Hearing 'worst mom ever' stories help us feel better


I’ve been kind of intense all week blogging about mothering and equality issues, so now I want to lighten karen28things up a little bit.
My last blog was about this new ‘bad mother’ trend and it inspired me to write today about what I playfully call the Bad Mother of the Year Award. So often other moms tell me stories that have them sick to their stomachs stories about how they messed up and their child ended up in peril.
Now, before I go on to share some of these stories, I want to point out that I am doing it to make you feel better about whatever it is that you’ve done that still haunts you. And I tell these stories playfully in an effort to take the sting out of our mistakes, encourage us all to laugh them off and remember that we all have these moments, and our kids all survived.
So I told my sister one day that I was sitting on the couch with my small infant son when suddenly he very nearly slide off and landed on his head on the floor. He was fine but I insisted to her that I was indeed the worst mother ever. She said, sorry, you don’t get that title, I do! She went on to tell me about how she once was putting her 6-month-old son into his stroller and rushing to the mall from her car when all of a sudden she ran over something. She looked down and it was him! He was completely fine and she buckled him from then on.
This story made me feel so much better that I started telling my story and hers whenever other moms shared similar stories. I was telling that story at a kid’s birthday party one day when a couple started to tell about the time their infant in his carriage sailed into a busy intersection and crashed on its side after they neglected to fully engage the breaks while seating their toddler in the car. Cars screeched to a halt and the baby was not only fine, he remained asleep.
I wouldn’t have believed this story if the woman’s husband hadn’t been rubbing her back the entire time she told the story.
So how about you? Do you win Bad Mom of the Year? We just can’t be perfect, can we?

Karen Bridson is a journalist, TV producer and author of Stunned: The New Generation of Women Having Babies, Getting Angry and Creating a Mothers’ Movement (HCI, 2009). She blogs at> She also produces a parenting show for Canadian Public Television.

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