Confessions of an Imperfect Mom

Motherhood is loaded with guilty moments. Fortunately, angels abound.


05/20/2006 09:02:15 PM

This story brought tears to my eyes as I recalled a similar experience when my son was only two. After listening to my toddler cry without ceasing for 30 min. one night I placed a frantic 2am. call to my peditrician, only to be told "Give him a dropper of Tylenol and I'll see him in the office in the am." I told him that the next time I saw him would be to collect my child's medical records! My husband and I promptly loaded my son into his car seat and rushed to the closest ER., only to discover upon arrival a trickle of blood from his ear, to be told his eardrumb had ruptured. He suffered a 70% loss of hearing in the ear and has to use a hearing aid now as an adult. While some things may not always be preventable, how much worse would I have felt if I had waited until morning and not sought medical help.


05/15/2006 10:12:10 AM

My Mother was perfect.Never did she admit to being less than perfect.Her clothes, the house, our outfits, were all perfect.I had a lot to learn about parenting when my son was born.She had lied to me for 27 years.I had no idea she wasn't perfect.Other mothers made mistakes,not mine.What an eye opener when I had to admit to myself, that although she truely believed and so had I, my mother was NOT perfect.Don't deceive your children into thinking you can do no wrong.They just might grow up a little bit healthier knowing that NO ONE is perfect.Not even their parents.


05/14/2006 09:40:37 AM

To El Gabilion, I wonder how mothers without access to all the books and articles ever manage to raise their children. We were not put here to judge others, but to learn. Unfortunatly, some of our best lessons are learned by making mistakes.


05/17/2005 09:06:59 AM

Hi to Madmolly. If I had you by my side I would not have made so many of the mistakes the author regrets. Have you considered how you can come along side someone with all your common sense? I really believed as a mom that I had to know it all, but big surprise, I have blind spots. My biggest relief came admitting my terrible parenting mistakes and asking for help. Oh my gosh and how compassionate and gentle the help was! Madmolly, you have a lot of common sense. Did you know that is a gift not all of us get? Mothering is a taught skill, passed on by good mothers or friends. Consider sharing it with gentleness. Perhaps you have something to learn from another mom too.


05/05/2005 10:41:21 PM

Dearest imdancing: I am so glad your son is alive and doing well after his accident. You are truly blessed. My prayers are with you and him both. May you know peace in that is is alright.


05/05/2005 10:38:00 PM

To El Gabilion: WHAT ARE YOU GOING ON ABOUT?!!! PLEASE I am now a grandmother and before I was a grandmother I was a mother. AND GUESS WHAT?!!! I AM HUMAN! I more than made my share of mistakes, and I read just about every child care book and safety manual there is. I found the article heart-warming and caring. Accidents happen and they happen because we are human. We never know what is going to happen, especially with children. The most important thing we can do as parents (and grandparents) is do the best we can for our children and love them. Everything else kinds of falls into place.


08/12/2004 10:36:38 AM

Supermom55, there are some people you cannot tell not to be jugemental I firmly believe that there are those folks with their heads so far up under their tails that they suffer acutely from tunnel vision, and they cannot see that each and every time they point a finger at some poor soul there are three other fingers pointing back at themselves. Come to think of it I could not find the post to which you refer, happen it's been removed and is lodged where all those posts go to. Where ? Oh do Shush Blessings from a Super-Nanna


05/14/2004 11:50:11 AM

To ElGabilion, whoever you are: stop being so jugemental, and hit The Book (the Bible), in which Jesus says: "Do not judge, lest you be judged". Or, if you prefer, here's some Native American wisdom: "Let me not judge my brother until I have walked a mile in his moccasins." Like it or not, everyone does make mistakes, even you!


05/10/2004 11:52:11 PM

While it certainly does not seem worthwhile to come back to this page and argue with madmolly over the fact that yes, accidents DO happen, and nobody is perfect, I did want to say to you, imdancin that I, too, am so happy for you that your son is okay.


