my parenting fail

I hope all the mothers out there had a Happy Mother’s Day! When I thought about writing a post for Mother’s Day, I considered the typical blog posts about how being a mother changed me or lessons I learned from my mother. Then, I decided to share a completely different type of post with you. I’m really ashamed of this story and have not shared it with very many people. Yet, I am going to share it here to hopefully make everyone else feel a little better about themselves (because it turned out just fine in the end, I promise).


I was a new mom to a beautiful baby girl named Brooke. Although Brooke was a beautiful and bright baby, she had a terrible time staying asleep. These problems started when she was only a couple of days old. Baby Brooke would fall right asleep as she started eating, but that meant she didn’t really get full and would not stay asleep long. I tried to keep her awake, but nothing worked. Also, she was one of those babies that would only sleep in your arms. Her constant squirming was one of her adorable quirks.  The only problem is that when this goes on for weeks as a mom with a newborn, you get pretty tired.


This sets the stage for what was about to happen. Baby Brooke is only a couple of weeks old. Eating and sleeping have not been going well for either of us during this time. I was tired. I’m holding her and rocking her to sleep in the glider. Apparently I also rocked myself to sleep. I mentioned above that Brooke really liked to squirm and move around, right? The next thing I knew, I woke straight up with the sound of a muffled thud and then a baby crying. Yes, it’s true. Brooke had squirmed out of my arms and rolled down onto the floor next to the glider. I dropped my baby.


Believe me when I tell you that I was far more terrified and horrified than you are reading this right now. I was a new mom with my first baby and had literally let her drop on the floor. I was absolutely sure that she had sustained a head injury and was going to die or have serious brain damage. I wondered why anyone had ever thought it would be a good idea to entrust me with a tiny human. Clearly, I was not motherhood material. I scooped her up, and she immediately stopped crying. She really seemed unfazed by the whole experience. I, however, did not sleep the rest of the night because I insisted on observing her through the night to make sure she was still alive.


I share this story with you for two reasons. First, know that we all make mistakes as mothers. We do our best, but sometimes we fail. What matters is that you pick yourself (and your baby) up and try to do better the next time. While this was a completely terrifying moment in my life that has left me scarred 13 years later, it turned out fine. Brooke was completely fine, and she knows this story and has forgiven me. Second, I want you to feel a little better about the ways that you’ve messed up as a mother. I’m still horrified and embarrassed, but I’m also laughing while telling you the story. One thing that I have learned is that keeping some perspective and a good sense of humor is critical as a parent. Sometimes, you need to laugh at yourself to keep from crying. Most days I think it’s all worth it.

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