Parenting is no easy task! If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, then they clearly haven’t had kids… especially not toddlers. Anyone who’s raised a tiny human between the ages of 2-4 knows that things don’t get much crazier in terms of parenting than those years.
These moms have all admitted to ‘mistakes’ they made when their kids were toddlers. From not properly disciplining the child to not keeping as close an eye as was needed on them to letting things get a bit too lenient in the household, there are tons of ways these moms feel they could have done things differently. If anything, these stories will show you the difficulty of raising a toddler, especially if you’ve got other kids who need your attention, too.
Just remember, at the end of the day, all that matters is that you were trying your best! There will always be things that you think you could have done better or wish you could go back and re-do, whether it’s in regards to parenting or something else. Don’t be too hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack. Parenting is one of the most challenging (yet rewarding) jobs there is, so of course, there will always be things you think you could improve upon. But what’s really important is that you’re learning from your actions, and are working towards doing better (as everyone- not just parents- should always strive to do)!
20 I thought he was with you!
Nora* tells the hilarious yet also the scary time when she and her husband mistakenly thought the other one had their son.
“One day my husband and I were out shopping with our three-year-old. I was looking at clothes in Target when my husband wandered off to the electronics store a ways down. I didn’t hear him tell me he wasn’t taking our son, though.
When I turned around and couldn’t find the toddler, I assumed he’d gone with his dad. 15 minutes later when we reunited we learned our mistake. We frantically searched around Target until we found him in the stationary aisle looking at stickers.”
19 So Much For Date Night
Brittany* says she should have explained to her daughter what a babysitter was before going on date night.
“The first time we left our daughter with a babysitter, we didn’t tell her we were doing it because we expected her to be asleep for the whole time and thought it would confuse her (she was only 2).
Well, we should have thought that through again because this was the first time in months she woke up in the middle of the night. She freaked out when there was a stranger in the house, not mom or dad. We had to cut dinner short and rush home.”
18 The Case Of The Missing Milk
Layne* must have been horrified when she finally realized what her toddler had been doing with his sippy cups full of milk.
“I already had 4 kids above the age of 5 when my youngest turned 2, so we had a busy house. It’s hard to keep track of where all the cups and plates go. So I was in shock one day when I couldn’t find out where a horrible stench was coming from in the house.
After I’d been searching around for hours, I finally discovered my toddler had been hiding his sippy cups under the couch for weeks. He only ever had milk in those cups, so the smell was [awful].
I didn’t even try washing them. I threw them out and bought fresh ones.”
17 Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
Melissa* says her toddler once accidentally locked her outside, which made her resort to desperate measures.
“My son used to play with the locks of our patio’s sliding door when he was a toddler. One day, I was outside having a smoke, and he was playing with the door like usual.
But then he went to the bathroom and didn’t unlock the door before he went. All I could hear was him calling me to help him wipe himself, and I couldn’t open the door. I ended up using a plastic chair to break the glass so I could get inside.
Cost me a heck of a lot.”
16 Home Alone: Toddler Edition
Mackenzie* admits she once left her toddler home alone while she ran out and picked up some quick groceries.
“My husband was deployed while I was home with our 1-year old. One day we desperately needed formula and diapers, but the baby was sleeping.
I’d been having a couple rough weeks with him since his dad left, so (since I was so sleep deprived and miserable) I thought it would be better to let him sleep while I go to the corner store… I’d be gone 15 minutes max.
Luckily, he was still asleep when I got home. But looking back I realize all of the things that could have gone wrong by leaving the toddler unattended in the house!”
15 The Truth About Bridges
Carson* says that what was at first a funny joke has now turned into a huge hassle. Maybe this is a sign you shouldn’t tell toddlers their lives are in danger when they’re not!
“Once my sister told my 2-year old that bridges were dangerous because they could collapse if too many cars are on it.
We thought it’d be funny and she’d get over it when we told her it was a lie, but 5 years later and she’s still terrified of them. We have to intentionally plan our routes to make sure there are no bridges or else she’ll be screaming and crying the whole way across.”
14 The Cat Who Got Coloured
Keisha* says she should have been more alert when her daughter was experimenting with nail polish with the cat in the same room.
“My daughter knew how to (kind of) paint her nails by the age of 4. One time while I was cooking dinner, I left her in the living room to do her nails while I checked on the food. I was gone for only a few minutes.
When I came back, however, she had nail polish all over the cat’s fur! I didn’t know if it could be toxic for the cat, so I took him to the vet and paid $300 to get him checked out and bathed.
Luckily he was okay. But my bank account wasn’t!”
13 Biting Is A Whole Different Ballpark
Sienna* blames a lack of socializing her toddler for the reason he acted out when she took him to a kids’ gymnastics group at their local gym.
“I never socialized my toddler enough. So when it came to interacting with kids for the first time when he was 3, he was a little terror.
I took him to ‘Mommy and Me’ classes at our local gymnastics studio. While playing with the other kids, he kept pushing them doing and stealing their toys. He even bit two of the kids!
We were asked not to come back…”
12 The Simpsons Isn’t Educational Programming
Lana* says she should have thought twice about what TV show was playing in the background while her kid was in the room.
“I didn’t think I had to monitor what my kid was watching when he was really young because I didn’t think he’d understand. We often watched a lot of The Simpsons around him.
One day, we were having dinner with my parents, and my son blurts out ‘I’m Homer,’ and then starts doing this weird impression. Let’s just say my parents didn’t find it funny, and gave me a warning about how certain shows can leave lasting impressions on kids.”
