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Bad Parenting Moments

bucketLast month I wrote a post telling the story of a mom who was the victim of some mom-on-mom shaming right in front of me. Right then lots of bad parenting moments came flooding back to me; like the time I lost my daughter in Barnes and Noble when she was only 16-months-old and security had to block the doors until I found her. Or the time a dresser fell on top of Matilda when she was almost two because she climbed up on it to get into a drawer and someone hadn’t secured it to the wall like the baby proof experts beg you to do. I knew I wasn’t alone in making parenting mistakes or really just having things go wrong the way they do in life sometimes! We can’t be on top of all things at all times and sometimes no matter how much we try to prevent it, the shiz is just going to go sideways!

In order to make us all feel better, I put out a call for bad parenting moments and got flooded with moms who couldn’t wait to share their most embarrassing one with us! Thank you to all who were honest enough to let me post and please know that we are collectively nodding along with you and when we laugh it isn’t at you -well, most of the time.

  • She Took a Shower 1 of 19

    I went to take a shower while I thought my 2 year old was napping. The doorbell rang as I got out. I went to answer it and found my neighbor holding my sons hand. He left the house and was sitting in front of my house in just a diaper. -Trisha Jones

  • The Poop Incident 2 of 19

    I was at the zero-entry, fancy, lifetime fitness pool with my 4 year old son and baby girl(along with every stay at home mom in my city) my baby girl started getting explosive diarrhea, running out of her diaper. I had to make a quick decision to run and change her. My son is a good swimmer and I thought surely, with all of these moms in the pool, nothing could happen in 3 minutes. But of course it could! I came out to see the entire pool empty, my son naked, a pretty good sized poop on the side of the pool and 800 judgy eyes glaring at me. - Anna Womer

  • Asleep In the Closet 3 of 19

    A couple of years ago I threw my best friend her baby shower. We held it in the community room of their building and the whole thing went great...until the very end. Towards the end my son went missing. He was gone for over 20 minutes, during which I freaked completely out. Every bad thought that a mother could have went through my head. My best friend's husband's aunt eventually found him curled up in the corner of a utility closet, fast asleep. Apparently the party had been too much for him and he figured he would take a little nap. I swear this whole thing took years off my life. For the most part everyone was sweet and understanding about it, but I found out later that someone I thought was a friend had said some mean spirited stuff about how I shouldn't have kids I can't keep track of. The funniest part? She wasn't even there when it happened! Judgey parents are the worst, especially when they don't even know the facts! -Frances Locke

  • Lost on the Boardwalk 4 of 19

    Seaside Heights, NJ with my daughter Megan who was 5 at the time. My mother, Megan and I decided to 'go down the shore' to hit up the boardwalk and make a fun day of it. Long story short, a total miscommunication between my mum & I turned into Megan getting lost -- ON A NEW JERSEY BOARDWALK. Poof, she was gone. I thought she was with my mother, and my mother thought she was with me. We found her standing at the merry-go-round watching it go round & round. 20 years and two more daughters later that is one of the most terrifying things I have ever experienced...and I still feel guilty about it. Good times! -Shawn Kathleen

  • Returned By a Gypsy 5 of 19

    I was giving stroller advice to friend in a busy Roman piazza, as I spouted about my hot double ride... A gypsy girl "returned my child" who had escaped from the park and gone down the street. I don't know which was worse... The fact that my then 22 month old escaped or that his behavior was clearly so scrappy that an actual gypsy would return him instead of enslaving him. -Kissy Dugan

  • Just Trying to Buy Gelato 6 of 19

    We were at the "fun" grocery store that has a bar and a playground. The playground isn't fenced, though. I went inside to get gelato (seriously, this grocery store is awesome!) and when I came back out, my husband said he hadn't seen her run by in a while. We looked for her on the playground and didn't see her. That's when the panic set in. Another mom came by and was sympathetic (thank god) and was helping us. This all took maybe 5 minutes but in my mind it was hours and I didn't know why the police weren't called yet. My husband found her with a lady who heard her crying upstairs. I had no idea this place even had an upstairs! But they had gelato and I ate 2 servings. -Lisa Caldwell

  • Puked at Panera 7 of 19

    My two year old daughter had a cold last winter and she asked me for some chicken soup, so I took her to Panera because she likes their soup. About three bites in, she howls "MOMMY MY TUMMY HURTS!!!! I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!" I grab her up and rush towards the bathroom but before we get there she stops and throws up all over the floor. Mass hysteria ensues. Customers are running and gagging and screaming. My child is freaking out. I'm freaking out. So I start grabbing napkins to try to clean up the puke on the floor and this woman starts shrieking at me that I'm not attending to my sick child and what the hell is wrong with me and how can I just leave a child who has just vomited standing there crying. It was horrible. I didn't know what to do and by then I was in tears too, so I covered the throw up with napkins, apologized to the employees, scooped up my daughter and ran out the door with the woman tsking at me and shaking her head about what a bad parent I am. It wasn't one of my best moments at all. We now go to the Panera on the other side of town. -Victoria Fedden

  • 2 Year Old Went for a Walk 8 of 19

    We had just moved into our house, and I was out in the garage doing laundry with what I thought was my 2 year old daughter sitting on the floor behind me playing. The garage door was open so we could enjoy the breeze. I turned around to say something to her, and instead saw an elderly woman walking up our driveway, holding my daughter's hand. She then informed me that she was out for a walk and spotted my daughter around the corner. I guess the outside world was more exciting than the toys she was playing with inside! I have to say, the elderly lady did not say anything negative to me, but it didn't matter, the internal guilt lasted a VERY LONG TIME. -Robin Campbell

