Parents tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect when it comes to raising their children, but there is no such thing as a parent who has not made any mistakes along the way. I have been a mother going on eight years now and I consider myself (and think that most people who know me consider me) to be a good parent, but in those eight years I have experienced my share of horrifying moments when the little voice in the back of my head was whispering “What kind of mother would do such a thing?”. So to make you feel better about the mistakes you may have made so far on your parenting journey, I am going to share my 5 most epic fails as a parent so far.
I Slammed My Daughter’s Fingers in the Car Door
Yep, when my daughter was just two years old I pulled up at my mom’s house, got my daughter out of the car and slammed the door shut without first checking to make sure that her hands were clear. Luckily nothing was broken, but her fingers were black and blue and she cried for what seemed like hours. As a mother I always feel awful when my children are in pain for any reason, but to know that she was in pain because of something that I did was a really horrible feeling. Even though my children are older now (seven and four), I still always do a finger check before I close the car door.
I Didn’t Believe My Daughter When She Told Me She Was Sick
When my daughter was in kindergarten she woke up on a Friday morning and told me that she didn’t feel good and didn’t want to go to school. I felt her head and she didn’t feel feverish to me so I didn’t bother to take her temperature. I let her stay home and gave her some Motrin. Within thirty minutes she was running around playing and laughing. I gave her a long lecture about how important school is and how she can’t miss school unless she is really sick and how Mommy had to call in to work to stay home with her and Mommy doesn’t need to miss work unless someone is actually sick. She insisted that she was sick and didn’t feel well, but was feeling better with the Motrin. I lectured her all day long. The next day I lectured her some more and lectured her about not wanting to eat her food, too. It wasn’t until the next day (Sunday) when her Aunt came to take her and her brother to the movies and she said she just wanted to stay home and sleep that I started to get an inkling that something might actually be wrong. I felt her forehead and she still didn’t feel feverish to me but I took her to the Urgent Care clinic anyway and was horrified when the nurse took her temperature and it was 103 degrees. I was triply horrified when the doctor came in and said that my daughter had tested positive for both strep throat AND the flu. She was a very sick little girl and not only had I let her suffer for two days, but I had actually been lecturing her nonstop. I felt like the Worst. Mother. Ever. Now whenever one of my children tell me that they don’t feel good, I skip feeling their forehead and go straight to taking their temperature with a thermometer.
I Let My Son Have a Piece of Hard Candy and He Choked On It
Of course I knew better than to let a three-year-old have a piece of hard candy (a peppermint, to be precise), but he really wanted it and my husband and I didn’t want him to cause a scene in public (which he will definitely do), so we let him have it. My husband took him to potty while we were waiting for our daughter to finish her piano lesson and they had a bowl of peppermints in the bathroom. Of course my three-year-old son saw the peppermints and decided that he would do whatever it takes to have one, and believe me he would be willing to scream until the cows came home if that’s what it took. So we gave in and let him have one. Of course, he popped it in his mouth and took off running making me yell “Don’t run with it in your mouth!”. The words were barely out of my mouth when he stopped running, grabbed his chest, and looked at us in terror. We rushed to him and my husband started banging him on the back but it wasn’t working. I was freaking out getting ready to call 911 when my husband picked him up and started doing the Heimlich maneuver on him. Finally, after about three tries the peppermint flew out and my son took a deep breath and started crying. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I was literally shaking the rest of the night and when he asked to sleep with me and his dad that night, we welcomed him with no fuss (we usually try to convince him to go back to his bed). He will probably be a teenager before I let him have hard candy again, but thankfully it isn’t an issue because he is just as fearful to eat it as I am for him to have it.
I Didn’t Help My Daughter Study For a Test And She Failed It
My daughter told me that she needed help with math, she was having trouble grasping the concepts (1st grade math, so I was able to help her with it) and she really needed extra help. I told her that of course I would help her later, after I finished with dinner and laundry and my other long list of to dos that day, but I got busy and forgot about it. The next day I saw a note from her teacher in her backpack saying that my daughter had gotten all the answers on the study guide wrong and that she had gone over it with her again but suggested that I work with her before the test the next day. I was glad for the note because it reminded me that I needed to help her with her math and I vowed that I would go over it with her later that evening after all of the extracurricular activities we had scheduled that day, but again I forgot about it before bed. I remembered the next morning after I had gone to work, but it was too late, it was already the day of the test and she was already dropped off at school. I felt awful at that moment and felt much worse when I saw my daughter’s panic stricken face on the day she brought home the failing test grade. It was the one and only time she didn’t get in trouble for bringing home a bad grade. I didn’t feel I could punish her when I was partly to blame and I felt like a really bad parent that I had been told twice she needed help, both by her and her teacher, and I hadn’t taken the time to work with her on it. Now I always go over her math with her the night before her weekly test whether she asks for my help or not.
I Almost Ran Over My Son
This is the scariest epic fail on this list, even scarier than the hard candy incident. When my son was two-years-old we took our camper to the lake for a weekend of camping. We brought our 2 dogs with us so we had to take two separate cars there in order to fit everyone. My husband backed the camper and his truck into our camp site and I parked my SUV in an empty camp site across from ours while we got everything set up at our site. I got the kids out of the car and helped my husband set up the camper and unload supplies. After a while I noticed a park ranger making his way through the campground and I was worried about getting a ticket so I told my husband to watch the kids while I went to move my car to our site. I got in the car and started backing up and the backup sensors started beeping. I looked at the backup camera and didn’t see anything so I kept backing up, thinking it was picking up on a stick or something. The sensors started beeping again and this time I heard crying, I looked at the backup camera again and my son was standing directly behind the car. Like bumper to nose, and he looked very scared. Horrified I hit the brakes, turned the car off, got out and scooped him up. I still get teary-eyed when I think about this incident, because I know without a doubt that if I had not had the backup sensors and camera in my car I would have run him over. I. Would. Have. Run. Him. Over. This fail is on both my husband and myself, him for not watching him close enough and me because I knew that my son would try to follow me to my car (he always followed me everywhere) so I should have just put him in the car with me to be on the safe side. Now when I am backing out from anywhere I am extra careful to keep tabs on the location of all the people around me.
There are many, many more fails that I have experienced as a parent so far, and I know there will be many more to come. But parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, we all have to stumble through it as we go and one thing that all of these fails have in common is that I learned a lesson from them and adjusted my future parenting style accordingly. I know I am not perfect as a parent and I still have a lot to learn, but despite my “How could you?!” moments, when I look at my daughter and son and see what wonderful, smart, beautiful people they are growing up to be I can’t help but feel that I must be doing alright as a parent overall.