During pregnancy you gave in to the urge for a Diet Coke. Gasp! You lifted heavy boxes while setting up your baby’s room. Uh oh! You ignored your doctor’s warnings not to gain more weight. Shhh!
Before your child even entered the world you probably lived through more than one guilt-producing ‘bad mom moment.’ Let’s face it, being human means making mistakes and sometimes caving to temptation. Instead of beating yourself up about how you fail as a parent, why not choose forgiveness, or at least acceptance? Take it from plenty of good mothers: we all find as many ways to mess up as there are hours in the day. Don’t believe it? See how many of these bad mom moments sound familiar:
1. Forgetting to pick your child up from school/practice/lessons.
2. Eating the last piece of fudge that your son had already claimed.
3. Falling asleep/texting/talking during your daughter’s dance/band/piano performance.
4. Locking yourself in the bathroom so you can finish the last chapter of a really good book.
5. Placing your child’s school project on the roof of the car and then driving away with it still up there.
6. Arriving at parent-teacher conferences in your sweats.
7. Sneaking a pacifier/stuffed animal/blankie/other ‘lovey’ into the trash.
8. Missing an appointment because it just slipped your mind.
9. Letting out an expletive in front of your child (under duress, of course).
10. Accumulating a stack of scout badges that should have been sewn onto a uniform.
11. Accidentally leaving Santa’s special wrapping paper where your child can see it.
12. Making your child re-wear pants/shirt/underwear/socks because the laundry wasn’t done.
13. Tooth Fairy? What Tooth Fairy?
14. Putting the car in drive without buckling your child’s car seat.
15. Losing your child in a store, mall, or museum. (Just looking away for a SECOND!)
16. Finishing the leftovers of your child’s kids’ meal, and then having him ask where it went because he’s still hungry.
17. Discovering a rash on your baby’s bottom because (oops!) you hadn’t changed his diaper all day.
18. Unintentionally giving your child a black eye while horsing around.
19. Scolding your child for leaving her dirty plate on the table, only to realize that it was your plate.
20. Finding your son’s goldfish doing the backstroke because you neglected to feed it while your son is at camp.
21. Telling your child he can only have two cookies for a snack and later caving to temptation and having five cookies yourself.
22. Landing your son on the wait list for the tee ball team when you fail to log on to registration at the exact hour that it opens.
23. Being the only parent to pack a brown bag lunch for the field trip, while everyone else’s sends money for the cafeteria because outside food is banned.
24. Waking your teen early (at her normal time) on a late start day because you’ve freaked out that she’s going to miss the bus.
Just remember, a bad moment does not make a bad mom. In fact, your response to the mistakes you make with your kids can be growth opportunities for all of you. If nothing else, they often make for funny stories later on.
By Lara Krupicka, a parenting journalist and mom to three girls. She’s lost count of her bad mom moments, but thankfully her daughters still call her the “Best Mom in the World.”