Have you had some bad parenting fails lately? C’mon. Fess up. I know you have!

If this hasn’t happened to you, just wait.

It’s coming.

Perhaps you have had a few bad parenting fails stories you don’t want to share. That’s okay. But I bet you will secretly giggle at someone else’s epic fails.

So hide in the bathroom with a candy bar and check out this list. See if you can get through this post without laughing to yourself. You know you feel the pain…

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11 Hilarious Bad Parenting Fails From a Mom

Check out eleven bad parenting fails that will make you laugh out loud. I bet you can identify with some of these mishaps.

1. Vomit

Vomit is the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about mom fails because I am the first thing that came to my children’s minds when they were sick.

They always ran straight to me when they started heaving—not the toilet, but me—every. single. time.

And guess who got covered in it?  And by “it,” I mean yesterday’s lunch.

True story: One of my children, who I won’t name, called me on the phone just as they were throwing up. I happened to be driving in the car when I got the call, so I got all the lovely sound effects going through the speakers of the vehicle.

There’s nothing like the magic of surround sound. (I’m not sure why they think I need to experience every sound and nuance of their illness.)

2. Skipping baths

Baths are overrated. I must admit, sometimes I have been too tired and waited until the next day to bathe my kids. Swimming counts as a bath, right? Or a water hose? Sprinkler?

Has anyone ever used wet wipes to bathe their kids? I know, gross, but it works. (This tip is a freebie.)

I think this is one of the most efficient but bad parenting fails.

3. Germs

When your first child is born, you sterilize everything. Blankets, toys, stuffed animals, and the pacifier. Any dropped food goes straight into the trash. It’s unsanitary.

The next child? Eh. Blankets get washed every week or two. Toys and stuffed animals don’t really have germs. And if a pacifier is dropped in the dirt, it gets wiped on your jeans.

Food? The five-second rule is in full effect.

The truth is your firstborn probably has a mild case of bleach poisoning. And every child after has probably eaten at least one dead roach and a few ants.

4. That other mom who “causes” bad parenting fails

Beware of that  “other mom” who does everything to cause your bad parenting fails. She jumps out of the classroom corner when you least expect it.

She’s everywhere. She’s not only on a mission to make you look bad (mom guilt) but she’s also going to create more work for you.

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Furthermore, “that mom” is the one who will start the yearly talent show, end-of-year swim party, elaborate costume design for each child in the play, and decide that each mom needs to bring three dozen homemade baked goods for the class bake sale—by tomorrow.

When you see her child’s “Ferris Wheel” Science Fair project located in the parking lot, run like the wind. That’s her. She’s coming to get you!

Don’t be fooled by her sweet demeanor; she will pull you into her vortex, and then WHAM!

Failure, for twelve years. Yep.

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5. Unplanned disasters

I hate being late, but it is inevitable when you are trying to dress yourself and your kids and get breakfast on the table all in a matter of minutes.

Some of the delays (unplanned disasters) can be blamed on an entire bottle of maple syrup poured on a child’s head, diaper cream as hair gel, a Superman outfit instead of school clothes, a spitting contest on the window, a spoon (expensive flatware) throwing contest into the neighbor’s bushes, and a watermelon seed spitting contest at a sibling. (I stopped that one pretty quickly.)

Did I mention the figs that were thrown at some moving cars? Yeah, not good.

Unfortunately, many things have happened before school, church, or a funeral. Kids have impeccable timing.

6. The snacks

I used to hide the “good” snacks because every time I wanted a piece of something sweet (chocolate), it was gone.

If the coast were clear, I would grab “the forbidden merchandise” from my spot, shove it under my shirt, and then run to my bathroom. After that, I would lock the door so they couldn’t get in.

Then, I would gleefully eat it, piece by piece. Unfortunately, the kids kept finding my hiding places, so I would have to keep re-hiding it somewhere else.

After a while, I couldn’t remember where I moved it.

I hid the chocolate from myself. The joke was on me. (Worst parenting ever.)

Have you ever seen a mom looking for her own hiding spot when she wants chocolate? Not a good look. Definitely have to repent for some of the words under my breath.

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7. Clothes and hair

How often have you sent your kids to school in the wrong outfit? For example, do you send them in PJs if it’s Western Day? Or it’s crazy sock day, and you think it’s crazy “sack” day? There’s nothing like wearing a sack to school. Oops.

The worst was remembering when to dress up your kids for picture day. One year, one of my kids decided to cut (his or her) hair and make “bangs” (unbeknownst to me).

It was so short that the “bangs” just stuck out like an arrow coming straight from this child’s head. Hair gel and hairspray just made it look like a greasy arrow.

