My Favorite ‘Mom Fails’ of All Time — What Are Yours?

We almost didn’t make it out alive. “Send help stat,” I texted my husband as I was nearing the end of a long line. It was my final attempt to call for backup, my last breath before I gave in.

It was a Saturday morning, and we were at a jam-packed Ikea in Brooklyn, with two kids under 3.5.


I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

God of gods. Lord of lords. In the name of “Game of Thrones,” what was I thinking? What was my husband thinking? (What is anyone ever thinking when they go to Ikea with kids?)

To be fair, we really thought we would just get in and out. Everyone always thinks that, but then you’re spinning over Extorps and Expedits and you keep going the same darn way down the same aisle and ending up in “lighting.” Effing lighting! There are suddenly, like, 50 stuffed animals in your cart and your kid is screaming. And you and your spouse are in a huge fight over throw pillows.

That day in particular, we were also potty training our daughter while simultaneously finding a toddler bed. Halfway through our jaunt — in which she tested out various beds by jumping inside of them and snuggling up to see if they were comfy (Oh, I saw your face when you read that and yeah, I know it’s gross. But I was breastfeeding on an Ektorp lounger, mkay?) — we realized that she wasn’t wearing training pants underneath her summer dress.

It’s very possible she peed somewhere between the Kiviks and the Matrands. (That’s sofas and mattresses for Ikea newbies.) Massive. Parenting. Fail.

Now, let’s play a game. You read the scenario and you decide if the mom failed it or nailed it.


A friend of mine was all out of baby wipes when it came time to take care of her tot’s dirty diaper, so she used her fancy facial cleansing cloths instead.

Another friend fed her kid a lot of broccoli before a long flight, which led to two giant poop-filled diapers that had to be changed in a tiny airplane bathroom.

I let my daughter watch E.T. and now the kid won’t sleep in her own bed alone because she’s scared of him and his creepy glowing finger.

One mom I know took three of her kids out to the store — but accidentally left her fourth (and youngest) child at home. She realized her error and went back for him. When she returned he was standing just inside the front door and said, “I knew you’d come back for me.”

I have a fabulous friend with a bit of a cussing…issue. She’s working on it, but her 3-year-old son? Oh yeah, he’s got a potty mouth.

Now I’m pretty sure all of these moms would call these instances their “failed it” moments. But, they all recovered nicely and are totally nailing it every day in my book.

So let’s go easy on ourselves, mamas. And I promise I’ll try to go easier on myself with this stuff.

What are your hilarious mom fails? It’s fun — and even helpful — to share with other moms when you think you’re not exactly nailing it.

Photo: Meredith Franco Meyers