My 10-month-old baby had what seemed to be a mild cold. I didn't want to be "that mom"—the paranoid over-reactor who races to the pediatrician for every little sniffle—so I switched on the humidifier in Baby's room and otherwise ignored her symptoms, even though her crankiness level was unusually high.
Needless to say, I felt pretty horrible when our doctor informed me, a week later, that she had a double ear infection that was probably quite painful. Mother of the year, I was not.
Baby was soon feeling much better thanks to antibiotics and pain relievers. Me, not so much. I was wracked with guilt. How much discomfort could I have saved my little one if I'd just taken her to the doctor sooner?
Then, I did something risky. I confessed my "momistake" to a friend. I hoped she wouldn't judge me too harshly. Not only did she not chastise me for my error, but she was generous enough to share one of her parenting screw-ups with me. That's when I realized, even the most well-intentioned moms are bound to mess up sometimes. Case in point, almost everyone I know has a "baby rolling off the changing table" war story.
It just comes with the territory.
So in the spirit of moms helping moms, I've gathered 10 other #momistake stories so we can all feel a little less guilty and a lot less alone:
"I planned a last minute trip to Disney World while 37 weeks pregnant because I was all in my feelings about my almost three-year old losing her only child status. She was running a fever the day we went but I was all, 'Oh hellll naw... we're going anyway. She'll be aiight.' She was miserable and sick the entire time. Epic fail." - Brittany M.
"Well, my second child had been saying, 'Huh?' for weeks. He was five and in kindergarten and was always kind of a butthead, so I figured he was being silly or intentionally difficult. At a parent-teacher conference, his teacher mentioned it too, so I got him checked out. He had a 30-35 decibel hearing loss in each ear due to chronic otitis media. Had to get the fluid removed and tubes in both ears. He was fine after that and had no lasting effects but yeah, horrible guilt there" - Monica D.
I awoke in the morning to find the poor little one sleeping in a bed covered in dried vomit. I have never felt so bad.
"BOTH of my kids flipped themselves off their changing table when they were infants. First time = learning experience of rookie parenthood. Second time = #momistake, big time." - Jennifer K.
"My daughter had what I thought was a stomach virus. Vomited pretty much every hour for 13 hours. Then she was all good for 36 hours, during which I sent her to school, until she started vomiting all over again and spiked a fever. Finally decided a doc visit was in order. Diagnosis: strep throat. They even sent home a 'contagious disease exposure' letter to all the kindergartners in her class." - Trish D.
"When my first was 18 months old, he had what seemed to be a little cold. I just figured I would do the basics to get him over it—saline spray, humidifier, etc. After a few days, we went to the doc since he seemed worse. Yes, severe RSV with very low oxygen level. Rushed to hospital for three days! Now with my second, I go to the doc for everything! Not taking that chance again. So scary." - Jennifer D.
"It took two times of my kid flipping sideways in her bouncer for me to not put her in it anymore. And with my first, I put his bouncer on top of one of those storage tubs. Bad idea. It, too, flipped." - Tiffany W.
"I remember putting my toddler to bed and not being super responsive in the middle of the night (my kids were terrible sleepers.) I awoke in the morning to find the poor little one sleeping in a bed covered in dried vomit. I have never felt so bad." - Maryam A.
"When he was five, my son complained of a sore foot/heel for a few days and I kept telling him to shake it off. Sure enough, he had a hairline fracture and required a boot cast for 6 weeks. Oops." - Rachel W.
"My son had a double ear infection and got some bumps on his skin the second to last day of the antibiotics, then they went away the next day. So I didn't think anything about it or think it was the medicine. Two days later he was COVERED head to toe in hives. He had an allergic reaction. I felt so bad for him—he was so miserable. And of course I was terrified. I felt bad and should have stopped the antibiotic sooner." - Ariana B.
"When I was 12-years-old at Disneyland with my family, I kept complaining how I was tired, didn't feel well and had a bit of a cough. My mom kept saying, 'We're at Disneyland! Stop complaining! You just have a little cold! Suck it up!' So we walked and rode rides and did all the Disneyland things, only to return home, go to the doctor and find out I had walking pneumonia! She still feels awful to this day... She's a fabulous mom, by the way." - Jill S.
"Made my son finish his fish dinner one night when he was 4 years old. Did that whole - 'You can't get up from the table 'til you're done' - thing. And he took the last bite, looked me in the eye and threw up the entire meal. He has never eaten fish since." - Cerentha H.
"I once yelled at my kid for having what I thought was a nervous tic because he kept scratching his head. Turned out, a kind buddy at camp had generously given him lice." - Meredith H.