The Badges of Motherhood

Motherhood is a series of unfortunate events that bonds women together in the most thankless and revolting job on earth.

Ok, so it’s much more than that, too, but the unfortunate events are definitely part of the universal experience.

Whoever a mother is — whether she’s Angelina Jolie or the teen mom at the grocery store checkout — I feel an instant bond with her, knowing we’ve both dealt with a puking kid in our bed or feverish baby at the most inopportune time.

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I was in Girl Scouts for a brief time, and I acquired a snazzy collection of merit badges to brag about my accomplishments like practicing athleticism with purpose and volunteering for a good cause. I’m thinking of finding that sash and slapping on some badges that I’m really proud of: The badges of motherhood.


About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)

From Around the Web


Lexi Dixon 10 months ago

I got 7!!

Krista Hunter Hill 10 months ago

All of these!

Karen 10 months ago

Survived breastfeeding or just feeding a always hungry newborn in general. Held sleepy or crying child past the point when arms were falling asleep, neck was hurting, and had to pee desperately. Slept next to a kid kicking and scratching her and hogging the bed all night long.

Tanya Munro Erway 10 months ago

Yep. All of them and more. How about the “Avoided becoming an alcoholic” badge, or the “I never drugged them to get them to sleep” badge, or the “Can’t drink caffeine, but managing to survive” badge, “I’m sick, but can’t take a sick day” badge…the list is endless…

Tabitha Mott 10 months ago

What about the reaching into the seat behind you while driving badge.

Leslie Lewis 10 months ago

I have a at Disney World with 6 kids and forgot to pack more diapers in the diaper bag and having to fashion a diaper out of baby blankets and a plastic bag then getting peed on , on the bus back to the hotel. I could of bought a diaper but it was after fireworks and all the shops were closed.

Mary Pecbot Brown 10 months ago

All but Disney. That won’t happen till he’s 25.

Tammy Thomas 10 months ago

Yes and then some! Working on my Nana badges now lol

Kristy Morgan 10 months ago

Every one and so much more!!!

Laurie Braslins 10 months ago


Cheryl Britton 10 months ago

I have two kids and thank god I have never experienced any of these!! Whew! I got it pretty easy!

Cheryl Silen 10 months ago

Have ALL of them. And the ‘sex talk’ badge- have the sex talk with your child, at their level without resorting to cutsey names or euphemisms or simply stating ‘don’t do it till you’re marries or else ” (even if you want to). Have earned that one twice so far.
Also the ‘gift’ badge- shopping for someone else at the toy store with your child, and NOT giving in and buying your child something too.
And the ‘zombie badge’- making it through a busy day even after a night of no sleep for one of the following kid based reasons….1) fussy baby, 2)puking or otherwise ill child, 3) child as bedmate which essentially means spending the night either protecting delicate body parts or trying to get comfortable without waking them up or 4) child away from home stress because of first sleepovers, first campout, fisrt trip with someone other than you or simply teenagers….nuff said…..
I have those three in spades too!

Elizabeth Locke 10 months ago

We have margarita, mimosa, and vodka badges. Partial credit?

Dana Porche 10 months ago

I’ve earned them all!

Dawn Webb 10 months ago

Yep, earned them all. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Pam Edwards-Hoffmann 10 months ago

Yup. Every one. Plus one not mentioned specifically: catching my baby’s poop in my hand because he had already gone through five diapers, and I was cleaning him up to go to the store to buy more diapers!

Janice Conlin Daugherty 10 months ago

All of these apply!

Lisa Marie Combs-Presley 10 months ago

Caught the vomit in my hands, while having a conversation with my friends dad (in a public place), wiped it off with my napkin, and carefully folded said napkin up and put it in my purse…all while carrying on the conversation. Pulled out hand sanitizer and went on like all was normal.

Kim Huff-Caplan 10 months ago

All except Disney. Would but even remotely consider going there.

Shahgufta Ali Khan 10 months ago
Stephanie Hall 10 months ago

what about earaches/infections and blood draw (like lead test)?

we only ended up at the ER once for an ear infection – after 2 hours of waiting and 5 minutes with the doctor my husband learned to shut up and trust me to handle doctors visits and – in this case – not flip $&^+ about “wet-wear”

The visits to the Phlebotomists have gained a new level of patience, my youngest actually blew out peed on me during a blood draw and my oldest had to be held still by myself and two other adults just to get 4 ounces… and we have to do it again in february x.x’

OH And:
A road trip Badge (a trip longer than 4 hours and/or passing through a TSA security checkpoint with a minor without death or injury resulting)

A logistics master Badge (supplies packed for at least one parent and child and nothing is left behind or forgotten during the trip)

A Sleepover host Badge (more than 2 kids)

Michelle Williams 10 months ago

I once changed my daughter’s diaper while sitting on a toilet. Then I changed my tampon with her still on my lap. I felt like I earned my mom card that day.

