#ParentingWin vs #ParentingFail ft. Me

Welcome to my latest edition of #ParentingWin vs #ParentingFail. This week I decided I’d share my own stories. I have many wins and many fails, but the two I’m about to share always stick out for me as the most memorable. You’ll see why … trust me, they’re huge! 

My ParentingWin would have to be the day I finally managed to go out of the house with both kids without the baby bag. Nappy Bag, Baby Bag, Diaper Bag – it goes by many names! I know it seems like a trivial thing, but by that point, I’d been lugging a baby bag with me everywhere I went for around four and a half years. By this stage my youngest was 2&1/2 and had been refusing to wear nappies for almost 6 months which was fine, unless we were doing a long distance trip in the car. The bag didn’t actually contain any nappies, rather it contained two spare changes of clothes, baby wipes (because kids are sticky), and an emergency cloth nappy which was used to wipe up anything and everything that the children messed, not as an actual nappy … ever!

The day came. I took the bag out as I prepared to leave and as usual I asked the girls to go to the loo before we left the house. Cue crying and protesting, but they did it. I grabbed my bag and keys and as I reached for the baby bag out of habit, I looked at my youngest, looked back at the bag, and right then I decided not to take it with us.


We managed to do a full grocery shop which took around 45 minutes. The entire time I was a nervous wreck waiting for her to suddenly give me no warning and leave a little puddle in the middle of the frozen food section. But the moment never came. She was so good. I was so proud of her, and me. We had finally done it. We had gone out without the nappy bag. From that day onwards I never looked back. It was so liberating. I felt so free. I guess it was one of those moments where motherhood shifts slightly. At least it was for me anyway. That was my big #ParentingWin moment. It felt like a freedom.

My #ParentingFail moment was awful. Absolutely awful. It was about this time last year. My youngest was off school sick with a nasty cough and cold, but I had an errand to run so I had to take her with me. The errand was to go to the place that tints the car windows because they had left something inside the door of my car which was rattling terribly. It was a 30 minute job for them to open the door panel and retrieve whatever it was, and put the panel back. I had arranged it already and was just going to wait in their waiting area.

My daughter was with me, obviously, and as per most little kids, she couldn’t sit still. After about 20 minutes she was bored of going through my phone and so got up to wonder around. I saw no harm as there wasn’t really anywhere she could go or anything potentially harmful near her … or so I thought. I let her wander to a table which was about 5 meters from me. FIVE. I literally took my eyes off her for the time it takes to glance at my phone to check the time and when I looked up, she had grabbed what appeared to be a plastic soda bottle filled with water and just started drinking. Why?! I jumped up to take it away from her, because you know, germs, and by the time I’d got to her she was already spluttering and coughing and then the smell hit me. It wasn’t water, it was paint thinners! The workers used it to do whatever it was they did to tint windows! Paint. Thinners!


I was beside myself. She was coughing, her eyes were welling up, and the smell was so strong. The manager and his receptionist came running over. Between us we got her actual water, and I asked them for a cup of milk but my daughter hates milk so she refused to drink it. She was crying, but more from my reaction I think. I kept asking her, is it burning, is your tummy sore, but she kept saying no. Thank goodness my car was finished by then and so I went straight home with her. I was trying not to show her how panicked I actually was, my reaction so far was half the reason she had been crying. I tried to calm down and think logically, and I told myself that there was no way she could have actually ingested very much at all. I kept waiting and hoping she would start vomiting to get it out of her, but she didn’t. Nothing. She was fine.

I kept asking her if she felt sick, or if she had a sore tummy, but still, she was fine. Like normal. Coughing but she already had a cough. Otherwise, she was fine, except for the smell. When we got home I changed her clothes, gave her a bath, gave her a sandwich hoping that something starchy would absorb whatever she had ingested. I had already called my husband to tell him, and we agreed that I should just keep an eye on her and not panic. She fell asleep shortly after lunch and I stayed right next to her the whole time, just in case she started to be sick. But she didn’t and the day went on as usual, apart from me not taking my eyes off her!

That evening when it was time for bed, we put her to bed with us in our bed, she wasn’t sleepy because of her long afternoon nap, so we just put her in the bed with us. But the smell coming from her was awful – like pure thinners was seeping out of her skin – not even her breath, like from her pores. It was about 21.00 and I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I could see she wasn’t in any distress but I needed to have a medical opinion to confirm for me that she was okay. I wrapped her up warmly, and drove to the emergency room – my husband stayed at home with our other daughter. The ER was busy, but because it was for a young child, they shoved me to the front of the queue. After a quick examination, and many many deserved judgmental tuts and sighs from the medical staff, the Doctor confirmed that she was absolutely fine. The main concern would have been if it had gone into her lungs, but thankfully, as I had suspected, she couldn’t have ingested very much at all, and the fact that she had such a bad cough meant that the phlegm in her chest had actually acted as a barrier.  The mommy guilts were bad. Super bad! The smell disappeared after a few days. I did keep her at home with me for the remainder of the week. She did not suffer any other side-effects and doesn’t even remember it now.