05/10/2004 05:12:47 PM

(cont'd) Also, I would never take 3 small kids to a park, but I know plenty of women who would and have (successfully, without fatalities), and I don't think they should be locked up and re-educated, either. As a parent you live and learn and you DO get lucky (or unlucky, in some tragic cases). All accidents are preventable in hindsight.


05/10/2004 05:09:08 PM

(cont'd) Also, I would never take 3 small kids to feed the ducks, but I know plenty of women who would and have done it (successfully, without any fatalities), and I don't think they need to be locked up and re-educated, either. As a parent you live and learn and you DO get lucky. May you always stay as lucky as you've been thusfar.


05/10/2004 05:07:29 PM

Actually, I still think you sound like people who have never faltered in your attempts to child-proof your home or mind your children's every move in public. If this poor woman were as ignorant and incompetent as so many people seem to think, her kids would be dead by now. Do you really think she just routinely keeps poison out for her one-year-old to play with? I keep household cleaners locked up and/or out of reach, and none of my kids has ever swallowed anything they weren't supposed to, but I can envision failing to close a cabinet all the way or accidentally leaving the 409 on a counter (maybe because you had to go stop your baby from painting the wall with the contents of his diaper?) and forgetting it. (con'td.)


05/09/2004 03:40:24 PM

Imdancin - I am glad your son is okay, it sounds like a freakish accident. It also sounds like "someone" was watching out for him!! Never underestimate the power of prayer, realize that you can't "watch" your grown son yourself, and there is no such thing as a "perfect" parent.


05/09/2004 03:38:14 PM

I too picked up on some avoidable mistakes in "Confessions of an Imperfect Mom" I truly do believe some mistakes are AVOIDABLE. 1) Feeding leftoever grilled cheese sandwiches to ducks? Gummy things that get stuck in their throats?? I used to feed dry bread to geese, yet I have heard since that that is wrong - it encourages geese to not migrate - makes the droppings more plentiful, it can make the geese sick , etc. 2)Taking 3 kids to feed ducks?? Bad idea. I mistakenly took my one 3 yr. old grandson to a park once to feed geese, and they were as tall as he was!! and snappish too, I had to get him out of there!! Really, you shouldn't take more than 2 kids with you anywhere, not unless one is old enough to "babysit" the others.


05/07/2004 11:01:19 PM

imdancin, thank God your son is alive and well! my prayers are with you.


05/07/2004 05:58:14 PM

"Becoming a mother is a momentous decision, it is forever deciding to wear your heart outside your body." I read this somewhere and for the life of me can't remember where. All I know is that it is true. You worry your whole life, no matter if your child is 3 or 30. My son was in a terrible car accident this past Tuesday. He miraculously made it out of a completely flattened Bronco. It was exam week at college and he stayed up all night studying. He was driving to the airport to pick me up , when the accident happened. I got off the plane and got a cell message to go to the hospital. He only stayed a day with minor injuries. But I am wondering how I will ever relax again. After seeing the car where they towed it, I am still in disbelief and numb. I am truely blessed he is alive.


05/07/2004 12:43:52 PM

I was the most careful (possibly neurotic) mother in the world. I locked everythng up and (just one example) ran around with pillows when my baby started to sit up so she wouldn't hit her head if she keeled over backward. Nevertheless, accidents happened. I can relate to Therese's great story. I pray very often for my kids' well-being, especially now that they're grown.


05/07/2004 12:18:46 AM

On the contrary, Mad Molly, if you will read the previous e-mails more carefully you will note that El Gabilon stated parents aren't perfect and I acknowledged that "accidents do happen." I think the common thread that you will find in people who you are disagreeing with here is that we feel there are certain things that any responsible parent nowadays should know. Locking up poisons is one. You might add to that list checking behind your car before backing up if neighborhood children play in your yard. Putting a hot iron away instead of leaving it on an unstable ironing board. Maybe securing an infant on the changing table just in case you have to turn around to tend to your toddler. How about putting a grate in front of a fireplace, or just being sure you don't leave a young child unattended in the first place. Just common sense things. You don't have to be perfect, just careful, when you have children---as El Gabilon suggested: anticipate dangers.


