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.
[Tweet “No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway #NoMotherIsPerfect #EmbraceUniquity”]
Brought to you by The Mother of All Meltdowns…Pick up your copy today through Mother’s Day for only $0.99 on Amazon!
What would you add to the list?
Reading all that certainly makes me feel better!
My oldest is 4 1/2 and his diet is far from healthy. He doesn’t like meat/ veg/ fruit (except apples and do raisins count?). He’s a carb monster.
I yell. They don’t really listen to me, ever. I can’t get them to nap or go to bed without actually having to lie down with them, and it takes an hour each time, and I can’t say I love it.
They play with the iPad or my phone more than the ‘recommended’ amount of time.
But you know what? They DO nap (even the 4 1/2 year old). They do sleep through the night. My little one eats fairly well. They do get along 85% of the time. They are affectionate and cuddly and they love me. They are smart and happy. I couldn’t ask for more.
Doesn’t it? Seems like we all have a whole lot in common.
That is why I love this book. Crystal was totally onto something when she had us share our meltdown stories, because seriously we aren’t alone and all moms have these types of moments and can relate. Just reading the thread above proves it that much more to me. Loved the conversation by the way and yes you know I can totally relate on more levels then one. Thanks so much for helping us promote the book today, too!! 🙂
Absolutely! It’s so refreshing and makes moms everywhere breath a sigh of relief.
I was just saying to my husband – remember before kids we’d see kids in a store running around or terrorizing the place? Our kids would never be like that! Karma is a btich. Thanks for reminding me we are all human!
I know that feeling all too well! Karma is a nasty one!!
PHEW! I feel so much better now too! My other fault is that I get mad too quickly and I yell. I don’t like yelling. But you’re absolutely right – no one is perfect but we do and try the best we can.
That’s all any of us can do. At the end of the day, all these kids are loved, and what could be more important then that? Thanks Christine!
This was a great idea Allie! And judging by the responses we are definitely not alone.
I was overwhelmed by the response! Clearly I should ask for feedback more often 🙂
Love what you did with putting the question out there and what great answers you got. Thank you for the review.
It took on a life of it’s own! It’s a great book and I’ve enjoyed reading it and giving it.
Wow I can relate to just about all of them! We go in it with the best of intentions only to succumb to the most primal need to survive. We can only do our best which may not be that bad at all. My biggest Mom fail is having meltdowns. Losing it over stupid stuff. My hubby is way more patient than I am so that helped offset my crazy behavior.
I love how you said we succumb to our most primal need to survive! SO TRUE!
My husband off sets some of my crazy too but it’s only because I spend WAY more time with them then he does.
Yes! Yes! Yes! – we are our worst enemies, and you know what we all cut corners just as our parents did and look how well we turned out;)
Exactly right! I ate whatever I wanted growing up (nachos, Capt. Crunch cereal and fried mozzarella sticks!) and look at me now. If only our moms had FB to vent all their frustrations!
Oh girl, I feel soooooooo much better now. These made me laugh, and made me realize I am just like all other moms out there… or at least the honest ones!
I’m so glad!! It made me feel the exact same way. Clearly we all need to do this more often!
Not that I wish it on other parents, but I was glad to see all the other picky/carb-only eaters on the list. So frustrating! This was a great post, Allie, and I enjoyed reading all the responses as they came in on Facebook yesterday.
Thanks Dana! I really enjoyed it too. So nice to know there’s so many of us out there, struggling with all the same things.
Thanks for promoting The Mother of All Meltdowns, Allie! Loved reading all of the honest and hilarious comments from your FB survey! And I’m glad you put them together here because I’ve been a total FB slacker lately!
Of course! I also gathered them under my personal FB page and not VITA, which reminds me to check that we’re friends on both 🙂
It’s a great book and such a perfect read for EVERY mom!
No matter what I do I can’t get my 10 year old daughter to comb her hair or wear deodorant! I’ve tried being nice. I’ve tried being rude (“You stink!!”), I’ve made charts, and I even made her a song she can sing when she gets ready in the morning. I give up! This one might take a really unpleasant bout with peer pressure to solve!
