It's the dream to be a perfect parent, right? To have well-mannered children who never throw fits in the aisles of Target and eat all of their green beans without a fight. Although this dream never truly dies for many of us, it does often get shifted. And, it gets challenged...A LOT!
When it all comes down to it, the miracle of parenting perfection isn't actually attainable. We parents make mistakes just like every other human. But, that doesn't make us any less of a good parent. Here's the thing about being a mom, most of us make the same mistakes when it comes to parenting.
That's what this post is all about - those common parenting mistakes that make us shake our heads and feel bad about not actually having super parenting powers. But, as moms read down the list, they'll be nodding along and feeling better that most of us are in the same boat.
Here's another thing about this list, if you can even recognize that you've made the mistake, that's pretty much a super power in itself. While we all make similar mistakes, not all of us actually recognize our error. And fewer still attempt to make it right. So, let's dive right into these common mistakes. Here goes!
15 Thinking Like A Grown-Up
Before you brought your baby home, you probably baby proofed the house. Solid move, mama! After all, you didn't want to wait until after baby was already crawling to attempt to make things safe. So, you bought the outlet covers, cabinet locks, and gave away any harmful plants.
Though you (and I) missed one thing. We looked at the house from our perspective. Yep, we looked at it from about 5'5" up in the air. Here's the thing, babies are shorties.
Not only do they perceive the entire house differently because of their developing minds, but they also literally view it completely different than we do.
So, what's our mistake? Not crawling around the house as we baby proof...or so says my insurance agent, hmmm.
14 Talk Like A Sailor
Expletives. How we all love to hate and hate to love them.
Whether you're on the extreme blankety-blank train or just rolling along gracefully spouting "drat" and "fudge," we all meet in the middle at some point.
Yep, there comes a moment in the life of every mom when ugly escapes her perfect, sweet motherly lips.
Unsurprisingly, this epic fail probably comes at a time when you reaaaaaaaally don't need it to. Like during moments when you're trying to impress people. Here's how it works - the baby is screaming, the toddler just hid his poo in the piggy bank, the dog keeps getting in your way, and someone turned up the heat on the toaster so the bread is now smoking. And, out "it" slips. Then, you go to a social gathering where your lovely children repeat it. Ugh...
13 Taking Over The Tasks
A dear friend of mine has to grit her teeth whenever her kids or husband fold the towels. Why? Well, they stink at it. The folds are never lined up and the edges are hanging out all over the place. And don't even get started on how they end up in the linen closet. Needless to say, the whole situation drives her absolutely up the wall.
Actually, she used to be a perfect example of the mistake we moms make when it comes to taking over the tasks for our kids (husbands are another story).
She used to do everything simply because...well, she's better at everything.
But that only leads to a stressed out mom and kids who don't know how to fold the towels. So, what's the solution? Grit your teeth at the horribly folded towels and smile because they genuinely tried to help.
12 Listen When It’s Best Not To
People like to talk a lot. They like to give advice, tell their own stories, and attempt to convince you of their way of thinking. How annoying can this be? Very. But, these little annoying speeches can also be very convincing. And, in a bad way.
The more they talk the more you start doubting your own decisions and the more confused you become.
Still, you want to be a good person and accept others for who they are. You don't want to be rude and tell them to shut it even though you might feel like doing exactly that. So, you listen to them and let them plant their devious little seeds of doubt. We've all done it - listen when we should have just played a Beyonce song in our head instead. Next time, it's all Beyonce, deal?
11 Sizing Up Another Child
For those moms who are currently playing the Netflix series Boss Baby: Back in Business over and over and over, you'll appreciate this one. The lead character Boss Baby aka Ted Templeton clarifies to his big brother Tim Templeton that moms are always aware of new babies in the neighborhood. The reason they do is because new babies are the measure for all other babies. Moms want to be reassured that their baby is better according to Boss Baby.
Not only is Boss Baby pretty much spot on, but he also exposes an epic mom fail to which most of us have succumb. Yep, we've all compared kids. And, ours ends up on top every time. As they should! Still, this is a bad habit to give up.
10 Use One Word Too Much
My dog thinks his name is "Stop It." It's not that I actually named my dog Stop It, it's just that I have to say that to him 500 thousand million times (slight exaggeration) every day because he tends to forget his manners more than I'd like. So, instead of Sammy (real name), I think he thinks his name is Stop It.
Which leads me to the next mom mistake of saying the word "No" far too often. Granted, you have to tell your kids no at some point. There's no way around this. But, we moms have those days when we forget our awesome momming skills and just resort to the "No" 24/7.
Sometimes we need a little reminder that giving choices isn't a bad idea.
No, you can't eat M&Ms for supper (real life battle), but you can choose between a cheese toastie or the chicken casserole. When they get to choose, they feel empowered and that's pretty great to be able to empower your kids.
9 Let It Topple
According to Parenting.com, even good moms make really big safety mistakes. In fact, reading some of their actual stories will make you cringe. One mom left her sleeping infant in the car while the car was running and told her husband to watch the car. He turned his head for a moment only to look back and see a car thief driving away with their car...and sleeping son.
Seriously, these safety mistakes are things nightmares are made of. But, we moms seem to get through them. In retelling the story, we can't believe whatever it was that happened, happened.