05/06/2004 06:35:24 PM

oops - make that mere mortals raising children (who hopefully live to be parents someday) :)


05/06/2004 06:33:41 PM

Maritaly and El Gabilon sound like two people who have never in all their born days had a momentary lapse of judgment, or a distraction, or any of the things that plague those of us mere mortals raising parents. I don't think the author lacks common sense or that she's in the habit of ignoring well-known child safety tips. Yes, children do come with instructions, but they don't come with fail-safes. Occasionally parents make mistakes. That's no excuse for gross negligence, but you don't have to be grossly negligent and/or stupid to screw up on occasion. That's why, even though I do my best to protect my children, I always pray that God will compensate for my weakness.


05/05/2004 11:43:15 PM

Sorry jkevinm, I'll have to go with El Gabilon on this one, harsh as that answer was. Yes, accidents do happen, and nobody is perfect, but if you have taken on the wonderful job of raising children then you have the responsibility to learn how to keep them safe. There are books, parenting magazines, columns written everyday in papers across the country regarding child safety. When you leave the hospital with your baby they usually give you tip sheets on what to do to safeproof your home. Myriad ways to learn the things that will make these little ones as safe as they can be in a world where they are dependent on a parent to make the right decision, at least for the first decade or so of their life. I am not suggesting that our children be put in a cage where they can't learn that hot things hurt, etc. but it sounds like this author is trying to justify her own lack of common sense. I have no doubt she loves her children, but there is no excuse for ignoring well known child safety tips.


05/05/2004 08:59:23 PM

Another thing, and I don't mean this to sound like bragging, but I have been told by several people, some of them friends and family, but many of them not (teachers, doctors, etc.) that I am a very good mom, and in fact I have often been asked to act as a mentor to other moms. That having been said, I did read all the books, I had a whole bookshelf full of parenting books, many of them contradicting each other. I finally decided that my own heart and common sense was the best resourse I had. My husband and I also joke (never where our kids can hear us) that we are just going to do the best we can, and if we mess them up, we will pay for the first 6 months of therapy or they can dedicate a chapter of their tell all book to us when they go on the talk show tour. In other words, do the best you can, but, while you are doing your best, don't forget to have fun and enjoy being a parent :-)


05/05/2004 08:54:20 PM

I think none of us can be the perfect parent, because none of us are the perfect person. While there are some very obvious things we can (and should) do to keep our kids safe and healthy in both mind and body, there are lots of things that we have to learn by trial and error. Case in point - my son, who is 11, was climbing a tree on our backyard. I stepped right inside the glass door, about 2 feet into the house, to get a kleenex, when I came back, he was JUMPING on the branch, shaking the branch for his friends. Now, I had never specifically told him to NOT jump on tree branches, because, frankly, I thought it went without saying. We were very lucky that he didn't fall and get hurt or worse. Does this make me a bad mom? Of course not! It makes me a normal mom of normal children, who are growing up in an imperfect world surrounded by imperfect people who are just doing the best they can.


05/05/2004 08:49:41 PM

Therese, Ignore ElGablion. That is a description of someone who is raising rabbits not children. No one is born with the skills to parent. The things you describe have happened to many parents who read every book and thought they had eyes in the back of their heads. Listen to your mother, that is true wisdom.


05/05/2004 08:16:47 PM

This sounds like "an attention getter" to us. We suggest that instead of praying, you do some reading up on how to parent children. For example, why wasn't the poisen locked up? If you cannot handle your own, what are you doing taking on someone elses? Accidents just don't happen. Somewhere along the line there has been neglect of one kind or another. An ear infection HURTS. Why not just pick him up and hold him. The friend needs her head examined. Your mom is right however, there is no such thing as a perfect mother(or father). There are though mothers and fathers who LOOK FOR POSSIBLE DANGER and then try to eliminate it. Ten to one you do not have your bureaus connected to the wall so they won't topple over on a child who pulls open the top drawers and makes them top heavy, subject to falling on them. Stop whining and hit the books.