Mom fail?

10/11/2010 at 11:13 am | Posted in Motherhood, Small Fry | 11 Comments
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Whenever I see someone on Twitter or Facebook use the phrase “mom fail,” I immediately think, “Oh, she’s being too hard on herself. We’re all doing the best we can.”

Fail is such a strong word.

But, right now?

I feel you.

No, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I deserved an F. My list of mommy confessions would take up much of this screen. But today, I just need to write about it. Blogging helps me process. And our little community helps me put one foot in front of the other. And the Halloween candy I’m eating right now doesn’t hurt either.

So, here goes.

This weekend, I decided that we needed to call on an old friend for some help: Crying It Out.

Small Fry has been sleeping badly … she’s difficult to put down (“just two more minutes, mommy”), she screams without fail about 15 minutes after we finally get her down, and she’s begun waking intermittently throughout the night and early morning. She’s tired. It’s our job to help, right?

Separation anxiety is my best guess. She has always been a mommy’s girl, but lately, she’s taken the clinginess to all new levels.

Although I debated if she was too old for crying it out, she’s still in a crib, so I figured we were safe for another try. Crying it out has worked like a charm since Small Fry was a baby. It helps re-set her little clock, and she always sleeps better after just a night or two of crying at bedtime.

The best part? She always wakes up refreshed without any memory of being abandoned by her mother.

Except for this time.

On Sunday morning, she said to me, “Mommy, I cried for you.”

Heart. Broken.

And, to top it off, she seems to have a cold. Brought on by the hoarseness from crying, or the fact that I forgot to turn off her ceiling fan that night?

So, even though she has slept better for the last two nights, and made it all the way to 7:15 this morning without interruption, and her cold seems to be minor, I still can only think of two words to describe how I feel:



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  1. AWWWW….while I’m sure it breaks your heart to hear her say that, it is certainly not Mom FAIL. Crying it Out can still be your friend! 🙂 My “mom fail” happened this weekend when Collin came barreling down the slide and his mommy didn’t catch him in time. (face plant in gravel = a few tears and a nice mark on the forehead –but all is well).

    • Ha! That is one tough kid!! It’s funny … Small Fry is getting increasingly more clumsy with age, too. She keeps tripping all the time. Maybe a growth spurt and her center of gravity is off? Who knows!! Thanks for your support — can’t wait to see you SOON!

  2. Mom FAIL…no way! You’re Mom LOVE; Mom CARING; Mom AMAZING. And I’m not saying that because I’m Mom PROUD!!!

  3. this is typical toddler behavior…take note only if she does not act like this

  4. “without any memory of being abandoned by her mother” Ouch! I often feel like a wimp when others tell me, “you gotta just let her cry it out.” But that line has affirmed why I haven’t done this and that probably makes me a Mom WIMP. I don’t think you deserve a Mom FAIL for this. As long as you are consistant and she is happy all is well. And well rested too.

    • I always worry so much that she feels abandoned when she’s crying. Because she has no idea that I’m sitting outside her door, crying along with her, counting the seconds between jags, hoping she’ll find peace and go to sleep. But, you know, as awful as it always is while she’s crying, she always manages to soothe herself and fall asleep. I just think we pushed the envelope this time … 2 1/2 might be too old for this stuff. Thanks for your encouragement — so good to hear from you.

  5. aw, i’m sorry. that would be hard to hear! you did what you felt was right. sounds like she got the sleep she needed too!

  6. While I’m SO sorry you’re feeling like this, rest assured you’re not alone. My son will go down as one of the world’s worst sleepers, which will keep me in the Top 10 Worst Mom books for quite some time with the antics I pulled on him. And, it sounds like you made the right decision. In the last few years I have had my fair share of reminders that the easiest choice isn’t usually the right one, when it comes to parenting.

    You’re a wonderful, loving mom. Don’t let yourself forget it. EVER.

  7. Oh hugs momma. My son while at the library was asked by an old lady what his name was and he said “I bad” I thought I was going to just die!

  8. You didn’t fail!!! You were doing what was best for her (and you) in giving her a good night’s sleep. We’ve all had those moments…I had one yesterday in fact! Hang in there!!! Isn’t it amazing how they know how to play the guilt card at such an early age?

  9. You certainly didn’t fail…quite the opposite, you helped her! It will be more obvious when she is older and is an independent well adjusted little girl! I hate to say it, but this won’t be the last time you will feel this way…but never doubt yourself. The best parenting decisions are rarely ever the easiest! I was actually fired by my little guy a few months ago. It really hurt at the time, but now I look at the sign he made me and laugh.

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