10 Parenting Tactics I Have Majorly Failed At

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I was the best mother, before I actually became one. I had so many ideas about all of the different things I would and wouldn’t do. The mother I imagined I would be was very impressive. Seriously, she rocked. Now that I am a mother of two – not so much. Here is a small sampling of my many “failures.” It’s a work in progress, really. I’m pretty sure the list will never end.

1. Sleep Training


(photo: madaise/ Flickr)

What is this magical thing of which you speak? First of all, I adamantly attest that it is impossible to sleep train a newborn. You either have a good sleeper and eater or you don’t. But as they get older, I do believe you can begin to train them to sleep at a certain hour. We just never did it, and boy are we paying the price now. My almost 3-year-old gets put to bed at nine p.m. every night and proceeds to talk to himself for two hours. Every night. I’m not kidding. I blame this on the night owl, bartender’s schedule I kept when we still lived in New York. He shared a bedroom with us because it was the only one we had, and most nights he didn’t really fall asleep until I got home from work.

2. Babywearing


(photo: Olena Zaskochenko/ Shutterstock)

The Moby always looked like such a good idea, until I actually tried to get one on. There was a lot of sweating, swearing and crying involved. I returned it immediately.

Apparently, the universe really wants me to use one of these things, as I won one in a raffle at my birthing center. It lives in a pile on my closet floor. My cat sleeps on it. She loves it.

3. Delaying the Pacifier

Tired, After First Day of Accepting Pacifier

(photo: Hamed Saber/ Shutterstock)

Don’t give your newborn a pacifier! It causes nipple confusion! Whatever. The “new mom” gods must have been looking out for me because I had the foresight to pack a pacifier in my hospital bag when my first child was born. He was a crier. I’m pretty sure the woman I was sharing my room with wanted to kill us both our first night in the hospital. I refused to give him the pacifier because I was frightened by this “nipple confusion” that my lactation consultant assured me existed. He screamed for about two solid hours. On night two, I popped that pacifier right in his mouth and he stopped crying immediately. Pacifiers rock. I’ve been trying to shove one in my newborn’s face for the past six weeks since she was born. She’s not having it. Oh well.

4. Sterilizing Bottles

Eliza Loves Her Milk

(photo: Bradley Gordon/ Flickr)

I was very excited to receive the giant, $100 bottle sterilizer as a gift for my first baby shower. I used it religiously for about two weeks. I could barely keep myself showered in those first few months after baby number one. I decided I could probably only accomplish one of those tasks – shower regularly or sterilize the damn bottles. I decided on the former. Personally, I think it was a sound decision. Does anyone want a bottle sterilizer?

5. Making Baby Food

first foods

(photo: jencu/ Flickr)

Oh, this one I was really going to accomplish. I got the baby food processor and a bunch of infant cookbooks.  As a side note, whoever thought of the infant cookbook is a genius. What a racket.

My baby food-making skills were actually pretty awesome. The food was vibrant and delicious. My child loved it. But only if it was freshly prepared. Something about the previously frozen food caused my little foodie infant to turn up his nose. If it was prepared fresh, he devoured it. If I tried to feed him a batch that was previously frozen – forget it. Remember parenting fail number four? Yeah – no time for this. Do you know what he didn’t turn his nose up at? Those little jars of baby food. The ones I swore I would never “waste money on.” Ha!

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