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Now, it is preserved for all time and recorded as the official first-grade picture.

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 8. Lost keys

I can’t tell you how many hours I have wasted wandering around my house looking for the darn keys or cell phone. The keys were always lost in the morning right before school.

I would run around the house hollering at everyone to look for them.

Most of the time, the keys were already in the car or some pocket in my purse. I swear to you, I am not blonde. Please tell me you do this too. Some of these bad parenting fails are embarrassing!

9. The Tooth Fairy

I don’t know what it is about the tooth fairy, but I could never seem to remember to put money under my kid’s pillow. They would wake up the next day totally devastated because there was no money left, and the tooth was still there.

After so many years of forgetting things, I have gotten pretty good at recovery.

I would tell my kids that they just missed it. We would look again together. Then I would run and grab a dollar (Or a five. Mom guilt.) and slip it under the pillow as I looked.

And then I would snag the tooth.

Lo and behold, the child would discover the money, and all was well again. I had difficulty explaining why the tooth was gone, but whatever I said worked. Money does fix some things…

Now I realize they probably felt a little nuts. Sorry, kids, if you are reading this…I’ll pay for counseling.

Have you ever forgotten tooth money?  Oh boy. You are batting 1000.

RELATED: Feeling like a Failure as a Parent? 6 Tips to Overcome

10. Cooking

Where do I even begin?  I have been married for many years now. During my marital bliss,  I have done everything you could possibly do to a piece of meat other than what you are supposed to do to it.

I still can’t seem to make it taste like a restaurant or just good.

Both of my children have learned to quietly pick at their food during dinner or dig through the fridge for something else to eat later.

Things changed when they got their license. At about 8 pm, they would mysteriously disappear for a burger run. I tried.

My kids probably aren’t laughing at these bad parenting fails…

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11. School Lunches

I really hated making school lunches. I was tired of it by the time my firstborn hit 5th grade.

My kids got peanut butter because, well, because… (I’m still trying to think of a reason.) Bad parenting fails, I know.

Again, there is that “other mom” who does everything for her kid ( See # 4). She brings “Johnny” lunch Every. Single. Day. from Chicken Express, McDonald’s, Steak and Shake, etc.

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I wish I could have met “Johnny’s” mom and talked with her. I could have convinced her why peanut butter would be better for everyone’s sanity. Maybe a little “Steak and Shake’ would have helped her see the light.

Confessions From a Tired Mom

From one tired mom to another, take a little time to laugh at your failures. Perfection is not realistic. Not even Farris-Wheel-baked-goods-swim-party-mom has it all together.

Both of my kids have survived my bad parenting fails. They are now adults and seem to be okay (mostly).

And we have some very good family stories to share that always seem to cause lots of laughter, especially the bottle of maple syrup that ended up all over my child’s head.

For more laughter, check out these parents’ epic fails.  I laughed out loud when I read this post! It’s good.

What bad parenting fails have you had lately? Comment below!

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Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.


  1. Leggings and slip ons were made for a reason! Thank goodness for them. All too familiar with these. Thanks for a hilariously relatable article.

  2. Is it a bad sign, if I’m getting worse, not better as my kids get older? So far this year, I’ve managed to miss a Pro-D day and picture day – oops!!

  3. Haha sounds like I’m right on track. I’m trying so hard to show up where we need to be with what we need, when we need to be there. Drive into town for first swimming lesson, thinking I’m early. To realize I showed up at the end of lessons

    • Carly, I have done that!! Ha Ha! I can feel your pain. I have shown up for things on the wrong day. Oh boy, that’s embarrassing. Hope you can get a good laugh at yourself. Thanks for reading.

  4. All of this is so so true! I absolutely loved the letter from the toothfairy! I think it’s important for us to all remeber we are that hot mess mom at one point or another!

    • Nicole, yes, there is no way to have it all together all the time! That’s for sure. Thanks for your comment.

  5. My little guy is only 9 months and I’m already nodding at several of these. Guess I’m in big trouble!

  6. Blair Villanueva Reply

    I totally relate to skipping shower especially when I have deadline to work on. Hahaha it’s funny but really happens to us.

  7. Reading this at a young graduate is scary and hilarious. Like gosh being a mum is so much work. But at the same time you’re making it quite funny in your post. I guess i’ll be prepared!

    • You will be equipped for when the time comes. It is the best job ever. You gotta laugh at yourself though. Good luck with your new beginning. It’s fun to be free of children.

  8. I could not stop laughing! My boys are all grown now but I still went through your post like yep, yep, uh huh, me too! Except for the vomit thing. My boys blessed their dad with that gift. 😉

    • Melissa, ha! Your poor hubby. How did you get so lucky!? It is good now that the kids are grown, huh? No more vomit. Yay. Thanks for reading.

