I'm sore. At a fourth birthday just before Christmas, I entered a sack race with two other mums.

I probably should have said no. I am still nursing a c-section wound and associated recovery, ongoing since I had my baby two months prior.

So for the last month, I have been nursing a very stiff left hip and lower back. I feel it every time I need to use it, which is quite often.

I'm seeing an osteopath and on the ACC form where they ask what you were doing and where you were I wrote: "competing in a sack race at birthday party". They will assume I was drunk. But, no. Just really stupid.


And it got me wondering: How many other parents get injured like this? I polled my friends.

It seems everyone has a story – most made my sack race soreness seem quite trivial.
Several had friction burns from riding slides.

One rode her son's scooter down a steep slope (neglecting to learn it had a brake) before she bailed onto the grass to stop herself, skinning her hands and knees in the process.

Another had attempted a slip 'n slide with her kids and ended up not really sliding anywhere - and with a bruised stomach, knees and elbows.

Two more friends admitted suffering friction burns on slides at Chipmunks. I'd always just assumed staff were being killjoys with their "no adults" signs.

Then there's my friend who did a "penguin dive" into her pool. She ended up concussed, having cut her forehead so deep it had to be glued shut. She broke a tooth as well as her nose and was told she was very, very lucky not to break her neck and end up paralysed. Oops.

But it's not just us mum's in the wars: A friend's husband who, ignoring her pleas not to, attempted to go down a BMX ramp on his kid's bike. He flew off it, breaking a collar bone so badly it popped out of his skin.
(Those last two injuries make me feel sick).

One friend with two young children was playing on the trampoline with her boy and did a stomach landing.


She didn't need to go into much detail for me to wince, saying only: "There were cracks."
She said usually when you do stuff like this, it's a bit funny. But there was no laughter when she rang her husband. He didn't laugh either. He reacted with shock and asked, incredulous: "What were you thinking?"

You know it's really bad if no one laughs.

What were we thinking? Or were we just having fun or not thinking at all?

How can we hurt ourselves when we spend so much of our time predicting and trying to prevent accidents for everyone around us? Or is that the problem?

Many of us lead spontaneous, fast-paced lives before we have kids and suddenly become so serious – sort-of servants - to these little people in our lives.

So when we get the chance to do something silly, do we just let go a little too much?


In any case, it made me feel a bit better (about society as a whole and also my own stupidity) that so many other people are out there doing silly things with their kids.

We just need to try not to break ourselves doing it.

Oh - in case it matters to anyone, I won that sack race.