Ha ha ha ha!!! Hey, whatever works, right? Sometimes lessons need to be learned from friends. Sounds like you’ve done all you can. Good luck with that!!
Phew! This Facebook survey has made me feel a whole lot better about my failure to live up to the parenting standards.
The only standards we set should be love them and have fun! Thanks Katie 🙂
I loved reading this Allie! I definitely think that moms are too hard on themselves. All children will grow up to be competent, well-rounded and healthy adults. It is just a process of getting there!
It is absolutely a process! You’re going to be a great mom someday 🙂
I love this and I am so sorry I missed it on Facebook yesterday! It was a crazy day for me! I have done so many of these and now I feel a whole lot better!
” I will reserve judgement because frankly, I’m too busy trying to survive the day with my own kids.”
You said it, friend. That’s it in a nutshell, or at least, it should be.
So glad you can relate to that! Thank you 🙂
This was the laugh of my day! Effing chicken nuggets! Me too! Right behind oreos for breakfast! Thanks for putting this together. I think we all needed to read it! xo
Those nuggets are pure evil…or pure genius 🙂 Thanks for your input Ilene!
After reading this don’t be so hard on the teachers who pass out a candy or Oreo once in awhile….they are dealing with more than two or three children for six plus hours a day. Relax….enjoy…..they will be ok!
You said it! Thanks Miss Fogg 🙂
Ugh I’m too bust trying to survive two boys to judge anyone else. Great read! If I stopped and had the time to reflect on my parenting skills and lack there of it would be a sad gloomy day. I think we all are just doing the best we can!
Exactly! Thanks so much Renee.
This is fantastic and I am nodding along with so many!
I’m terrible at nutrition and bedtime consistency. And I hate helping with teeth brushing. I hate it!
I’m consistent with bedtime, but it doesn’t make it any easier!! The boys come out every 2 minutes for something, anything and it makes me insane.
Read this post at the right time. Just put my fussy 22 month old down for a nap. He’s been whining all morning. A trip to the park w/ a friend didn’t help either. He’s been super clingy & no matter how much I try, I feel like he’s an appendage.
This too shall pass! Those words got me though a lot of days like the one you describe. Hang in there mama!!
YES! And thank you! Feeling so much better.
I buy the Natures Promise nuggets just to make me feel a little better…. However, I then go to McDonald’s just to get sweet & sour sauces so the girls will put up less of an argument. But in all fairness, I could chug that sauce by the pint. YUM. Hey, we all have our things 🙂
I’m also giving myself a pat on the back for leaving a public venue with both of my children in tact Ex: the market before a predicted snow storm, target at the holidays and Jumpin Jonnies. Sometimes I think I should add my girls to my shopping list just to make sure they end up back in the car… Then again, do we remember to consult our said lists at the store while our kids are in tow? Maybe that’s why I always have to return the following day.
Truer words Barb!! I cannot concentrate one bit at the store when I have the boys. I literally revolve my shopping days around when the Tolland Bog Y kids club is open. That place is a life saver!!
I knew this would be an amazing post and of course I was not wrong! Brilliant idea letting us all vent about our many imperfections. This perfect mom stuff is a myth, we can simply just do the best we can. As long as we have the best intentions and love our kids with all our hearts I think we will be just fine. I’d like to meet the perfect mom, I really don’t even she exists!
She’s probably dead. No one could survive “mom perfection!”
Thanks so much Nellie!
AMEN! This. Is. Awesome. I fail every single day! But my biggest fail is the grocery store. I have to bribe them with cookies, and do everything I can to keep them from pulling each others hair!
So so SO incredibly glad we “met” through SITS…I totally get you!
Thanks Kristen! The grocery store is one of the worst places for me as well. Luckily, we have one with a childcare (another thing I said I would never do) and I usually only go when it’s open so I can actually get everything on my list.
I’m so glad we met too – love those SITS girls.
This is an awesome post…i feel so much better to know that I’m not alone. I’m pretty sure I can relate to every single statement. I know I have no patience and yell way too much and it makes me feel like a horrible person at the end of the day. I know my kids watch way too much TV, but sometime you need to do what you need to do to get through the day.
