Parenting is a tough job. The Parenting Team at Today.com features “Parenting Challenges,” which give parents a platform to share stories, photos and advice. This post featuring “Parent Fails” first appeared on their site. Read it and link back to their site and click on the speech bubble that says vote up to cast your vote for this post.
After five kids and 20+ years of parenting experience, it’s tough to tag one of my many parent fails as the most epic. What can I say? I’m an overachiever.
Parent fails. Aahh. . . the stuff childhood memories are made of. I couldn’t write a book on fails or anything. . . okay, maybe a short anthology, but remember these stories have occurred over a 22-year period. And without them, what would childhood be?
I love my kids and generally take good care of them, but like all parents, I’ll admit, I’m prone to error.
I’m not sure which one of my parent-fail highlights takes the blue ribbon here. Was it the time my kid repeatedly collapsed in the mountains in Colorado? At 12,000 feet you really need to suck wind to breath up there. The air is thin.
I thought he needed to adjust to the altitude so I kept standing him back up, patting him on the back, and telling him to tough it out. In response, he’d promptly fall over again. Hmm. . . should have been my first clue.
Well, he continued to faint ALL DAY, so we finally took him down the mountain and to a doctor and found out he had pneumonia. (To my defense, he had NO symptoms before we went up the mountain.) Definitely a fail.
Or was it the time I inadvertently left my 18-month-old outside on the driveway while I went inside and enjoyed lunch after a trip to the grocery story? That was epic. My neighbor, who rang my doorbell with my screaming kid in her arms, was never friendly with me after that.
If I had to pick an award winning fail, I’d probably go with the time my kid tripped and fell down a very, very short flight of stairs–maybe three steps –and broke his arm. He’d probably fallen thousands of times and had never broken anything. And, he wasn’t like a little kid–15 years old, 6’3,” 170 pounds.
The fall seemed harmless, but, I suppose when you’re falling from 6 feet and you factor in momentum, you can come down pretty hard.
Honestly, I didn’t think he was really hurt. He was kind of whimpering, but I thought it was for effect. It’s embarrassing to fall when you’re over 6 feet tall. So, I didn’t overreact.
After five kids, I’ve learned the most important step after injury is triage.
Can you move it? He could.
Can you wiggle your fingers? He could.
No visible swelling.
After assessing hundreds of injuries and illnesses spread out among five kids, I figured I had about as much experience as at least a first year med student. So, in my expert medical opinion, I handed him some ice and told him to suck it up.
And, really, what were the chances that his arm was broken? I had the CDC on my side. Only 20 percent of childhood falls result in fractures. Clearly, most childhood falls don’t result in fractures. I guess I should have taken it a bit more seriously because if one in 5 childhood falls results in fractures, I hadn’t reached my quota.
About two hours later, his elbow had swollen to the size of a softball, and he was in pain (and telling anyone who’d listen that I’d let him sit in the corner for two hours with a broken arm). I felt bad (after the x-ray).
I’m not a perfect parent. Sure my fails were FAILS, and, frankly, I could list a litany of others.
This is just a suggestion, but the key to keeping your self-esteem intact while raising children is learning to laugh– at yourself.
And look at it this way, if moms were perfect, what would childhood memories be made of?
What’s your biggest Mom Fail? Please share it here.