My Biggest Parenting Fails

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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I’m totally gonna tell on myself and let you in on some of my biggest fails as a parent. Some are funny, some are embarrassing and some I would rather forget. But for your sake, so you don’t feel alone in your fails, I am going to take one for the team and spill the beans. So here goes….

1. When my firstborn was about 2 week old, we were returning to the pediatrician for a check up in late July. I placed our little sweet bundle of joy in her adorable car seat where she immediately cried...but that wasn’t unusual since she wanted to be held. My husband and I got in car and started driving. Normally our angel would settle down within a few seconds of being placed in her seat and we would enjoy a peaceful drive, but not this day. She was screaming and crying like I had never heard her cry before. It was about 10 minutes from our home to the doctor’s office. When we arrived and pulled her out of the seat, we discovered for the entire ride, her thighs were being scalded by the metal buckle that had been baking in the hot sun for hours on end. This was my introduction to mom guilt, which I am now extremely familiar with.

2. My poor firstborn…she has received most of my parenting fails since I had no idea what I was doing! This particular time I was placing her in her stroller, and after buckling her all up, her painful screams of torture began. I was smart enough at this point to have checked the metal buckle before placing her in it, so I knew that I wasn’t burning her this time. Upon further investigation I realized when I buckled her in, I also included a nice chunk of her thigh. Oh….my…..goodness!!!! Needless to say, by child may have thigh issues when she is older.

3. My second born was a handful. She threw fits that were out of this world. We were desperate for solutions and there were plenty of people willing to offer advice. One of these “gems” was the advice that when she was throwing a fit I should give her a spoonful of vinegar. This seemed harmless, right? Wrong! I tried this and the joke was on me. As soon as I fed her the spoonful of vinegar, she vomited all over me making me not only have to deal with a difficult and upset child, but now I had puke all over me and my kitchen floor. Well done Sabrina, well done.

4. Our oldest had started school, and we were experiencing the joys of her being awarded “student of the month.” We were so excited and made such a big deal out of. We attended the ceremony where she was given her award. (Only the students, parents of the students and the school principle was present for this.) Fast forward a few years later when our second born was given the same title. Only this time…both my husband and I TOTALLY FORGOT to attend the ceremony. When we picked her up after school, she asked why we weren’t there. Cue the blow to the gut. I don’t know if I have ever felt so horrible. Suffice it to say…I may have overcompensated the rest of the day with candy and ice cream completely fueled by mom guilt.

5. One of my kids…who will remain nameless…was telling me about a guy she was crushing on. It was years ago, but still in the timeframe where Instagram was present. I found the kid on Instagram so I could check him out and see what kind of guy he was….but unfortunately he had a private account. (Well, this is actually really good that he did, just unfortunate that I couldn’t spy.) So I did what any ridiculous parent would do and I sent a request to be his “Instafriend!” BIG MISTAKE!!! When my child got home from school she was SOOOOO embarrassed. The guy accepted my friend request and let my daughter know that her mom was now following him! My poor girl. I knew the second I hit the friend request button I had made a horrible mistake, especially since this kid didn’t know my daughter was crushing on him. Well….cats out of the bag now! I had some groveling to do. Good news….the crush passed and I stopped following him and all is right in the world again.

6. I wasn’t here for part of this one, so really this is a dad fail and I’m totally throwing him under the bus for this. Our youngest daughter had fell off of our porch and landed on her arm. I should point out that the gift of compassion isn’t high on either my husband’s or my gift mix, so when she cried, he comforted her but then moved on. When I got home she was still complaining about her arm hurting. It wasn’t swollen or anything, so we just figured she was milking it (and this was totally something she would do). We decided to take the family to a movie date, and it happened to be a LONG movie. She was still holding her arm during the entire movie and crying periodically. Afterwards I finally suggested we go to the ER and have her arm checked out. My husband was resisting this decision but I put my foot down….and so glad I did. Upon review of the x-ray, we discovered she had indeed broke her arm. Guess she wasn’t milking it after all.

7. I have to admit that on more than one occasion I have forgotten to pick my kids up from school. I am not exactly sure how I managed to forget since I do it EVERY DAY, but I did. When the call comes from the school office, there is such a panic that takes over internally. I have had to do the walk of shame to the principles office on multiple occasions where my children just looked at me with that “really mom” expression.

8. When one of our kids was two, we thought it would be a good idea to let her play with an empty water bottle in sand. Because we are apparently brilliant, we thought it would be fun for her if we filled up the water bottle with sand so she could pour it out. We didn’t think about the fact that she would lift that bottle up and pour it directly into her eyeball. Let’s just say washing caked up sand out of a two year olds eyeball is not a walk in the park.

How about you! Want to confess your biggest parenting fails? Join in the conversation and spill the beans. Misery loves company and it is great to know that despite our fails, our kids have survived and will only need minor therapy when they are older.


Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!

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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,