Every parent has moments where we just totally blow it. It happens to the best of us, even if we won’t admit it. Every single one of us has done something totally ridiculous or just plain stupid and thought, “OMG! My kid is never going to get over this!”
But they do. Somehow, despite our idiot moves, accidents and misguided-but-well-intentioned blunders, our kids end up okay. Nature made those little nuggets pretty resilient for this very reason.
I had a mom fail moment just this week. My current baby is my third, and I’ve always wondered why everyone says clipping baby fingernails makes them so nervous. I’ve been a mom for seven years, and I’d never had a fingernail accident. Until now.
Everything was going fine until I got to the last nail, and baby girl let out a shriek. The bright red bead of blood told me I had clipped too short. Amelia cried for about two seconds. I cried for ten solid minutes, then on and off for another two hours. Every time I saw her tiny little face, I lost it again. I made my sweet angel baby bleed her own blood. I felt like the worst mother alive.
To comfort me, my husband reminded me about his own parenting fail. A few months ago, he accidentally knocked our 4-year-old off the bed. My mother-in-law confessed that she once left my husband in the church nursery and went all the way home before she realized it. Talk about fourth baby problems!
It felt better to remember I am not the only bonehead who ever totally bombed this parenting gig, so I turned to Facebook with my confession, and asked other parents to tell me about the time their kid survived their parenting fail.
Apparently, plenty of other people have clipped their baby’s nails too short.
Including this mom, whose reaction feels totally reasonable to me, TBH.
“My son was probably 4 months old when I cut his finger instead of the nail. I phoned the pediatrician’s office in tears and asked to speak directly to the pediatrician. When the receptionist asked me how much of his finger I had cut off, I realized that maybe I was a little bit too panicked. It had stopped bleeding while I was on the phone.” — Jacqui C.
Nail clipping isn’t the only way to slightly injure your kiddo…
“I was nursing my firstborn in the middle of the night, scrolling through Facebook, and must’ve dozed for just a split second. I dropped my phone, and hit him on the forehead!! He cried for a few seconds, latched back on, and was 100% fine. I cried for two and half hours.” – Nikki B
“Once, I closed Maddie’s fingers in the car window. I felt TERRIBLE. She screamed! It didn’t cause any permanent damage — just a nice line across all her fingers. She was really mad. Didn’t even cry. I did, though. And bought her a toy. I’m the worst.” — Jenn W.
“I laid my one-month-old daughter on our closed toilet with a towel underneath her so I could turn a bath on. She rolled off onto the floor! I scooped her up and starting wailing. She stopped crying in about 20 seconds, and I cried for 5 minutes straight.” – Lindsay W.
Lots of people have totally dropped their kid at least once.
“I was nursing my one-week-old in her little room, all proud of myself for killing it in the parenting game. Then I got up because I was hungry, and my muscles just kinda… forgot to work or something? I dropped her about two feet onto a bundle of rolled up blankets. I panic-cried for about an hour, called every hotline at the hospital, and berated myself for days. She didn’t even cry.” — C.
“When my oldest was about a year old, I dropped her face down in the snow. I quickly picked her up, and she was laughing. She thought I was playing!” — Jillian G.
“I strapped the baby into the changing pad, but forgot to connect the changing pad to the table. She landed face down with the changing pad strapped to her back. I felt bad, but probably not as bad as my husband did when he tossed her into the moving ceiling fan!” — Melody T.
“When my daughter was an infant, I set her on the bed next to my sleeping husband so I could run to the bathroom. I started to walk away, and he rolled over, pulling the covers with him, which caused my daughter to fly off the bed. I screamed and ran to get her. She fell on a pile of throw pillows and never even woke up.” — Emily M.
Sometimes, we forget something important…
“My daughter is half white. Before she was born, I had never bought sunblock in my life. Never needed it. Then I let her get a sunburn. Now I have three bottles at all times.” — Chrystina N.
“My youngest went on a field trip to the pumpkin farm in October. I totally forgot to send his packed lunch. I felt like the worst mom in the history of moms. The teachers made sure he had what he needed, so he didn’t starve, but I still felt awful.” — Keshia P.
Like our kid!
“Kindergarten drop off is at the school playground. Parents wait with their kiddos until their teacher comes out to get them. One day, I took my youngest with me to drop off his sister. I waited and chatted with other parents until our kiddos went inside, and then walked to my car. As I got in my car, I realized I was missing something. My son!! I panicked and sprinted back to the playground, where he was completely oblivious to my absence. Mom. Fail.” — Missy S.
Kids totally hurt themselves sometimes, and our parenting fail is just not believing them.
“When my daughter was eight, she slipped on wet leaves and fell. I was cooking dinner with a toddler hanging onto my leg, and I was distracted. I saw no swelling or bruising, so I told her to ‘shake it off.’ During dinner, she started shaking and couldn’t lift her fork. An ER visit confirmed her broken arm! As if that wasn’t bad enough, about 3 months later, she illustrated a book for a school assignment called, ‘The Day I Broke My Arm.’ She drew me in a green dress & pearls (which never happens) looking down on her with a potholder in my hands saying, ‘shake it off,’ while she pours illustrated tears, and says ‘but mommy it hurts!’” – Laura S.
“My daughter was roller skating at her birthday party last year, and she slipped and ‘sprained’ her ankle. I said, ‘If you want to go to the doctor, your friends go home! Party’s over!’ She swore it was fine. Well, it was not fine. The next day, it was huge and black and blue. Urgent care discovered it was broken in three places. Worst. Mom. Ever.” — Shana H.
One thing is for sure. Every single parent has a parenting fail story they could add to this collection, and it does not make us the worst parent ever. Every day brings a new chance to make a mistake, and a new opportunity for our kids to be awesome and totally roll with it.
The longer we parent, the more stories we will collect. Amanda H., veteran mom of teens, is totally unfazed at this point. “I mess up so often that I am having trouble isolating out single incidents,” she admits. “I will have to think on this.”