But, even totally awesome moms forget to buckle the car seat, let the stroller roll away, or let the swing tip over.
And, your baby comes out okay on the other side. No, we don't ever want these sorts of things to happen, but we also have to forgive ourselves when they do.
8 Making Too Many Meals
There was once a parent who made three separate meals at every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One for each person in the household. Why? Everyone wanted something different. So, rather than fighting with them, chef parent made three meals. According to PickAnyTwo.net, this is yet another common mom mistake.
Though, it's understandable. After all, no mom wants to fight every meal and hear them complaining about how they have to eat salmon and green beans. Cooking the kids separate meals ends up backfiring on you. Not only do they tend to establish more unhealthy eating habits, but you're going to wear yourself out playing chef, and that's not your job, unless you are actually a chef. But even then, it's a common way that moms overwork themselves.
7 Neglecting To Refuel
Let's just get very, very real right now and let me say that we moms are tough. Sure, dads can be tough, too. But, moms are absolute beasts with how much we can actually accomplish in the course of a day.
No other job even compares to motherhood.
The thing about motherhood, though, is that it doesn't come without its own unique price tag. Being a great mom drains you. It literally drains the life out of you. Giving and providing and always being everything to everyone is totally and utterly exhausting. A huge mistake that most moms make is to just keep trucking along without stopping to refuel.
What I mean is that moms require their emotional tank to be refilled to maintain their awesomeness. When that doesn't happen, mommies tend to snap. And, nobody wants that!
6 Spill The Beans
Has your kiddo every peed the bed? Sure they have! And you helped them change pyjamas, switch the sheets, and told them it was just an accident. No worries. All normal parenting things to do. Then the next day, you were having a conversation with your BFF and mentioned that your night was long because of the bed wetting incident. And you child was mortified.
You pretty much tell your BFF everything. I mean, she knows the brand of your husband's undies, but according to your child, the bed-wetting information was off limits. While situations like this seem harmless, we moms tend to forget that growing kids equal growing (and more sensitive) emotions. It's just another mom mistake that we don't even know was a mistake until the unveiling of our kid's feelings. We all learn and grow.
5 Let The Pendulum Swing Too Far One Way
If you're anything like most other women, you have days where everything seems to go wrong. One thing leads to another and you're just in a rotten mood. Under this dark cloud of "Ugh-ness," it becomes easy to see things in a much dimmer light. It's the opposite of seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Also in these moments, it becomes easier to only focus on the bad.
What this could look like for a mom is simply to point out the wrong that the kids are doing and not noticing any of the right they're doing.
The more frustrated you become the worse their behavior seems to become and the more negative things you see.
Moments like this generally pass quickly. Still, we moms sometimes forget to point out just as many good things as bad things when it comes to our kids.
4 Turn A Blind Eye To Emotions
There's an episode of Daniel Tiger that focusses on the emotion anger - a previously untouched-by-TV emotion. The main character Daniel Tiger is upset and is fumbling in trying to express his feelings. His mom not only recognizes that he's upset, but she also points it out to him. In true Fred Rogers Company (creators) fashion, she breaks out into song and sings, "Mad, mad, mad. It helps to say you're mad."
Daniel Tiger's mom should earn 1,000 parenting points for the way she handled her son's angry feelings. Many of us moms don't quite know how to handle such big and complicated emotions. So, we just ignore it knowing full well that the emotion will pass. The thing is that identifying, validating, and teaching how to appropriately release emotions raises your child's emotional intelligence level sky high.
3 Hide Behind The “S” On Our Chest
We parents are expected to be heroes like Superman. Moms especially, so Superwomen. Not only can we juggle a career, a marriage, and an entire household, but are the rock on which our children lay their foundation of trust. Knowing that we are this solid base to our kids, we don't want them so see us fail.
But, some type of failure in life is inescapable.
Whether it's breaking down when you're having a rough day or upset that your favorite pair of jeans don't fit or that you have to close your start-up business because of the budget. It all feels like failure. But the thing is that when we hide our lows from our kids, they don't often grasp the idea of making a rebound or recovery. And THAT is the reason why we shouldn't always hide behind our "super powers."
2 Depending On Elmo For A Reprieve
Maybe you're super strict about screen time or maybe the TV is on all the time in your house. No matter, I'd be willing to bet that at some point you needed a break. So you plopped your kids in front of the tube just to claim some quiet time. Consider yourself a normal parent. We've all done it.
But, it can make you feel guilty and almost selfish that you enjoy the peaceful moments while your kid watches Elmo or whoever on the TV. After all, there are tons of studies revealing to us the imminent danger our children's brains are in whilst watching, gasp...television. Here's the deal - you need to stay sane somehow and if letting your kid watch Elmo for 30 minutes accomplishes this then go for it!
1 Doing Someone Else’s Job
No parent wants to admit that they need help. And further still, no parent wants to admit that their child has a need for help. Whether it's a speech problem and they need to see a speech therapist or a behavior issue that they need to talk with a counselor, kids sometimes need more help than we parents can offer.
We're professional parents, not professional speech therapists or behavioral counselors.
A big mistake some moms make is that we try to be everything for our kids, even when we know they need more help.
The bottom line is that you're a *bleep* good mom (see what I did there). So, be proud that you're doing the best you can for your kids. Remember, the struggle is real. #momlife