When I was eleven years old, I told my mother, to her face, all of the parenting mistakes she was making. This came about after the egregious injustice of my youngest sibling not getting disciplined for breaking something and my older sibling refusing to play with me. My mother just smiled and told me she was sure, when I was older, I would parent perfectly. In my passive aggressive, brooding mind, I thought, “Challenge accepted!”
Flash forward a decade and a half. I am on the phone almost in tears telling my mother that my two year old is covered in flour because he dumped an entire bag on the floor, and my one year old took his diaper off during a nap, and now there is a fecal Picasso on my nursery walls. My mother is laughing on the other end of the phone, and I finally realize parenting is not for the faint of heart.
It was always easy for me to look at other parents and point out everything I thought they were doing incorrectly. Then, I ended up with kids who bite, scream, hit, run away, watch tv, throw food. Where were the kids who were supposed to say, “Yes, Mommy. Whatever you say.” As it turns out, I fail at parenting—a lot. My expectations for kids who obey in public, houses that are perfectly clean, healthy home cooked meals, and an always peaceful home went right out the window. Sometimes the only way to not feel completely discouraged was to talk to other moms who, amazingly enough, did not have it all together either. Here are some of my favorite mommy fail stories from mothers I admire.
“My daughter was struggling with being potty trained around 4 yrs old, so her pediatrician told us to use a half-cup of MiraLAX in her cup. I wasn’t feeling well and prepped her cups late one evening. She was old enough to get her own cups out of the fridge. The next day, she couldn’t stop going and said “Mommy, this poop just keeps coming. I can’t do anything.” I quickly checked the fridge and realized she had drank ALL 6 cups which each had the DAILY amount. Needless to say, we had a couple poopy days.” -Dawn
Fashion Faux Pas
“When my daughter was little, she got something sticky stuck in her hair. She was hiding under her bed and wouldn’t come out. I asked her what happened, and she explained how “it” got stuck and how she tried to get it out, and it kept getting “badder.” Out crawls a little, long haired blonde who looked scared, and when she turned to face me, she had no hair on the left side above her ear. I laughed, and she cried. Oops!
Fast forward to this morning, and my teenage daughter came into the kitchen wearing black and white converse tennies, and the black and white dress she wore to her brothers wedding. I laughed and asked, “Are you wearing that to school?” My bad again. Then I had to ask forgiveness and remind her I am not fashion oriented! Still learning, I need to hold my tongue and laughter.” -Karen
“I wasn’t worried when I had my son. He is my 4th. I’ve got this. Easy. We talk, he talks, it’s all good. One day, when he was 4 years old, I say to the little guy across the counter from me, “What would you like for lunch?” His answer: “I want the round bread with white butter with waves.” Looks like I forgot to give this one his words. I handed him a bagel with cream cheese and told him what it was.” -Jenny
School Pictures Gone Wrong
“I went to work early one morning and didn’t give any clothing directions because it never really mattered. I found out later that day that it was picture day at preschool, and I got the proofs back with my son being the only one in a t-shirt and unfixed hair. It’s comical now, but at the time, I felt like it was a huge fail!” – Lindsey
In our failures, God’s grace shines brightly. We are imperfect moms raising imperfect kids. When you are surrounded by the “Perfect Moms of Instagram” #KaleAndYoga, it can be really discouraging to look in the mirror and see “No Shower Mom of Paw Patrol” #NuggetsAndYogaPants. I am so grateful to live in a community of people that encourage and challenge me as I parent my kids without comparing or criticizing. As moms, we need as much support as we can get.
This summer, there is an opportunity to help some of the moms at Mercy Hill. Kids Week is June 20th-24th this year, but many of our working moms will be unable to drop their kids off or pick them up due to their schedules. If you have some working moms in your community group or in your neighborhood, consider helping them out by offering to take their kids to Kids Week. It’s an amazing opportunity for kids to hear the gospel, and we would hate for any of them to miss out. We don’t want to fail at this.
-Lauren Whitley (Kids Ministry Associate)