Want To Feel Better About Your Parenting Skills?

Some more of my more spectacular parenting fails are bound to make you feel better.

I have two sons who are 11 years apart in age. They are VERY different boys.

My older son shared my sense of humor from a very young age. For example, when he was 3, we were visiting the Cincinnati Zoo and stopped to look at the lion.

Zach: Mommy, is the lion sleeping?

Me: No sugar, he’s dead.

Zach cracked up. He fucking knew I was kidding. Middle sister was with me and as we are related, she also knew I was kidding. The woman next us, she did not know I was kidding. You know those looks that kill? Yeah, I got one of those.

Zach is 26 years old now and we still share the same dark sense of humor.

Joey, on the other hand, was a little more sensitive.

When he was Kindergarten age, we were watching a show on TV. A woman had a baby and the scene was her holding her newborn and crying.

Joey: Why is she crying, mommy?

Me: Because she is so happy that she just had a baby.

Joey: Did you cry when you had me?

Me: Yes.

Joey: Because you were so happy?

Me: No, baby. I cried because you were really ugly.

He cried for 20 minutes. He was beside himself.


Okay, sure…he really was kind of funny looking when he first popped out, but within days he was the prettiest baby I had ever seen.

Randy was FURIOUS with me. He did that gritted teeth thing. Why would you SAY that? 

Joey was crushed.

I felt like shit. I tried to apologize to him but he was having none of it. Fucking hell. If it had been Zach, he would have laughed.

Like I said, they were very different.

Joey is 15 now and has since come to the dark side. I recounted that story recently and he laughed his ass off. Thank the stars.

That was bad. This was worse:

I used sex education as a way to get my older boy to do chores. Getting Zach to do chores was like pulling teeth. I had a glorious period of time that lasted from age 10 to around 12 where I could get him to do his chores with this threat:

Zach…either unload that dishwasher RIGHT NOW or I’m going to tell you how sex works. 

The dishwasher got unloaded every time.

He’s a grown up now and completely responsible for his own sexual hang ups. I do feel like I owe his girlfriend an apology, though.

I’m fairly certain that practice would be considered ‘incorrect’ by most parenting experts. But you guys, it made chore time so much easier.

That wouldn’t have worked with Joey. Joey would have sat down, propped his chin up on his fists and waited for the education.

Those aren’t my only fails, but it’s a long list and you’d end up getting bored reading them. Besides, I’m at work right now and writing blog posts isn’t in my job description.

Although, really, my employer  should be happy they have such a multifaceted employee.


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  • CLASSIC!!! My oldest and youngest (and middle for that matter) are the opposite. My oldest doesn’t get that humor and when I told her I was going to sell her to the circus if she didn’t clean her room she balled her little eyes out for over an hour. My son on the other hand is 2 and gets jokes like that. He just laughs at me and walks away. Or hits me and laughs about that. I don’t see anything wrong with that parenting style.

  • I know this probably isn’t the take-away you intended, but now I’m really curious about how often Zach unloads the dishwasher.

    (I about fell out of the chair laughing at the “no, because you were ugly” line. Bwahahaa)

  • I *so* wish we were related. I share your dark and twisted sense of humor, which my own family thinks is a sign that I’m batshit crazy (I am, but that’s not why). An aside: I don’t know what your taste in reading material is, but if you like dark/gothic/twisted, you might like Edward Gorey. Particularly works like The Gashleycrumb Tinies, which is an alphabet book in which each letter stands for the name of a child who succumbs in a different ghastly fashion, accompanied by wonderful Victorian-style illustrations. (“S is for Susan who perished of fits. T is for Titus who flew into bits.”)

    It’s probably a good thing I’m not a parent (not to any human children, anyway; I have a truly wonderful dog). I think I’d probably just raise a kid like a puppy. What do you mean I can’t put a tantrum-throwing toddler into a dog crate? Why can’t I use a shock collar to train my teenager to clean his room? Nope, no human puppies for me.

  • Our whole extended family has so many crazy members that the grandkids don’t even bat an eye at inappropriate responses anymore. They come up with some good ones of their own. My mother used to have Stephen King movies as background noise at family get togethers. Growing up, I thought vampires were real. I probably believed in vampires longer than I believed in Santa Claus. Any parenting style that involves laughter can’t be all that bad. Right?

    • I KNOW! I felt terrible about that. Fortunately, today, he seems happy and well adjusted. He does have a rather dark sense of humor though.

  • You’re not supposed to write blog posts while you’re at work? Oh. If I didn’t, I’m not sure they’d ever get written because once I get home I’m lazy.

    I think your parenting skills are amazing and if I ever have a kid before my womb shrivels up and dies and all I’m left with us baby dust, I hope to do so well.

    • hahaha..that’s right..we HAVE to write them at work, there’s really no other time. And thank you..I doubt my skills often..but next time I do, I will think of baby dust.

  • Mine are like that, too. The girl just laughs or rolls her eyes at me, but little man cries. However, I have been a great parent today. I haven’t lost it with either of them – they’re at their dad’s house – but I’m still counting it.

  • This is how it works with two of my nieces– The older one loves it when I tell her dark stories about how the carpet turns to lava when they fall asleep in their bunk bed but the younger one starts crying (and my sister-in-law starts glaring). I once drove around our town aimlessly pretending I had forgotten where they lived after telling them a long story about how we were being invaded by zombies. They were screaming for me to hurry but I kept making wrong turns. But I mean, come on that’s hilarious… right?

    • Well, I think it’s hilarious..but I’m not always the best judge. 🙂

      When they get older, they are going to look back on those days with fondness. They will also probably be excellent zombie killers in case we’re ever invaded

  • Hoping maybe someone has some ideas????
    Since this one is about parenting I thought I’d throw my question out here. Hope that’s OK???
    I’m struggling with how much of this journey to share with my children? If anyone has thoughts or suggestions – I’d love to hear them. My 3 kids are young adults (2 in college), and I want to know how to share why I’m stepping away from their grandparents (especially grandfather) without making THEM feel burdened. Of course they are all completely different so it will take 3 different approaches… FUN!!!

    • Please feel free to share or ask any questions that you want.

      Do you ever go to reddit.com? There is a subreddit called raisedbynarcissists You could post your questions there as well.

      Personally, I would go for honesty without too much detail. Just let them know this is something you have to do for your own mental health.

      • Thanks! I’ll check out that site as well. It will be fine with the eldest and the youngest, but that middle one… He’s my sensitive one that wants to pretend to be tough and is just starting to really talk to me again now that he’s mostly through with his testosterone rage. (UGH!) He used to say to me, “Why are you so mean to Grandpa?” And I didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t realize I WAS being mean, and I didn’t know why I reacted the way I did. And this may sound like a cop-out… How do I be honest with them when I haven’t been honest with myself for 45 years? Do you know what I mean? There’s a difference between honesty and telling everything, I guess. So how do I know the line of being honest and over-sharing/burdening?

  • This made me LOL! Furreals. You are a funny chick, thank you for that. Sorry I don’t comment more often like you do, but I do read your posts. Lots. Wow, this is possibly the worst grammatically-incorrect comment I’ve ever written, sorry for that also. Keep doing’ whatcha do, girl. ; )

By Michelle


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