  9. I’m trying to potty train my son and I have a month old daughter. I have spit up on my shirt and pee all over my living room floor. I’m definitely feeling like a hot mess mom right now. ?

    • Ashley, we have all been there. It is the price you pay for being at home. Don’t forget all the hugs and kisses you get for your time. It is worth it. Good luck with the potty training!

  10. What a fantastic post! Very candid, honest and funny. I can definitely relate– especially with the school lunches. I feed my son healthy foods, but then at school he sees his friends eating all sorts of things and it drives me nuts. I don’t fall for that trick either. Although, I’ve allowed a few school lunches on the days they cook “healthier” versions.
    Loved the school lunches September vs May.. I needed that laugh lol.
    Thanks for an enlightening posts. We are bad asses for juggling it all. We have the toughest job in the world. Love to all the Mamas who can relate. xo

    • Astrid, I am glad I am not alone. I think everyone is fried by the time May comes. It is like we are all dragging to get to the end of the year. Ugh. Thanks for reading.

    • Shannon, I am sorry you are in the hot mess club! But glad you can laugh at yourself!! Thanks for your comment.

  11. I relate to all of this sadly! I don’t know how many times I forgot the tooth fairy and my son cried saying she forgot about him!

    • Alexis, that is so sad and I am sorry. But I was giggling. I feel your pain. I am sure your child is okay. Just do my switcheroo trick next time. Ha! Thanks for reading.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this- it’s funny and REAL! I feel like a hot mess majority of the time, which is nice to see is okay and pretty much the norm. Your school lunch pic made me LOL!

    • Cayla, oh boy. I hate school lunches. I am a substitute teacher so I am making them again for myself now. I guess it is never-ending. Thanks for reading.

  13. LavandaMichelle Reply

    I can totally relate to this post, but in a different way. When I had my first child, I made so many mom friends and I could help but compare myself. I felt really down for a lot of my child first year, I thought I had postpartum but it was just me feeling very inferior. I soon realized that, not being up to date on trends and being late to baby showers didn’t make me the worst in the world. Then I blossomed into a super-mom, haha. This was an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  14. This post made me laugh because it is so true. My kids are grown but if I say hamburger stroganoff they groan. It was my go-to meal. And with the vomit my daughter didn’t get me but my bed was the target. If she was sick I could be found throwing bedding in the washer at 2:00 a.m.

    • Jeanne, Oh, yes! The 2 am wash. I do remember. Ugh. Bad memory. Nothing like missing a night of sleep. So glad my kids are old now. Thanks for reading!

  15. Haha! These are great! I am currently waiting on my first child to make his appearance and there is just so much to look forward to! ha. Especially the vomit! Not looking forward to the vomit…

    • Andriana, you will get christened with the spit up. It isn’s so great either. I can still smell that smell. ish. Congrats. Best wishes on your delivery.

  16. This was awesome! I have been married for 25 years also and have adult children too! And I had some of these very same moments! Oh the memories!

  17. I feel as though you were writing about me. I’m a hot mess most days. I just don’t have the energy anymore.

    • Heather, I am sure you must have a few kids. It happens. One day you will be better. Hang in there. Laugh a little.

  18. Oh Julie, I am totally sorry but I had such a laugh reading your post..and what an original letter from the tooth fairy too. I have to admit there are days that I am a hot mess mom too.

  19. Oh thank you for this. I had such a good giggle about it. I am one “messy” mom in more ways than one from forgetting things to saying “I don’t know” a lot to screwing up emotionally. Its so good to know I’m not the only mom and to know that my three boys (still really little) are going to turn out ok in the end. Loved this article

    • Allie, it’s people like us who making the world more colourful. I’m guessing you probably have an artistic side. My husband isn’t very creative. He’s logical all the way! But he never loses his keys.

  20. I’m not a mom but I definitely can relate to these hot mess moments! Especially with clothes and showers. There are some days that it can’t just be all be right.

  21. So your post is so refreshing to read because I can definitely be considered a hot mess mama. T-shirt, leggings, and a mom bun is usually what you will find me in especially now that im pregnant with #2

  22. I can totally relate to the clothes and the hair! I make little effort when I am going to be home all day!

  23. Haha this mad my day. I totally agree with all of these. But above all being a move comes with a lot of responsibilities in life.

  24. Jennifer Prince Reply

    Oh gosh! It’s so easy to be a hot mess sometimes. Lol! There are days that no matter what I do, I just can’t get it together!

    • Jennifer, we all have those days. I feel bad for moms who work full time. I don’t know how they do it. Thanks for reading.