SC Moore 10 months ago

I love this! I think the list should keep going.
First day of school
Dealing with the mean kid.
Little League sports
Stepping on Legos
Forgetting the tooth fairy $
Volunteering (you get to earn this one every year)
Teen hormones
Teen eye rolling
Teaching them to drive
First girlfriend /boyfriend

Adrienne Holliday 10 months ago

No Disney yet and haven’t managed the fisherman badge without gagging (5 kids and still, every time).

Brandy C. Koleta 10 months ago

I have a 4 (almost 5) year old and to this day, I have never nor will I EVER have anything to do with vomit. Can’t even do it. The very thought of “catching” it in my own hands makes me want to choose death. Just me. I have earned almost all the others, more than once, and some not listed, as well. But I will not be earning the what is it? Resourceful badge? Nope!

Shawn Elizabeth Dancy 10 months ago

All of my badges earned!!

Beth Rosenbaum 10 months ago

I’ve earned all of these plus some that weren’t listed, lol.

Michele Plach-Smith 10 months ago

All but Disney!

Celeste Casey Lane 10 months ago


Amy Wolff Oakes 10 months ago

Ssssss – I did today!! Screaming in line at Target today for NO reason!! But I was laughing

Erin Joslyn Palmer 10 months ago


Violet Sawyer 10 months ago

The booger badge: cleaning out your kids’ nose without a thought. My pinky nail worked best with this one.

Jennie Cardenas Canas 10 months ago

Sister you deserve all these badges lol lol Jessica Astudillo

Jennifer Jones Rombardo 10 months ago

Hilarious! I have earned just about all of these.

Anna Rodriguez 10 months ago

Sure have! Every one. Vomit in the hands more than once to prevent from cleaning it out of the carpet!!

Shoshanna Atkinson 10 months ago

I’m a single mom and I have those badges

Kimberly Evans Paul 10 months ago

Earned each and every one…except I did change mine and the boys clothes after the pee incident. That should be a given!

Michelle Royer Kleist 10 months ago

Yes, but these are just the baby and toddler badges. I have a lot of “teenager” badges to earn yet…..

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 10 months ago

I’m kinda upset I’m missing 2 badges ( caught vomit & fishing poop) but very glad at the same time lol

Ashley Geisen 10 months ago

Every badge more then once….

Amber-lynn Vigini 10 months ago

Ill be hopefully getting the Disney one this Xmas :s

Liz VanGalder Steimer 10 months ago

Wow. I have all of these!

Jennifer Abdel-Moneim 10 months ago

I jut told my husband this morning that I earned a Mommy Badge for sucking it up (pun intended) and using the Nose Frida. There should be a badge for having the courage to try that!

Adrienne Evans 10 months ago

Every damn one of them.

Liz Dap 10 months ago

I have earned all except the Disney badge. Not quite ready for that yet.

Julie Combs 10 months ago


Trisha Halberstadt 10 months ago

Check! To them all…unfortunately. (Minus Disney, because we haven’t gone)

Beth Steffen 10 months ago

Disney and volunteering. My kids aren’t old enough yet. Lol

Melissa Munkers 10 months ago

I have 5 year old twins and an 18 month old and honestly I think I have only earned 2 of these. Who gets peed on and doesn’t change their clothes?!

Beth Comero 10 months ago

All but Disney! !

Samantha Wohlfarth 10 months ago

All but the Disney badge

Michelle Stiller 10 months ago

Currently working on the survival badge. Ahh motherhood lol

Amy Robertson DiBonaventura 10 months ago

I’m fully badged! Lol

Natalie Vella Mercer 10 months ago

Lol there are many other badges

Stephanie MeanoMom Lannoo 10 months ago

Is there a cleaned finger painted poo (from a diaper) off the wall

Heather Nolen Kelly 10 months ago

All but Disney…I’ve caught puke a LOT.

Jessica TheGoddess Serrano 10 months ago

Yup. And then some. Can we add the bleeding head at the ER badge as well lol

Anna Bannana 10 months ago

ha ha got the all.;)

Anna Rodriguez 10 months ago

More than I’d care to admit..

Shantelle 11 months ago

I can’t do the fishing poo out of the tub … I gag and/or vomit … same with the vomit. Once when my son was 3 he was not feeling so great, he gave me a hug and barfed all over me. My husband had to take him from me do I could puke all over the place too. Man, I got lucky with my husband. He does all the dirty work.

Steffany 12 months ago

PLEASE, someone make this into a shirt!

