Being a parent is HARD! There is no such thing as a perfect parent and our team is sharing our biggest parenting fails to normalize this experience.
We are so hard on ourselves as parents!
I have two parenting fails that I want to share with you – one is funny and the other is more serious. Let’s start with the funny!
I was a few weeks postpartum with Bee and Finn was about 18 months old. He was (and still is) a wild child – constantly getting into everything, and had just learned how to open the front and back door (dead bolt and all). I was upstairs with Bee (changing her diaper and putting in my contacts) and Finn snuck away, right down the stairs and out the front door – NAKED! I has just been nursing Bee so I did not have a bra on and just a nighty! I put the baby on the floor and bolted out the front door after him, petrified that he would run into the street and get hit by a car. I had my glasses on and my boobs were flying EVERYWHERE! As I was sprinting, my foot fell into a hole in the grass and I catapulted onto the sidewalk, my glasses fell 5 feet in front of me, and Finn was laughing hysterically and running naked down the block. Not to mention my nightgown flipped up, haha! GOOD MORNING, NEIGHBORHOOD!
On a more serious note, this mom fail story hits a little closer to home. It’s so significant to me because it’s my first feeling of failure as a parent. Finn was about 9 days old and we had just gotten home after a week in the NICU. When in the NICU, Finn was tube or bottle fed with the exception of the last 2 days or so where I was feeding him at the breast. I didn’t know it at that time, but he had a tongue tie that was causing me SO much burning and pain and I had the beginning signs of mastitis. I latched Finn in the morning and IT KILLED – BURNED AND HURT SO BADLY. I screamed at Christian to “GET HIM AWAY FROM ME, I CAN’T DO THIS!” I quickly placed the baby in his arms and cried in my room, overwhelmed with the feeling that I had already failed as a parent. I contacted a lactation consultant who came over that day and diagnosed the mastitis and TT (and truly saved me!). This feeling of failure of course was not true, but very real in the moment.
After having my first daughter, I was very naive in thinking that she would automatically fall into some type of eating/ sleeping routine or pattern without me having to try too hard. This led to so much unnecessary stress for both her, my husband and myself. I was convinced that once she reached 4 months, or 9 months, or 1 year things would get easier and I could finally stop stressing or wishing for the next phase of her life to begin. We tried every form of sleep training including cry it out, interval training, check in method, etc. We were successful a handful of times but it would only last for a few weeks or months until she started teething, got sick, or we traveled and she was out of her normal routine.
Eventually it got to a point where we were exhausted and felt defeated having to continue to re-sleep train her so frequently. I felt like the biggest failure as a mom. One of the most common questions we are asked as a new parent is “does she sleep through the night?” or “is she a good sleeper?” Those questions made me feel like I was a bad mom and failing in some way. We still struggle with her sleeping habits to this day and I always wonder if I would have implemented a better sleep routine from the beginning if it would have made a difference. For now we have accepted that this is something we will continue to work on with her. I try to remind myself that she is “only little for a little while” and I remind myself to enjoy and cherish these extra moments and snuggles with her because I know they won’t last forever.
For help with sleep, book a virtual or in-home (Chicagoland only) consult with Kate! You can also purchase Kate’s successful sleep 0-3 months e-guide, our dropping to one nap calendar or our new transitioning to a toddler bed e-guide!
Allowing my kids to sit on the counter. The twins were almost two years old and I was pregnant with my 3rd. We were in the kitchen making lunch and I would let them sit on the counter, with me standing in front of them, so they could watch and help. We had been doing this for a while but what did it matter because I was standing right there? Well this one particular time I turned around for not even 2 seconds to grab something and when I was turning back around I saw one of the twins falling toward the floor and he slammed his head on the ground. My heart sank and I thought I was going to throw up. I will never forget that noise as his head hit our kitchen floor. He started screaming. I quickly ran over picked him up, put the other twin safely on the ground and got some ice. Less than 15 minutes later he started vomiting. I knew he had a concussion so off we went to the ER; covered in vomit, sweating, no bra, pregnant. We sat there for 6 hours and because of a stubborn 2 year old we were not able to complete any of the imaging so we went home.
What I have learned is that it is absolutely true that you cannot turn your back for even a second when you have kids. I make sure to take extra time to ensure the area they are in is safe and secure with baby-proofing and without danger as best that I can. You can never be too careful when it comes to those precious babies!
For more information on home safety and baby-proofing, you can book a consult with Renée (she passed the Home Hazards Test through the IAFCS). You can also purchase her safety e-guide with her best baby-proofing recommendations and tips for keeping your home safe with little ones.
I have two parenting fails that I’m currently struggling with as a first-time mom. The first one is that I’ve been on my phone too much recently around my 2-year-old daughter when I’m home with her and not working. It has gotten to the point where she grabs my phone and says, “NO phone mama!” Working for Bumblebaby is the most flexible job. I feel honored to work for Kate and love every second of it! However, it’s one of those jobs where it’s not just 9-5, M-F. Providing content for Bumblebaby on Instagram is something that needs constant attention and I have caught myself doing work on my phone when I’m supposed to be present and playing with my daughter. I know we’re all guilty of it, but when I hear my daughter tell me to get off the phone, a sadness and wave of embarrassment comes over me and it makes me want to be a better mom. I have started to make a conscience effort to be more present with P, where I put my phone away and play with her uninterruptedly for 20 minutes at a time! This is just a good reminder that the phone can always wait and your children need chunks of 1:1 time a day from you (even if it’s just 10 minutes per day of no interruptions!).
The second parenting fail I have been guilty of recently is giving into whatever snack she wants when we’re out of the house or in the car to appease her. Palmer is a “foodie” as her pediatrician calls her. She was eating salmon and steamed broccoli when she first started eating finger foods and has always needed snacks throughout the day to prevent her “hanger-tude” (as I like to call it) from coming out. When we’re out of the house, she knows she gets a Lara bar or snack cup with cheerios or nuts in it and that has become a routine that we have fallen into! She is the only child at her music class that has to have 3 snacks during a 40-minute class. I feel like I have lost control when we’re out of the house with her demanding snacks and to avoid a tantrum, I adhere to her demands. I know she is a “foodie” and needs healthy snacks throughout the day (she has always been a good eater) but am trying to teach her to be disciplined when we’re out the house. Stay tuned, it’s a work in progress!!
I was in a zoom meeting for work and did not arrange childcare. The zoom meeting was outside of Milo’s nap time so I sat at the dining room table and placed him on the iPad on the couch. The meeting is an hour long and he became super bored and fidgety about half way through the meeting. He began body slamming himself on the couch and literally ricocheted face first into our hardwood floor. We had just moved in a few days prior and did not have an area rug. Milo wound up with a horrible black eye and I sat in the one on one meeting with Milo crying on my lap rather than asking if we could end the meeting early. I was self conscious about being one of the only employees on the team with children and never want to seem like I can’t “perform” at the same level that everyone else can. I feel bad for Milo and I feel bad for myself!
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider.