I was also the proud, big sister to 2 baby brothers that were technically young enough to have been my own children. (In fact, I actually heard a friend’s mother say- “That’s not her brother, they are just saying that…” trying to imply he was actually my son. Yeah, they are, in fact, my brothers). I worked in childcare, and, most importantly, I knew exactly what to do to be the perfect mom.
Then I had kids, and I ate a big, fat serving of crow. I mean, it’s not like I actually said I would be the perfect mom. But, I definitely was pretty confident in my knowledge of motherhood before I had my own children.
Disclaimer: I’m not a parenting expert, I’m just the mother of 4 kids who knew everything before she had them.
Ways I have failed to be the
Perfect Mom (that is, according
to my pre-mommy self)
1. I have become the Queen of empty threats. Dr. Phil would have a field day listening to me threaten my kids, and not following through.
2. I let my kids eat chocolate, and candy, and have even forgotten to brush their teeth once or twice.
3. I have made 4 different meals for dinner knowing there may be backlash for the “main course”.
4. I have used the TV as a babysitter.
5. I let me kids sleep in bed with us despite proclaiming to the world none of our children would never sleep in our bed.
6. I might have said a choice word once or twice in front of my kids (ok, maybe more than once or twice).. It’s possible a toddler has even repeated said word.
7. I’ve taken my kids out with food on their faces, and mismatched clothes that they refused to change.
8. I’ve used a hefty school snack as an excuse to skip lunch for the day.
9. I have lost more papers important papers, and forgotten to turn things in until I have been reminded several times (by a teacher).
10. I have waited until the last minute to plan birthday parties, order/ make Halloween costumes, and the tooth fairy has forgotten to visit my children on more than one occasion.
11. I once lost 2 of my children in the playground area at Disney World. The absolute worst, most terrifying 5-10 minutes of my life.
12. None of my boys have known their alphabet (completely, and confidently) before entering Kindergarten. I doubt my daughter will either.
13. I’ve lied about the time in order to start the bed time process earlier than usual. Or to convince the kids to stay in bed a little longer on the weekends. (I miss sleeping..)
14. Obviously, I have completely failed to teach my children the importance of siblings. I was sure the rivalry between myself, my sister, and my brothers was due to my very own mother dropping the ball. (Sorry, Mom!) I have yet to teach my own children to love their siblings.
15. I let my kids rely on me to fall asleep until they decided on their own to stop nursing. (Nothing like being a human pacifier).
You guys! I could literally go on for days telling you all the ways I have failed at being the perfect mom. This parenting thing is hard! But, let me make this clear, I’m really just being sassy.
These are the ways my pre-mommy self would have defined failure as a mom. And maybe it’s just because these are all my failures, and I am going easy on myself, but these things just don’t define me as a mom, or failure anymore.
Some of these “failures” have become my favorite mom moments. Some of them are still in the fail column… I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, and guess you probably have countless mom-fails (or dad-fails) in your virtual parenting file. Most of us are trying our hardest though, and are doing a better job than we credit ourselves.
Whether you’re letting your kids learn how to cry themselves to sleep, or choosing to put them into bed with you; letting your kids watch tv, or reading a chapter book every night with them; making a perfectly crafted classroom snack, or sending in a box of fruit snacks (me…), give yourself some grace on those “failures” and celebrate the “wins”. You never know, your definition of “failure” may be someone else’s definition of “win”.
Feeling brave? Share your biggest mom-fail moment? Leave it in the comments below.
PS- When I am really feeling down on myself, this helps every time!