A 1 year ago

What about if your toddler poops in the shower while she is showering with you, and you don’t notice it until it has slid over next to your foot? Is there a badge for that?

Rachel Rotmil Sandman 1 year ago

I have them all.

Lb Frace 1 year ago


Shannon Chesney Lindau 1 year ago

I have more fisherman badges than I care to think about. What about the “caring for the family while you’re sick as a dog” badge.

Noël Ross 1 year ago

The puke one is amazing.

Kristin Unrein Maiorano 1 year ago

Each and everyone. There needs to be one about pulling over on the side of the thruway so one or more of you kids can use the little travel potty to poop while trucks fly past you because they just cannot wait the 10 minutes to pull off an exit.

DavidandLaura Seger 1 year ago

Wow! I have all of them except one.

Anne Kennedy 1 year ago

All of them! There should be a ‘reflux’ badge too, feeding your baby in a public place and knowing to hold him at an angle where the projectile vomit can’t spray anyone! Sure plenty of people have experienced that too!

Vicki Kneller 1 year ago

All of them =)

Jessicah Jiménez 1 year ago

I can so relate raising 3 children! Disney has never been on my agenda can regards to bringing my children. Better places like the beach, which is always a hit run:)

Stephanie Chaney 1 year ago

Alll of them!

Linda Bergman 1 year ago

Yup, gott them all. These badges are the basic line though right, there’s just so much more we moms have to do without flinching. And single moms should have their very own badge line

Mary E. Williams 1 year ago

What about fly solo with your child? Drive cross country with two children under the age of three by yourself with the MIL. Agreeing to getting a puppy. This list is a walk in a park and makes me realize that I need an awesome present for my upcoming wedding anniversary.

Jenny Zacharias-Phelps 1 year ago

All except the Disney Badge…after earning all the others you should be smart enough NOT to do Disneyland!

Sara Smith 1 year ago

7. Only because we haven’t been to Disney. But I do get the Legoland equivalent.

Anne Sausser 1 year ago

Fisherman, all day long!

Erica Schuler 1 year ago

7 out of 8, my kids are still to young for disney, and honestly I’m terrified of trying to take all three of them at the same time..

Jodi Gonzales 1 year ago

All but the Disney badge…. never been…. but if it was just an amusement park badge I’d have them all… after raising 4 boys and a girl (18-2) how could I not!

Michelle Bechky Lynch 1 year ago

Every last one. How could I not, I have five kids!

Helen Russo 1 year ago

do I get the Volunteer badge for dealing with snotty g’parents of other children at a school function? then I’ve got em all!

Amanda Hickman 1 year ago

I most definitely have all of those & probably more that could have never been thought of by a non parent or maybe even a parent of 2 lol ( and by no means am I saying a parent of 1 or 2 is less experienced than a mother of more ♡)

Laura Bruij Williams 1 year ago

Ah but one very important motherhood badge was left out: Picking lice out of a child’s hair. Stephanie.

Danielle Dykas 1 year ago

All of them…. but the vomit badge mostly because my son had croup so much he would cough and puke, always. Awesome.

Andrea Meyer 1 year ago

I have earned each and every one of those. Plus I can think of a few more.

Maria Norman Outen 1 year ago

Haha… I think I’ve done all except Disney.. Lol especially the bathroom one

Cristina Ioana Taflan-Corniciuc 1 year ago

Managed to get 7 out of 8…cuz we haven’t been brave enough to do Disney parks or others like that yet :))) ha ha finally some recognition :))))

Sheri Konieczny 1 year ago

my fiance has these badges too.

Cassandra Heaps 1 year ago

Wow I got all 8 too! I think there should be an extra volunteer badge for those of us who work but volunteer every week in their child’s class because they want to!

Ana Mala 1 year ago

Disney badge is not about the trip to Disneyland lol I’m sure most moms here enjoyed some park fun with little ones :) oh and I got them all but the one with the tub and poop. Had to get my husband for that one lol

Heaven Jones 1 year ago

All but Disney . lol who would of thought motherhood was such a nasty job!

Callie Ann 1 year ago

All but the Disney park one lol

Tiffany Murphy 1 year ago

Lol! With 4 kids under 8 I have earned all of these

Laura Wilson Antonelli 1 year ago

8 (only because I improvise…..haven’t been to Disney, but have been to other amusement parks).

Shannon Plunk 1 year ago

All but Disney. Though we have been to several other amusement parks 😉

Jamie Easton 1 year ago

All but the Fisherman’s Badge & the Disney Badge

Angela McInnes 1 year ago

ALL! My favorite is the last one. My bathroom is my hiding place. :)

Lindsey D’Lugos 1 year ago

Yep, I’ve earned them all!

Jenn Sullivan 1 year ago

All but the vomit, thankfully.


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