I had a scary reality check at the park, alone with my kids!


Photo by Lela Johnson from Pexels

No book on parenting prepares you for taking 3 or more kids on an outing alone. Let’s face it,

IT IS SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have 5 boys, one is my bonus son, he lives with his mom. On any given day, I only have my 4 with me and we are always going places alone because daddy is working. When you have 4 kids, people ALWAYS notice you, they can’t help it, we’re sometimes noisy and not still. LOL! We don’t try to make a scene, but generally there is one kid not listening and I have to bring out “stern mom” voice.

Now with that being said, back to going places alone…

THE PARK!

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The park is a scary place to take your kids when you are out numbered by your kids. Your head is on a swivel because you are scanning the park every 3 seconds doing a count. Ok, 1… 2… 3… 4…. and repeat! Like 100 more times until you leave, because the kids are running all over. They are playing on all different sections of equipment and you are chasing the toddler around.

With the rise of human trafficking posts on social media, you tend to scan your surroundings for potentials bad people, and 9 time out of 10, there is no danger. In fact, I thought most of those posts were made up. Until I had one of those “is this it?” moments. I took my youngest two to a park after a doctors appointment, we’ve been to this park hundreds of times, but it was usually busy when we have come before. This time, it wasn’t. There was one other kid/mom there, they left right after we got there. Now, this park is a public park, but it is kind of secluded in a wooded area (sounds legit, right?)
I was like, eh, ok, we’re good still. I am familiar here and there are always people coming by on the trail.

This is the park we were at. Lake Parker in Lakeland, FL

Then these two men showed up

At first, I didn’t think nothing of it. They could’ve been coming to walk the trail. Instead, they were just standing at the playground with no kids.

Then they split up

That’s when my spidy senses went off. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach but again, I tried to reason with my anxious thoughts. I couldn’t see where the one guy went, the other one was just walking around the playground. I was getting nervous.

I WAS ALONE WITH 2 SMALL KIDS


Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

Now I am panicking on the inside because I have no way to defend myself if they try to rob me or take one of my children. Now all those human trafficking posts are replaying in my head. What will I do? They were still split up walking around the playground, so I told the kids to come on so we could get lunch.

I STARTED WALKING TO MY VAN AND SO DID THEY

As we are walking to my van, they start walking to their car. They are parked right next to me. UGH! Why is this happening. I am waiting for one of them to hit me over the head or something. Now it takes me a few minutes to get my kids buckled in their carseats. Those men didn’t just get in their car and leave, they freaking sat there with their doors open and one leg out. WHY?!?!?!? I hurried so we could get gone! I saw them pull out a few seconds after I did. I was able to drive away in traffic.

WAS IT A REAL SITUATION OR COINCIDENCE?

I will never know. The fact is, it was an eye opening experience that I needed. I know now that I need to carry some kind of something to protect myself if the situation arises. As a woman, I already feel vulnerable, but I felt helpless when I have my kids and my backs against the wall. Of course I will do anything to protect them, but in that instance, I honestly didn’t know how I would save them if these men attacked us or had a gun.

So ladies, be cautious wherever you go!

Even if you think you re over thinking a situation, follow your gut! It may be the difference between saving your life!

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