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Challenge: I Feel Bad About...

My Big Parenting Fails and What You Can Learn From Them

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I try to say that I am a good mom, but there are some horrible moments in my parenting career that I wish I could get a major do over. And since I can't get a do over, maybe I can share my failures with others. We can laugh together (or you can just laugh at me and pat yourself on the back for being slightly more successful than me.)

MINI VANS NOW HAVE ANTI-CLOSING FEATURES WHICH PREVENT ClOSING YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE IN THE DOOR: The day I locked my son's hand in the door was not my proudest moment. We were in a hurry, and I had three children all of the age that they could get out of the car on their own.

I was in a hurry. Rushing in the store, I heard my son cry out for me. As I turned and looked, he had slammed his hand in the sliding door of the van, but since I had already locked the doors, he was stuck.

Unlock the door. Pit in stomach. Hand bloody and swollen. Stitches. Thankful for no lost appendages.

Parenting Lesson: Stay with your family until they are all out of the car successfully.

HEAT LAMPS CAUSE THIRD DEGREE BURNS: My daughter was about 15 when she accidentally burned her arm on a chicken heat lamp at the start of our country fair. I asked her if it was blistered, and she said no. I didn't even take a look at it for days.

Turns out she had 3rd degree burns. No blisters. Skin peeling off. Major guilt!

Parenting Lesson: Actually look at the injury, and don't just let the child assess the situation.

WHEN CHILDREN SAY THEY ARE SICK, CHECK HOW SICK BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE: My oldest son was 13 and said he wasn't feeling well. He went to watch television on the couch. I had some errands to run, and asked him what he wanted from the store. Popsicles, ginger ale, crackers, chicken noodle soup - the usual line up for sickness.

Left the house for several hours. Came home. Sat next to him on the couch. I could feel the heat radiating off him. Temperature 104.

Parenting Lesson: Actually touch the sick child before running out the door to run errands.

Thankfully none of my parenting fails had diastrous outcomes, but all occurred at times when I was "too busy." Raising humans is hard, but it is even harder when we get too busy to pay attention.

These parenting fails help me to be a little bit more compassionate to other parents I meet. Few of us have it all together. Make sure to offer smiles and reassuring nods to other moms and dads struggling through this parenting maze. And don't be so hard on yourself.

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