The Horror of Feeling Like All of Your Kid’s Mistakes Are Your Own

As a mom, there’s nothing worse than feeling like, “Oh crap — I made a mistake.”

Actually — wait. There is something worse.

If you thought making mistakes as a mom from small ones like buying the wrong cereal to ones as big as forgetting that huge science project is due today, there is no horror worse than when your kids mess up.


Is it society and history’s long view of mothers as perfect — always the “sufferer” for her children (even in the act of birthing a child), the pinnacle of virtue (think Mother Mary), the steadfast angel — that brings mothers to their knees with any and every mistake?

Is it our nature as women, period, to be critical of ourselves and introspective? To think that if our kids did something wrong, that means we are wrong as people and moms, period?

All of these are potential reasons that mothers hurt so much whenever our children go out into the world and come back with the naughty sticker on their heads, metaphorically speaking. I know for myself when my daughter acts out or has a bad moment, I cringe inside, thinking, “Oh man!” Sometimes, I know she’s tired, hungry, or hitting a developmental stage. Other times I think, “What could I do differently to prevent this? What could her dad do? What could we both do?” When you start to feel like you’ve failed or messed up as a parent because junior is acting out, consider these things.

Read More: The Horror of Feeling Like All of Your Kid’s Mistakes Are Your Own

Be Easy on Yourself,


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