When I was asked by Crystal Ponti to be a part of the No Mother Is Perfect blog tour – I was all over it. As an athlete, I strive for perfection. I dedicate hours of training, meal planning and race strategizing, in my pursuit. When I found out I was pregnant (and subsequently, pregnant with twins) I also strived for perfection. Things were derailed early, first with the twin news and later when I realized I’m not super human, and even I had to rest by the
third second trimester. Imagine! However, the biggest shockwaves were yet to come. Like a lot of moms, I already had my parenting future planned. My children would be well-behaved, healthy-eating, sleep-through-the-night, potty trained, brilliant, loving, thoughtful children. Then I actually had them.
Here’s a news flash: It’s hard to be a mom. It’s really, really ridiculously difficult to be a good one. I know this because at times, you feel like your harshest critics are other moms. Like anyone else, I know when I’m being judged and I’ve also been extremely judgy in any and all parenting situations. Especially before I was a parent. Now? I judge no one (not moms anyway). Why? Because when you’re in the trenches, anything goes. I have no idea what kind of monsters you’re dealing with, and I’ve had days where my throat is sore from yelling at the boys all.day.long. By far, the very best thing we can do (besides drink heavily) is support each other. Unless you’re smoking while pregnant, or shoving your kid down a skateboard ramp like this guy, I will reserve judgement because frankly, I’m too busy trying to survive the day with my own kids.
Yesterday, I went to the experts and asked them to lay out all their supposed “parenting fails,” where I know they all hang out: On Facebook. Duh. I was overwhelmed by their honest, funny and all too familiar responses to my question:
MOMS – What is one “standard” of being a mom that you have failed miserably at? For instance: My kids do not behave in public. Your turn…
Feeding my children snacks that come from the earth. It is not that it never happens, but you are definitely more likely to find me in the drive-thru at McDonald’s than at Trader Joe’s. – Ashley T.
Making dinnertime fun. It’s typically a stressed out affair our house. – Christine Y.
Tv …. Sometimes I just don’t care that they’ve watched more than 2 hrs already! – Bridget S.
Ditto on yours (that would be mine about my boys not behaving in public!) and I can’t cook everyday for these kids (my mom does) – Schnelle A.
I give in! I’m way too easy and a complete sucker! – Melissa P.
My kid does not eat healthy. Like at all. – Mary F.
I would say ditto to all the Moms above plus, no matter how I was raised and how much I drill it in to my kids’ heads, not one of the 4 of them seems to say please and thank you on a regular basis. When I hear another child please or thank you without being prompted or browbeaten, I cringe! #momfail – Shannon K.
Having my daughter potty trained by 3 1/2 years. Still struggling and I’m resorting to candy as incentive and it’s STILL
NOT WORKING!! AAAGGHHHHH – Amanda G.
Bedtime…they find a million reasons to get out of bed and I just want to relax and watch some tv at the end of a long day. So I end up losing it more than I would like – Charlene S.
Teaching my kids to turn off lights and flush the toilets. And to take off their pants and underwear separately – not with one still inside the other. And my kids are clearly old enough to be able to do all three. – Dana H.
I fed my kids Oreos for breakfast last week to bribe them to get to the bus stop on time. And it worked! So I’ll do it again! – Ilene E.
My child is rude to people in public -ash, say hello to mrs. X . She responds “I no like mrs. X, I no have to say hi” and ditto to the healthy eating. She will soon be turning into a dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget! Hey, we’ve tried our best ladies – Good news is they’re all still alive! Great work. – Erin S.
Being involved at school. It feels as though there is a high expectation for parent involvement and the times and requests make it impossible for working parents and yet we are still left feeling totally inadequate. The other thing in regards to my daughter’s behavior directly is with raising her voice and yelling or screeching. We have a household that is really quiet and calm and Lana has these moments of total crazy screeching. This seems to go along with her overreaction to being corrected. She is soooooo dramatic. I just pretend sometimes that it is a tv show I am watching but there is no clicker. – Ramona P.