Coincidentally, this happened around the time when that story was all over the news about the child who had climbed the railing and fallen into the gorilla pit and the gorilla had to be destroyed. I remember the mother of that child got a proper roasting and the judgement of the world was heaped on her shoulders. I, however, was trying very hard to reserve my judgement, because I had just had my child drink paint thinners less than 5 meters away from me whilst I had glanced at my phone for two seconds. I was hardly a perfect parent in a position to be judging anyone. And that people, is my biggest #parentingfail moment ever.

I’m sure I have now gone down in many people’s expectations, so take my lesson and learn from it! Never let your child out of eye-sight or arms length ever! Never look at your phone. Never take your child on an errand. Just stay at home, keep them in a padded room, and then no harm can come to them. Then we can all avoid #ParentingFail moments as momentous as mine. These things happen people!

I’d like to highlight the contrast between what was for me a great ParentingWin moment, and an awful terrible ParentingFail moment. My win seems so small, but was a huge thing for me. The fail was just awful, a real low moment in my parenting career. Really low. I’m just a normal mom, trying to survive parenthood. The highs and the lows.

So, after all that I’m quite sure none of you have a #ParentingFail moment quite as bad as mine – it’s just me and the gorilla mom.

If you would like to be featured in this series, please let me know. Also, if you want to unfollow me, all my social media links are on my home page. I get it!

For a little less trauma, please check out last week’s post featuring the lovely Liberty On The Lighter Side. She’s a much better mom than me for sure!

Bridie By The Sea


The Pramshed


  1. Author

    I can’t wait to go out without ‘the bag’ but as number 2 has just arrived I think it will be a long time yet. I totally get your parenting fail. My little boy is a Houdini monster. When he was 18 months, I was with at least 4 other mums round a friends house. My concentration lapsed for a minute during a conversation and during that time, my little boy had undone the front door, and wandered down the road and managed to pull down an iron gate onto his toe……literally in minutes!! He is still a nightmare at 4 lol #twinklytuesday

    1. Author

      haha … thanks for that. I’m feeling very exposed after having written this and shared it with the world. The Bag – I hated The Bag. So glad it’s gone. You do have a little way to go with it still. x

  2. Author

    Ahh, you lovely girl… how brave to share such a moment. One that must have left you feeling terrible. Well done. It makes us realise that we are all in this together and that we are just human, great post, thank you x

    1. Author

      Thanks very much. It’s an awful story. Brave, and quite possibly naive. Waiting for the judgement.

  3. Author

    It (with an “sh” in front) happens!!! Glad she’s ok! I understand the mom guilt! My daughter once ate a full tick…I learned this when she came to me with a mouth full of what looked to be blueberry-except we didn’t have any blueberries???

    1. Author

      OMG! I’m gagging reading that, although apparently I did exactly that when I was a child. Hope you’re enjoying your cruise!

  4. Author

    Glad she was okay. Every parent has had at least one of those “Oh crap” moments … The Tubblet once hid in a shopping centre whilst I was out with her and got carted off by a security guard. Running up to them with an empty pram felt pretty grim

    1. Author

      They are so quick. And these things happen in an instant. Thanks for the non-judgemental comment.

  5. Author

    I agree. Let’s keep them in their padded rooms! I teach toddlers and you can be in the same room dealing with another child and then what happens… scratching, biting etc, it never ends and neither does the judgement. I was at a park once and on my phone and I could not see NIcky. After going up and down the jungle gyms I found him. But I had the fright of my life. (It’s those blasted phones!! But often so boring just to sit!)

    1. Author

      I know. But in my defense I was just looking for the time, not actually blogging or anything. It was a matter of seconds. And any child who sees what looks like water wouldn’t think anything of drinking it. I didn’t even realise what it was until I smelt it. So scary. They are so quick.

  6. Author

    Congrats on the parenting win and not needing a bag anymore! My bag moment happened gradually. I can’t remember how or when I made the decision to stop bringing a bag. Oh but the fail. Hun, I hear ya! My oldest once went outside when he was 3 years old into a thunderstorm BUCK NAKED! The worst part was I had just left him in his room, fully clothed, watching Winnie the Pooh while I went to the kitchen to wash dishes. Now his room was in the back of the apartment while the kitchen was maybe a few feet away from the front door but the hallway went directly from his room and led straight to that door. I left his room and literally less than a minute later I hear the front door slam. I look out the window and my naked little boy was running in the rain but the funny thing was he ran right back to the door as soon as he saw the lightening but I was terrified. However, he was nothing compared to my youngest. I lost him at the zoo once. He was two years old and I was there with him, my oldest, and a friend of mine. the zoo had a tree slide that my youngest didn’t want to leave. I insisted we keep going to see all of the animals but promised that we would make our way back to the slide after. Well, that wasn’t good enough for my little bugger. As soon as we entered the cave where the snakes were (behind glass windows), he ran from one end of that cave to the other and made his way back to the slide. However, he slipped from my site and my friend’s site so fast we didn’t realize he was gone at first until I turned around to show him one of the snakes. I only lost him for about 45 seconds to a minute but that was the longest 45 seconds of my life. That’s what I got for letting him out of his stroller so he could walk around. One of the worst parenting fails of my life.

