I’ve had my fair share of mom-fail moments in the three short years I’ve been one, from dragging my tantrum-throwing kid on the floor to yelling at him during bath time. And while we learn from these experiences, I’ve learned that challenges never really stop, and instead simply evolve depending on the current circumstances. Take, for instance, some recent episodes where I sucked at being a mom:
I get frustrate at my son for having poop accidents.
All the parenting books advice you not to get upset when kids have potty accidents because doing so might lead to regression, shame and confusion among others. Instead of frustration, wise parents are supposed to react matter-of-factly or perhaps change their strategy.
But poop is gross. Cleaning it is gross. And it seems so darn easy to just poop in the potty, especially when he’s done it several other times in the past, that why he’s pooping in his undies can baffle even the best of moms. So I got frustrated.
And here’s where I earn a mom fail, because how we react does matter. Bowel movements are personal, especially at this young of an age, and we can’t simply vent frustrations on someone trying to learn.
So now I tried a new method. We had been telling him to tell us when he had to pee or poop, but sometimes he’s playing alone in his room, or we’re too far away for him to run and fetch us. Instead, we now tell him that if he needs to use the potty, that he should just run to the bathroom and yell out, “Poop!” or “Pee!”, guaranteeing that we’ll hear him and meet him in the bathroom. And what do you know—no poop accidents since then.
I look forward to my kid’s bedtime.
I know I’m supposed to miss my kid, especially when I’m not even a stay-at-home mom. But I’ve been guilty—many times—of being bored out of my mind and sneaking glances at the clock just counting down the minutes until his bedtime. Perhaps it’s the fatigue from a long day (whether at work or at home with him), the responsibilities of taking care of him, or just wanting a moment of peace that doesn’t involve kid conversations (you know what I’m talking about), but there have been many days when I just can’t wait until he’s out of my sight.
Part of my son going to preschool involves acclimating ourselves to germs, aka getting sick a lot, and that’s exactly what happened those first few weeks. My son came down with fevers, colds and coughs that, while I was concerned about his health of course, elicited more of an inconvenience on my part. Talk about major mom fail for thinking, “Oh man, one of us has to stay home with him now.”
Even now, monitoring the twins’ well-being, however important it is considering my cholestasis, has me rolling my eyes at my thrice-weekly doctor appointments.
Thankfully my kiddo has now been immunized and fits right in with his fellow germ-infested friends at school, so getting sick hasn’t been a frequent occurrence, but I still feel guilty for considering my own conveniences along with his health.
I ignore my son’s coughs at night.
Thanks to my pregnancy complications, I’m running on two hours of sleep. I’m exhausted. Still, those are but excuses I make for not at least offering the kiddo some water when he’s hocking up a lung coughing at night. Instead, what did I do? I tuned it out and hoped that he’ll eventually fall back asleep. Mom fail!
I speed-read through story time.
On most nights, I love reading to my son. We read slowly, I mention characters, I ask questions and answer his as well. Heck, I even use different voices. But again, sometimes there have been one too many questions asked, where we’ve been on the same page for the last three minutes, and I’m speed-reading through his books, skipping sentences and brushing aside his questions with a quick, “yeah…”
It’s a bit embarrassing admitting all this, but cathartic and amusing as well. Not a single one of us is perfect, and these are but a few of the many times I’ve been less than stellar in the mom category. I’m only reassured in the fact that I’m mostly okay, that these incidents are but a small percentage, and that thankfully children are some of the most forgiving people. Especially with skipping practically half of The Lorax.
What are some examples of when you had a mom fail moment?
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