I don't trust my husband to watch our kids. Help!
I'm going to try to keep this short, but want to preface it by saying that while watching my kids climb trees and take risks makes me cringe inwardly sometimes, I believe in the value of letting them have childhoods, have fun, and take risks (within reason!). I know that people have different boundaries here, and my impression is that dads often let kids do things that makes us moms nervous. For that reason, I always tried to let H do things with the kids without me around.
Well, there have been times though that he let them do things that gave me a heart attack. I'm not going into a laundry list, but things like letting our 1 year old sit at the edge of a massive pier with no rail and him 5 feet away. Too far to get her if she tumbled back. So, when there's a real question of danger, I always make sure I'm there too.
So, we were at an indoor water park. I'd fallen that morning and scraped up my knee really badly, but the kids wanted to swim more after dinner. At this point, they're 5.5 and 3. Neither a good swimmer, and the 3 year old not a swimmer at all. We decide that I'll come with a book and sit on a lounge chair. I'm not in a swimsuit and I am off duty. A little bit of mom time!
It's very loud from the rushing water, and very empty. I can't remember if there was even another family there. H takes the kids into the wade-in wave pool. I don't know how much time went by, but I looked up and the 3 year old was up to her waist, alone, in the pool and heading deeper. No life jacket. The 5 year old is in a life jacket over her head but OK. No waves at the moment, but they start up randomly. Husband is nowhere to be seen.
I was so scared. I decided to watch the little one and if she got any deeper to run in, clothes and all. Also if the waves started. I couldn't see a life guard anywhere. I shouted for H, but he couldn't hear me over the rushing water.
Finally, I found him playing basketball. He could not see or hear our children from where he was. I was shaking with fear and anger.
He said he was sorry, that it was a momentary lapse in judgement. I think it's .... not unforgivable, but unforgettable. I can't trust someone who would leave our kids alone in water when they're not swimmers. Even if they were swimmers it's not OK! To me, this is parenting 101.
It's been over a year and I still can't get over it. I am afraid to trust him. If something happened to the kids on his watch, I would blame myself. I've had fair warning that he's not up to the job.
But how do I proceed? H feels like I'm punishing him. I'm not trying to, but I don't know how to communicate that I just can't trust someone who would do something like this. These are my kids! They're my heart and soul.
What would you do? What would you tell your spouse when they insisted that nothing like this would happen again? Is it as bad as I think it is?