  • Didn’t Lock Stroller Wheels 9 of 19

    New mom...never even considered "locking " the wheels on the stroller, until I turned around to look at something, looked back and her and her stroller had rolled completely into a [4 lane] boulevard! It was a miracle there were no cars. Thank god we made the light!!! Also, I was a smoker and she dug in my purse and ate a cigarette, you wanna talk sick baby???!!! ewww...I don't smoke anymore by the way! -Beth Carter

  • Babies on a Plane! 10 of 19

    My children are just over a year apart. When my son was a couple months old and my daughter just over a year, I traveled back to Chicago via airplane. I had my son in his own seat in an infant carrier and my daughter on my lap. My daughter had an up-the-back diarrhea episode on the plane. With little options and a full plane, I asked a nearby passenger to look after my son while I went into the 2X2 bathroom to try to attempt to clean my daughter up. No folding changer in the bathroom, the clean up was a disaster in itself. However, didn't even compare to the plane full of dirty looks leaving my son. Exactly, what were my choices? AND I was pretty confident that no one could successfully debark mid flight with him. The lady behind me said something to her husband. I was so frazzled that I kept silent in shame. -Lisa Ullbrich

  • Drank Dreft 11 of 19

    Sam drank Dreft scented Febreze and got out of my house with no underwear or pants on and he told the neighbor he was looking for his mommy. Thank god she is nice and brought him back. -Stefanie Bucher

  • Stuck in His Seat 12 of 19

    I was at the Reno airport with my 4, almost 5, year old son. I looked away for a minute and he experimented with his leg and the chairs at the gate. His leg got stuck between two chairs ( those metal seats that are all stuck together) and the airport fire fighters had to come extract him. He was screaming and crying. Everyone in the area was watching. They got him out finally. As our southwest flight was boarding. He had an ice pack and bandage on through his flight. For whatever that's worth. -Stacee Hollman

  • Locked Out of the Car 13 of 19

    Last summer I made a tantrum free trip to Sam's club in under an hour with my 1 year old...needless to say I was feeling pretty good about myself. Of course that didn't last long, I got my little guy all strapped in and my cart unloaded into the trunk of my car, I closed my little one's door and then the trunk only to realize that my keys were on top of my shopping haul in the trunk, and my car had an auto relock function that locks the doors if you use the button to unlock but never open the drivers door. I had to borrow phones from any kind stranger that would let me and stand by my car watching my baby get hotter and angrier until the police arrived 30 minutes later to let me in. July in Georgia is freaking hot, but lucky for my little guy it was raining that day...not so lucky for mommy. My new car has keyless entry after that nightmare! -Kara Anderson

  • Rookie Mistake 14 of 19

    Oh like it's my fourth kid, there should be NOOOOO rookie mistakes. Yet, I lay baby Liam on the couch who isn't mobile yet, and hold my hand near him while I turn to reach for a diaper. (ya know, the "hand" like the one when you slam on the brakes.) Next thing I know he flopped like a tuna right to the floor screaming and eyeing me with full betrayal, and screamed for 10 minutes. He was so pissed. Veteran mom making rookie mistake. THE WORST. -Heather Risinger

  • Dressed As a Go Go Dancer 15 of 19

    Last Halloween, my 7-year-old daughter begged me to dress up exactly like her. She chose a pink and white polka-dot mini skirt and pink wig from one of the Halloween magazines that showed up in the mail one day. The costume was a Go-Go dancer. I thought the costume was pretty tame and cute, so I played along and we were matching Go-Go dancers last year. When my husband took our kids out trick-or-treating, one of our neighbors asked my daughter what her costume was. She said she was a Go-Go dancer and the neighbor said, "Do you know what a Go-Go dancer is? Is that appropriate?" My husband said, "Yes, we know what a Go-Go dancer is. Doesn't she look cute?" And he promptly left their porch with the kids. -Misti Milner

  • Forgot to Diaper 16 of 19

    My daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 18 months. After a midnight feeding, I changed her diaper and in my exhausted state neglected to put another diaper on the poor kid. She woke up at 3am soaked. I felt horrible about it but she survived. 5 years later and she is doing just fine... -Kate DeSimone

  • Slept Through the Monitor 17 of 19

    One night, I fell into a deep, coma like sleep...slept right through my kid's crying on the monitor. When I woke up the next morning, she was asleep ON HER CHANGING TABLE with a dirty diaper. She pooped in her sleep, and when I didn't wake up to change her, she climbed out of her crib, couldn't reach the door knob and couldn't get back into bed, so she climbed the changing table like a ladder and slept there until her bad mom woke up to change her. -Alison Navarro

  • Pose for the Picture! 18 of 19

    We flew to Seattle with our nine month old for the holidays. She was miserable for the entire week. We took professional family photos where nobody could get this baby to smile. We return to Los Angeles and I finally think to take her to the doctor only to find out she has a raging ear infection. I still can't look at those photos without cringing. It's obvious she's in pain. -Stephanie Armstrong

  • Touched By an Angel 19 of 19

    Not everyone is going to judge though. One time, I was stuck in the parking lot trying to get my kid in a car seat designed by someone who obviously does not have kids, and my child was in a fit of rage. Full blown autistic meltdown. I already tried the the reasoning which doesn't work in the meltdown, the bargaining, the bribing, the get in the car now, the spanking, the forcing her into it, the I give up and start crying... when this angel showed up to help me. She did not judge. She just helped, and she did it with love. She offered my daughter some gum (health gum loaded with vitamins, they make that somewhere), and she wished me well and disappeared like an angel. I wish there was more people like her, that village foretold in a prophecy, the one it takes to raise a child. -Michelle Grewe

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