11 When You’re On Diaper Duty
Candace* tells the hilarious tale of the time she had to make a diaper out of an old t-shirt so she could go out and actually get real diapers! At least she got what she needed in the end.
“There was one time when had zero diapers in the house and I was changing the 2-year old. My husband promised to pick some up after work, but I couldn’t wait any more hours. I used an old t-shirt and made a makeshift diaper on my son. Then I took him to the store to buy real diapers.
Oh, the looks were horrible.”
10 She Did It For The Chocolate
Delaney* learned the hard way not to keep chocolate so easily accessible to her toddler!
“I used to keep my baking supplies on the bottom shelf of the pantry cupboard, which my girl could open by the time she was 2.5.
One day I was folding laundry while she was playing with the kitchen. When I came to check on her, she had managed to open the cupboard, undo the chip clip on the chocolate chip bag, and stuff most of them down her mouth.
I don’t know how I got a baby girl this smart!”
9 A Puppy Is Like Another Kid
Emmy* says that she should have never agreed to let her toddler get a dog before she welcomed her second child since it made her role as a new parent of two all the more difficult.
“My daughter was 3 when I told her she was going to be a big sister. She had a really hard time adjusting to the new from the start. To help her cope, we told her she could get a dog, thinking it’d keep us occupied.
Well, it definitely took her mind off the whole sibling thing, but it made our jobs 10 times worse. Getting a new puppy when you’re about to have a newborn as well as a toddler is the worst idea ever.”
8 Candy Doesn’t Grow On Trees
Jody* says she used to bribe her toddler with candy, but things quickly got out of hand when her kid suddenly expected that he’d get candy for doing anything and everything.
“I made the mistake of always giving my son candy when he was a toddler as a reward for simple things… brushing his teeth, getting in the car when told, finishing all of his dinner.
It became the norm for him and he always expected candy if he behaved (and misbehaved when he didn’t get it). I swear we didn’t get him off the candy kick until he was like 6 or 7.”
7 To Feed Or Not To Feed
Jenelle* admits she was probably a bit too lenient with the breastfeeding.
“With my first, I got into the routine of allowing him to come to me when he wanted to breastfeed. It worked while I was with him at home 24/7. But this strategy had its limitations when we started going out more when he was a toddler.
We’d be in a public place and he’d start demanding I breastfeed. Most of the times I couldn’t do it (too many people, we had to go, didn’t have enough blankets to cover myself), so I had to say no. He’d then throw the worst tantrums and start demanding ‘boobie.’
6 They Say Beauty Is Pain
Mariah* admits she scared her toddler after she accidentally cut him while trying to trim his fingernails. 4 years later and he’s still not over the unforgettable incident!
“I totally traumatized my son when he was 2 when I first tried to cut his fingers. I accidentally went down too far and broke his skin, causing him to bleed a bit (and then of course freak out).
Since then, he’s absolutely terrified of nail clippers. He’s 6 and still insists we use a nail file to do his nails rather than anything else (because ‘it’s safe’ he says).”
5 Good Cop, Bad Cop
Gabrielle* feels that she and her ex’s inability to be on the same terms when it comes to parenting has led to behavioral issues down the road.
“My (now ex) and I struggled to parent ever since our son was born. When Jason* was a toddler, we’d always have different answers when he asked us things- I’d usually say no, while my husband said yes.
I feel like it’s what made our son so manipulative now that he’s a teenager. My ex doesn’t support me on any decision I make about our son, which doesn’t send him a good message.”
4 Her Vocabulary Is Too Big
Kaia* says neither she nor her partner are very careful about what they said in front of their toddler… that is, until she began repeating some of their colorful language... Yikes!
“Both me and my boyfriend have a very colorful mouth. When our daughter first started talking, we thought it was adorable when she’d repeat bad words. But it started becoming cringe-worthy when we’d go out in public.
The worst was when she called my mother-in-law a b****, not knowing what it really meant. We’ve had to watch what we say around her ever since.”
3 First and Foremost, I’m Your Mom
Mae* says that she accidentally allowed her toddler to start calling her by her first name rather than Mama.
“My first name is Mae, which sounds a lot like Mama. We spent a lot of time around my family when my son was really young. He heard all my siblings and parents call me by my first name.
But I never expected he’d call me Mae before Mama… but that’s what his first word turned out to be. I had the hardest time teaching him to call me anything other than my first name.”
2 Potty Training Made A Priority
Molly* says she made the mistake of waiting too long to teach her son to use a potty instead of diapers.
“When I was raising my first, I worked from home part-time. So I didn’t see the need to go through the challenge of potty training until it was really necessary aka. when he was going to pre-school.
Bad move! It’s so much harder training an older toddler versus a younger one. I still didn’t have him completely out of diapers by the first day, which led to a couple embarrassing times I had to bring him a change of clothes.”
1 The Truth About Santa
For many people, believing in Santa Claus was a magical part of their childhood that they want their kids to also experience. Jocelyn* wanted the same for her daughter, but she accidentally broke the sad truth when her toddler overheard her admitting Santa isn’t real. Gulp!
“I’m the worst mom ever. My 4-year old once heard me talking to her dad and saying that Santa wasn’t real. I couldn’t explain myself out of it either because I had said it so clearly.
We were never able to make her believe again.”
What would you do if you made the same cringey mistake?
*Names have been changed.