That’s What She Said: Any Given Mom Day

| October 16, 2014 | 2 Comments

Sometimes it’s easy to forget why you carry. I am guilty of the “Oh it’s just the grocery store, I’ll be fine” mode of thinking. Some days you might not have the right outfit to conceal properly. On others you might decide that trekking to the gun safe will make you late. Maybe you’re taking your kids to the zoo and you need all of the real estate in your bag to carry snacks, wipes and drinks. Firearms are heavy and sometimes they need special planning and consideration.

Then I watched the HBO documentary “Terror at the Mall.”

By now I’m sure you’ve read The Shepherd’s review of the terrorist attack on an upscale Kenyan mall. He does a wonderful job talking about how we can be prepared to take charge of our own safety and emergency medical needs, and why things like pocket pistols aren’t appropriate for today’s breed of active shooter.

What he doesn’t mention are the point of view stories from several women who were caught in the crossfire while shopping with children of varying ages. Some had newborns, some were still pregnant, and some had older kids who were shopping independently.

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While I watched the live video feed of these women running with their children, I was immediately grateful for the training we have invested in. Dozens of hours of  defensive firearms practice and gunshot wound treatment certainly puts me ahead of the curve, but how could I plan to prepare to deal with threats with my children in tow? Any changes needed to be simple. Running errands can be complicated enough without adding layers of tactical protocol just to pick up milk.

Here are 3 small things you can do to prepare yourself and your kids for an emergency away from home.

Make time to carry. Make room for extra mags. Make this a priority.

I’ll never feel like 2 extra mags is overkill for a trip to Target again. Better yet, that KPOS is going back into my bag. Watching men try to stop rifle wielding terrorists with handguns was sobering. I don’t care how tight your groupings are at the range. Bad guys won’t stop and wait for you to properly acquire your sights. You need power and lots of it.

Establish a consistent parking row at every business you frequent. Make sure your kids know that is your “home base” where all of you will meet if you are separated in an emergency.

Once I decided on my home bases, I quizzed my kids every time we parked until they knew them without hesitation. Don’t stop there! Once you enter the store, make them pay attention to the landmarks around them. Is there a coffee shop? Did you enter by produce? The pharmacy? Make sure they are aware that there are often multiple entrances and exits to one store. Tell them about the freight entrances and service doors they might use if the main entrances are choked with people. Test them. Stop in the middle of your trip and have them show you how to get to the car. Laying this foundation of situational awareness will help them orient themselves when you go to a new place and is a life skill they will use more often than algebra.

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One of the women in the documentary had 4 kids. The oldest had taken a younger sibling to browse another aisle, while the mother kept the 2 youngest siblings with her, kind of. She had left them with her cart while she went several aisles away to pick up a forgotten item. Gunfire broke out, in her panic she became lost trying to find her cart and children. Simultaneously, when the older child heard gunfire and the crowds around him began to panic, he tried to reach his mother via text. Since he was unable to reach her he did the best he could to hang onto his brother while frantic people surged around him. Don’t you think he would have felt more reassured and confident if he had been trusted with an emergency plan?

Take one thing out of your bag and replace it with a tourniquet and a bandage.

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We all have extra crap floating around in our handbags and backpacks. Take a moment to prioritize. You’ll probably never need it, but if you do it’s a matter of life and death and takes up the same amount of space as a deck of playing cards.

Kids feel safest when they know what to expect. Let them know that you think about emergencies and that you want their help and input. There’s no need to scare your kids to prepare them for emergencies, all you have to do is talk to them. You don’t have to explain why you have a plan; it’s easy to say “in case of an emergency,” or perhaps even “in case there’s a fire.” This technique may be handy if you have an ex who is not as prepared as you are (like mine).

Regardless of what you choose to plan or how you prepare, it’s important that you decide what to do now. No one in Westgate Mall had any idea something was going to happen — except the four men who murdered over 60 men, women, and children.

Don’t let people like them dictate your safety. Make a plan, get training, and stick with it.

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About the Author:

The She-Shepherd

The She-Shepherd is a defensive firearms student, mother and advocate for pushing the boundaries of how we train. She believes that defensive training must balance context, mindset, and skill to be most effective.
Her specialty has become testing alternative modes of firearms carry and best practices of less than lethal force options through rigorous force-on-force scenario based training.

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2 Comments on "That’s What She Said: Any Given Mom Day"

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  1. Amanda says:

    This is great! I never even thought about doing this with the kids when we’re out. Thank you so much!

  2. The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd says:

    Thank you! I’m so glad you found it helpful. 🙂

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