Livy is a total carb kid. She eats no meats/fish or veggies. I always told myself when I was parent that you eat what’s in front of you or you don’t eat at all. Well it’s much easier to fix her what she will eat then argue on feeding her what she won’t touch. I feel like such a bad parent when I see these other kids eat chicken nuggets or even fish sticks with broccoli. At times I feel like my mother wishes this on me when I had children because I was such a picky eater as a child. Tracey FD
Teeth brushing 2x a day. Ummm, no. – Tiny S.
Effing frozen chicken nuggets – Allison G.
Look what happens after ALL these “confessions:”
I love all of these. I don’t feel so bad anymore! – Shelly R.
Right! There’s no reason to feel badly about any of this. It’s all so small in the scheme of things. And, it continued:
My biggest parenting fail is letting the “perfect mom” ideal make me feel like I’m failing at all. I too own a lot of what’s listed above but my kids are reasonably healthy, happy and well adjusted. If it takes a few Dino-nuggets, ice cream bribes, or a deep glass of Pinot at the end of the day (for me, not them, I’m not THAT mom), so be it. I’m calling it a parenting win. Let’s all just drop this bar a notch or two. – Stacey N
I give my son a reward each time he gets through a day at school without getting into trouble. – Sarrah B.
Reading these are so refreshing!! I know my son’s diet is not balanced at all. If it weren’t for those pouches, he’d never get anything that resembles a fruit or veggie. It doesn’t help that I hate veggies, but I really am trying to lead by example. I just have to learn to not grimace when eating asparagus or green beans. It’s time to practice what I preach! – Bridget B.
Swearing in front of (ok, at) my teenagers…and letting them swear right back at me. Epic fucking fail! – Heather L.
Letting my kids always eat in the car, then I get grossed out finding an old Mc Donalds cheeseburger or random cookie in the back seat. I know why I can’t keep it clean! –NOT strict enough about my 8 yr old eating more protein and veggies…. such a battle that one. – Tina E.
Naps are a disaster at my house. I am completely unable to get my children to go to their beds and fall asleep. Right now I am wearing Leah so she would fall asleep. I plan my runs around naps to get them to fall asleep in the running stroller, and my carbon footprint from all the miles I’ve driven in the quest to get my kids to sleep rivals that of most developing countries. – Linda Y.
Mine is keeping calm, there are times I just get mad and yell. I know I’m not supposed to but when I’ve said “brush your teeth” more than 3 times and they are still ignoring me…I yell. And they always respond “jeesh mom, why do you have to yell?” “BECAUSE I SAID IT 3 TIMES ALREADY!!” My biggest pet peeve is being ignored by them. They think I yell a lot. I think that’s the only time they listen. I don’t yell a lot – but I hate that I do at all. – Stephanie R.
Ummmmm potty training! – Melissa C.
Swearing in front of my kids, and taking the easy way out and going out for dinner far too much when my husband travels. I could go on, and on, and on… – Megan R.
My child would live happily on only baked chicken that has been breaded and cut into oval shapes. Yes, this is how I must describe those darn chicken nuggets to make myself not feel like a horrible parent! – Chrissie D.
I have long given up on being the “perfect” parent…or anything even close! My biggest frustrations with my 6 yr old son are things like him having a “fresh” attitude towards me and endless talking back, late bedtime, and the fact that I use bribery more than I’d like to admit! And there are many other things too….love this idea! Makes us all feel “normal”…whatever that is! – Erica B.
Great point Erica! Exactly what is “normal?” I think you’re looking at it. This is the “new” parenting and it’s a game of bribery, nasty talking, chicken nugget-eating tribe of kids who laugh, play and are LOVED. Let’s focus on what’s really important and keep supporting each other.
When I put this on FB I had no clue this would happen. Each time I checked the post I smiled more and nodded my head with each of you! I can’t thank you all enough for your honesty and for being my friends. I love it when women surprise me and we come together and support each other. I’m feeling incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such unapologetically crazy, supportive, REAL and imperfect moms.
And now, back to my “job” here – it’s to give you stuff and promote the book (written by moms like us!) about the perfect imperfection that is being a mother.
Enter to WIN the Mother’s Day giveaway hosted by the Mother of All Meltdowns.
What would you add to the list?