  25. My poor kids, I’m the worst at cooking but at least they’re being fed! I’m definitely a hot mess mom in different ways though!

  26. I can totally relate with number 9, ughh i almost go crazy every day because i cant find my keys and phone! Hahah

  27. being a mom or a mother figure is a great honour but it comes with a lot of responsibilities. i hope it gets better with time and care.

  28. This is why I have high respect to moms. Definitely not an easy job to do. I will let my mom read this. ?

  29. Becca Wilson Reply

    I will totally admit to being the hot mess mom. There are so many times when I look around and find myself so not put together in comparison to the other mamas around me!

    • Becca, I went to the store yesterday with no make up on and ran into another mom. She was totally made up and wearing a dress. Ugh. The shame! And I don’t have little kids anymore. Oh well! Thanks for reading. ,

  30. Oh my gosh this is hilarious. I’m not even a mom, but I totally have my hot mess moments every day. So true. Good to know I’m not the only one.

  31. Elizabeth O Reply

    Omg this post is SO relatable!! What a great post. I take pride in being a hot mess mama some times, we are all winging this parent malarkey so who gets to say what’s perfect or not. I congratulate any parent who makes it through each day!

  32. I don’t have children so I can’t really relate to this post. However, I did find it quite amusing and did remember of a lot of stories from my own childhood.

  33. Hahaha! I can relate on so many levels. Number 5 is my current dilemma if only people could understand that I do my best to be on time, but my son thinks it’s the perfect time to play “catch me if you can.” By the time I am ready to get out the door, I am ready for a nap, then again, what is a nap? Thanks for your honesty.

    • Oh, I can relate. I remember I went through a phase where my daughter had to dress her self. If we were going to the store, I let her. It was an interesting combination. Good luck with your kiddo. Thanks for the comment.

  34. I can definitely relate! My kids are sick and I’m sleep deprived. Our one full bathroom is being renovated and we have no shower at the moment. Ugh. But at least it’s something to laugh about! Thanks for this post!

    • Brianna, I am so sorry. That is really rough. I hope your kids get better soon. I am sure you are stir crazy! Thanks for reading.

  35. I really enjoyed reading this! I am a first time mom to a 1 year old and I’m always trying to do everything right! I feel like I have these days pretty much everyday! My mom says the same thing you do that he will turn out fine like I did! lol being a mom definitely isn’t easy!

    • Paige, just do the best you can and laugh at the rest. You are only one person. Enjoy those sweet hugs and kisses. It won’t last forever. Thanks for reading.

  36. I totally skip showers. I just don’t have time for that and forget shaving! I also wear Pajamas unless I plan on leaving the house, haha

  37. Do they have such a thing as a hot mess dad. Maybe being a single dad can contribute to hot mess dad as well. I related to this post more than I would like to admit. 😉

    • David, I read your Fake News and enjoy hearing from you, a dad. There are not many out there that I see on Pinterest. You seem like you are a wonderful parent. I think you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work!! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Thanks for reading.

  38. This post is so interesting in a touching kind of way, my mom definitely had all these moments and more but that’s why we love our mothers so much , there’s really no word to describe mothers, they are priceless. I would be a mother someday, and I look foward to it.

    • Christiana, yes, moms have a lot on their plate. You just gotta laugh and not take things too seriously sometimes! Thanks for reading.

  39. Hi Julie, I can definitely relate to your post. Where do I even start. Your honesty is refreshing. I also have the wavy, sometimes curly always frizzy hair. I often hear in my head “messy hair, don’t care”. My kids are 13 and 17, we are a few years behind you.

    • Tara, I feel your pain. You must do a few hair tricks, too.
      Yes, your kids are right behind mine. Hope you have a fun summer with them. One day your house will be quiet. It hard to believe.

  40. Love this and can relate to most of them. When my kids were younger and I was trying to juggle being a full time working mom, getting the kids to daycare or school, volunteering with the PTA and pretending that I still had an adult social life, my hair was long and I learned how to french braid because some days that was all I could do. Then it didn’t matter if I was going on Day #3 without washing and drying it and it still looked presentable at work!

  41. Lol well at least it keeps life interesting. I think all mothers can relate so no judgement!

    • Oh, both my kids are adults. I don’t think I’d have the guts to divulge this while I was still raising them. Thanks for reading, Tara.

  42. I can’t imagine how much life changes when you become a Mum and lose touch with all that you time you had, because you have someone so much more important in your life.

  43. Mihaela Echols Reply

    Hahah the clothes and hair thing is so me! Lately I’ve been working on doing my hair and make up and putting on something nice because it does make me feel better and more ready for the day.

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