Exactly! It’s a battlefield and a mom’s gotta do, what a mom’s gotta do to survive.
Great post! I wish that the internet and blogging had been a bigger deal when I had little kids. Those early years (baby, toddler, preschool…) were rough and I went to bed feeling like a total failure many nights!!
I often think that about my mom and wonder how she felt during her SAHM years. So wish I could talk with her about it.
I’m glad you have the internet and blogging NOW, although you’re poof that the kids really are going to be all right since you have two amazing boys!! Thanks Kim!
It’s so refreshing to know we’re all making mistakes and figuring this out together. Parenting is NO JOKE! And now I’m up for round two all over again… 🙂
At least you got a few years of practice in, right? I bet baby number two will be easier in some ways. It just HAS to be! Thanks Laura 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, and not even because I am in it! 😉 Seriously, how completely FANTASTIC is it when moms just open up and let the real spill out! Everyone feels better! As my good girlfriend says, “We are all just doing the best we can, and it is better than average”. Amen.-Ashley
Amen is right! Thank you so much Ashley for getting the ball rolling on FB!!
I needed to hear this! We’re expecting our first baby, and I all sorts of anxious about what she’s going to be like, how we’ll do raising her, and on and on. One of my friends had a baby back in November, and she was talking about feeling constant mommy-guilt the other day over this and that. I don’t fully understand it but know I’ll be prone to the same thing. Thanks for reminding me there’s no super-moms out there, and not all other moms will judge me for the many mistakes I’m about to make 😉
How exciting! Congratulations. I’m sure you will be a great mom and I’m so glad you read this so maybe you won’t suffer from too much guilt! Who needs it? As long as your child is loved, you really can’t go wrong. Enjoy every moment!…if you possibly can 🙂
This is fantastic, Allie! A big ole confessional for moms–we can all relate! I was at a baby shower last week and someone gave her a book called 7 Ways to Traumatized Your Children. My comment? Some of us don’t need the guide! Doing just fine on my own, thank you!
Me too!!…and there’s only 7? I think I’m up to at least 10 by now. 🙂
This was down right AWESOME!!! I see you all around this lovely blogosphere and I know we don’t follow each other closely- and I ask myself WHY??!!! I need to spend more time around these parts!
Thank you for this- it was JUST perfect! Your support means the world to us ALL.
The kids’ nick names are “Pain” and “High Maintenance”- truth. It fits them perfectly, and is the BEST way to release my anger- in a ahem… a fun way. 🙂
Thanks so much!! I feel them same way about YOU! Clearly we should be following each other more closely 🙂
LOVE the nicknames. I really need to think about doing that.
Yes, yes, yes! I love how we were both so much on the same page with the whole “moms aren’t perfect” message (and why, why do we still feel like we have to be? The pressure!!!). Thanks for sharing all these wonderful confessions, and kudos for helping all us imperfect and extraordinary moms feel better about ourselves. 🙂
We’re all in this mess together! Thank YOU!
I absolutely LOVE this post and can relate to almost all of these fails! I think one of my parenting fails is that I lose my temper waaaay more than I would like and when I yell at my children I INSTANTLY feel bad, but when they do the SAME thing I just yelled at them about 5 minutes later…I don’t feel bad again! LOL! Reading all of these brings back memories…and doesn’t make me feel that bad anymore!
Oh I can so relate to that because it’s happened to me like 5 times this morning already! Thanks Britton 🙂
When it comes down to it everyone is just trying to do the best they can. My middle son was extremely picky eater when he was little so I always ended up giving into to that. He was extremely skinny too! Anyhoo he is 22 now and eats every fruit, vegetable, and meat dish put in front of him! Things always have a way of working themselves out…..thankfully!
It’s so true. As I’m sure you know, it’s tough to see the big picture when you’re in certain situations but, moms like you all have these great success stories! Maybe we need to all worry just a little bit less…
Fun read! As a teacher, babysitter, and big sister, I sympathize… And I hope some of my “experience” pays off when I become a parent!
It absolutely will! Thanks for stopping by 🙂