HOW BEING A CHILD PROTECTION DETECTIVE HAS SHAPED ME

MOTHERHOOD, THOUGHT-PROVOKING, WORK & MONEY

Of course learnings from our jobs shape our home life. The work we do becomes part of our identity. But what if, like this anonymous writer, the career you have chosen means that you are witness to some of the most heart-wrenching issue in society? What if being a Child Protection Detective makes you constantly look at your own kid and feel the gravitas of all that you have experienced in your profession. In a letter to her toddler this Mother tries to navigate the complex emotions that come with ‘knowing too much’.

  • Tonight I finished work just as your Daddy was tucking you into bed. I rushed up the stairs and quickly kissed your head, telling you to sleep tight and that I love you. I can’t help but feel anxious that there may be something wrong about to happen.

  • You see my love, once you’re in the land of dreams, I’ve got to sit downstairs and write a report. A report to recount all the details: from taking statements from the heartbroken to placing tiny pyjamas in evidence bags. Today broke my heart, but hopefully I made things a little easier for a fellow Mummy.

  • Most nights I wake and check on you so many times, and I know your Daddy does the same because we spend our days seeing the worst of this world and all we want to do is make sure nothing impacts you.

  • Before you came into our world, I was careless. I would run into pub fights and dangerous houses and not question if someone confronted me and wanted to hurt me because I only had me to consider. I thrived on adrenaline and was fearless especially for one only short!

  • Then your Daddy came into my life and it shifted a little when he would tell me off for the tales I told him about my day, wanting to protect me and I realised I no longer only had me to think of.

  • And then you began to grow inside me and I carried on almost as before, in a male dominated environment where I wanted to act like nothing bothered me or scared me but feeling more and more vulnerable as you got bigger and bigger.

  • By then I was dealing with people who had hurt their children or those who had hurt someone else’s child, and the thought of your teeny ears listening to this world whilst you were inside me made me realise you were all too precious for that.

  • Then you arrived and the world changed. It became scary and I became softer and more vulnerable.

  • You see my heart was now outside of my body and within this teeny little sleep thief.

  • If you had a bruise I would panic that people will think we’ve hurt you because most parents I meet have hurt their children and I judge people differently now.

  • The little people I talk to could easily be my boy. And so I find myself regularly double looking at people when we go swimming together, wondering who they might be.

  • The realisation that one day I will need to give you more freedom and leave you more vulnerable and I will be honest, my love, that thought terrifies me. 

  • Yet watching the fiery boy you have already become, I am reassured that you, are ferocious and confident and strong and I know you will take on this planet.

  • Whatever you do I will always be there to hold your hand. 

  • And know that each morning when you wake me before dawn, that I may be shattered, I may have only slept a few hours from finishing work late, but your snuggles, beaming smile and infectious laugh are my soul juice, my red bull, my mojo, and for you I would function on no sleep at all…

  • Plus it’s not all doom and gloom, I have made some wonderful friends through the strangest of circumstances and that I would never change. Your Daddy and I have the best laughs because we laugh at the darkest thing.

  • They may be long days and evenings where me and Daddy don’t get to tuck you in, but know this, there are children out there who don’t have what we have, a warm, lovely house, with all the animal biscuits and pears (your favourites!) you could want, and so Mummy has to try and make their load a little lighter. And make the world a little safer whilst you dream wonderful dreams. 

  • I talk to monsters like they’re my friends because I have to make sure we all are safe, even if the words leave such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s better that these monsters think I care, because it makes my job easier.

  •  I tell the little people I speak to that if they’re worried or scared that they tell me and I’ll look after the problem so they don’t have to carry the worry anymore… So I’m lugging a lot of worry around for them to make their loads lighter.

  • But know this: I could carry the words and worry of the world, but for you there will ALWAYS. be room and I will NEVER be too full of worry that I won’t be able to take yours.

  • My boy, you now know that Daddy drives ‘naw naws’ but I am pretty sure you have no idea what Mummy does and I hope you never do. 

  • I’m sorry my love, that I haven’t been there, as much as other Mummy’s. One day when you’re grown, you’ll understand that I have done my best for you.

  • I still think about all the tiny clothes I have packed away at work as I hang yours in your wardrobe.

  • I still think about them teeny pyjamas in the evidence  bag when I fold yours into the drawers in your room.Yours are clean, they will be worn, they will have baked beans staining them and felt tip pen across their front in no time my love, and that is what I want.

  • You see there more to this story. I want you to have the childhood I never did.

  • I never had it easy, which is why I fight the monsters.

  • I was often hungry, scared and worried, and nobody took that on for me. It was hard, and I was tired and worn…

  • Toys were few and fear aplenty. Tears were there most days. I would hide and lie about how I felt to keep the monsters at bay.

  • BUT it grew a fire inside that I knew I would never let my heart fall.

  • And then I met your Daddy and helped to fix Mummy .

  • He is strong and he shows me every day what a Daddy should be, how warm a home should be and how love can conquer all. 

  • I hope you’re as strong as him, because he doesn’t half put up with some shit! But also as strong as me, because gumption and nerve instead. 

  • For you my love, I’d give the world, to know that you would never know, what it’s like to be one of the little voices I hear at work.

  • And so, I will fight each day, to wrap you up in cotton wool so tight, because it’s ok not to know about all the hurt, heartbreak and sorrow, in our very very cruel world.

  • I do this job, work long long hours, for my darling boy. Because if Mummy gets rid of some of the monsters out there, there’ll be less for you to see. xxx

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6 Comments

  • Reply Bryony Creed July 1, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Wow, I have never been so moved by a post. I work in early years and have been writing a 30 page safeguarding audit this evening.
    What an incredibly powerful and strong Mummy you are. A true inspiration.

  • Reply Kate Richards July 2, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thank you for sharing. Such a powerful post. And very well written, it’s always amazing when a post stops you and makes you reflect like I am. Your boy will be very proud of you.

  • Reply Hannah Clarke July 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    From one Mother, and Teacher to another, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you are doing to help keep our little ones safe. My next door neighbour works for the online child protection service, such a tough job but one that is so necessary in today’s world-unfortunately. Real Superheroes don’t wear capes x

  • Reply Kelly Jack July 2, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Wow, never comment but this made me cry. Thank you for making the world a little bit safer and not being afraid to tackle the monsters xx

  • Reply Rommy July 3, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Thank you for sharing. Not a pleasant read but so powerful and important. I admire your strengh and passion.
    Thank you for making kids and peoples life better – fight the monsters. I will hug my little ones extra hard tonight and defo sit a minute longer with them at bedtime. Greetings from Germany

  • Reply Becky July 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Oh my gosh so beautifully written. Thank you for fighting the monsters so our kids are safer. 💕

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