    1. Author

      Like I said to the other people sending in their fails – kids are so fast! So Fast! For people who only learnt to walk around 1/2 their life ago, they really can move! ?

  7. Author

    No judgement at all coming from me either! Parenting is HARD and these slip ups are bound to happen. Kids move fast and sometimes us old adults don’t move faster than them to prevent everything from happening. My fail moment was a few weeks ago when my husband was mowing the lawn, he left a gas can sitting on the driveway without the lid on it. My son was running around playing and for a brief moment i quickly zipped into the house to grab his water bottle. I’m talking not even 40 seconds absence from his view. When I came back outside I looked around to find him, and sure enough, I found him crouched over the gas can and three of his little two year old fingers were shoved in the hole and swishing around the gas while he squealed out loud “waterrrrr!!” HORROR! I sprinted over and rushed him into the house and scrubbed the crap out of his hands while he screamed because I took him away from the water fun. I then literally put my nose right up to his mouth to make sure he hadn’t licked his hands, or worse, the gas can. Thankfully I must have got there just in time and it was only on his hands. But the mom guilt I felt for hours after was intense. And you better believe my husband got a talking to about putting the gas can AWAY after he’s done filling the lawn mower up!!

    1. Author

      It happens so quickly. Very scary. Glad he didn’t get any in his mouth. Thanks for the supportive comment. X

    1. Author

      So bad! ?
      She was actually fine though, but it was very scary!

  8. Author

    You are such a legend. And I think I like you now more than I did before! I love real people, with real kids that do real shit! LOL! This story is just a reminder for me again to not judge anyone because parenting is so tough! Your win and fail is soooo awesome. Thank you for being brave enough to share. Big hugs!!!!

    1. Author

      Aw, thanks so much. I was very nervous to publish my story. The support and love I have got all day has been so great which is the whole point of my series, so I am double chuffed! Let me know if you want to be featured? It’s really open to anyone who wants to share and I doubt anyone has a story as bad as this!

        1. Author

          Don’t stress about ‘good’ – write what means something to you.

  9. Author

    I’m glad your little girl was okay. My mother actually drank bleach when she was about 3 years old. My grandmother forced her to drink olive oil so she would vomit immediately. It wasn’t your fault at all. Kids are just like that. You look away for 2 minutes and they disappear or get in trouble. You can’t avoid such situations. You’re a great mom 🙂

      1. Author

        I can only imagine. I’ve just remembered that my sister decided she would apply nail polish to her eyes, because she saw my mom wear mascara and thought it was the same. I don’t have a personal story with any kind of detergent or cosmetic as a child but one day my uncle caught me eating a whole pack of butter, with a spoon. I was about two lol

        1. Author

          haha … I used to eat instant coffee out the tin as a child. Crazy. And we think we’re bad parents. Kidding mom. lol

          1. Author

            I’m sure every parent has such stories. Kids are hard. And sneaky 🙂

  10. Author

    I didn’t get a chance to read this yesterday… but omg, things happen so fast, especially with our little ones who seem able to move faster than The Flash!!! I can only imagine how you must have felt! x

  11. Author

    Ah, thank you for sharing this story! It’s first time I visited your blog and i am happy that I have done it ☺️ I have 7 months old baby boy, first one and just starting to move a bit more – trying to crawl. I do not have any story yet, but I am sure it will come, as much as I am trying not to fail and everything is a bit scary ?☺️

    1. Author

      It’s very scary … you’re doing a good job though. X

  12. Author

    just today I caught my baby girl putting the charger for a phone in her mouth, it was plugged in! Thank god I was right there. It really does take just a second and unfortunately, although Id like to, we cant wrap our kids in a bubble! With three kiddos I have had so many parenting wins and fails Ive lost count! A funny one was with our first boy, he was maybe one at the time and Dad wasnt paying attention and let him eat his cantelope skin and all!

  13. Author

    Nobody warns you how quick they can do stuff like that! We can’t all helicopter patent. Thanks for up to #fortheloveofblog

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  17. Author

    My eyes were as big as saucers when I realised what she had gotten her hands on! BUT mama…we’ve literally all been there. Well I think all of us, with a few exceptions…those perfect moms roam among us. lol. So glad she was fine!

    1. Author

      Thanks. It was a scary day. Looking forward to yours.

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