

I’m the one some may call a helicopter mom.

While I’m not naive to the fact my husband and I are overly protective of our son, I didn’t notice until recently just how protective we both are.

As I stood near my son who was playing with toys in the backyard with the other kids, I remember looking back at the small group of parents together at the table outside.
They were talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s companyI smiled and turned back to watch my son.

I smiled because I love seeing others having a good time.

But as I turned back, I realized just how much of a protective, helicopter mom I am.

I watched every step my son took, with every move he made I was there, and I watched him in complete anxiety waiting for him to get hurt or something to happen.

RELATED: I’m Not Sorry For Being An Overprotective Mom

Those who know our journey would never question or judge. For those who don’t know our journey, it would be easy to pass judgment or comment about our parenting.

Losing our firstborn son, having our second son fight for his life in and out of the womb, and three NICU journeys have shaped and changed my husband and me.

We know firsthand that life can change in the blink of an eye and these traumatic events are out of our control.

I would have loved to sit, relax, and laugh with friends while watching my son from a short distance in the yard.

But I couldn’t.

Not being near him creates more anxiety and PTSD than is already there.

We have no control over traumatic life events. Being next to him helps me feel more in controlif something were to happen, I’m right there.

Our journey has caused us to look through a different lens.

The lens that shows we truly don’t have control of unexpected, traumatic events.

The lens of the fear and anxiety that something could happen to our son at any moment.

The lens that even though he is so strong and healthy, we could lose him, too.

RELATED: Parenting With PTSD Has Made Me a Helicopter Mom

Our life experiences with both of our boys have shaped us into who we are, and I  know I will continue to evolve as a mother.

But today, I’m a helicopter mom . . . and I’m not ashamed of it.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

Justina Oldehoff

Justina Oldehoff is a mom of two preemie boys, Carter in heaven (1/21/19-1/24/19) and Aron born 10/9/2019 who is home and healthy, and a wife of 11 years to Dan. Following the passing of their son, Carter's Cause Foundation was created to honor Carter's legacy and provide resources and support to NICU families, loss families, and support systems.