Parents of the Year Award

Do you ever see a parent online and think that they are just doing an awesome job as parents?

Sometimes I feel like that. I feel like my online persona is that I’m doing an awesome job as a parent.

Maybe you are a new Mom and just feeling like you will never have it all together. Or maybe you are a seasoned Mom remembering back to the days when you felt like nothing you were doing was correct.

But here’s a little (humorous) peek into our reality…

….Theo and I often have absolutely no clue what we are doing. Sure, we are doing our best and trying to make decisions that delight and honor the Lord and will help our children to turn out to be functioning, kind adults.

But sometimes we just….fail.

And maybe you do, too.

So I wanted to share some stories of total parent fails that have happened to us in the past few months. Maybe you can relate. I’d love to hear your “Parent of the Year” stories, too. We all need a good laugh sometimes.


Story 1: The Elevator

Theo and I set up a prenatal interview at the birth center. Since we both needed to be there, we also took Tera with us. I was 37 weeks pregnant with Kiah and it was a beautiful September day. We parked in the parking garage, took the elevator down and then attended our appointment. All was well, and it was time to get back to the car to head home.

Tera loved the elevator going down, especially since the outside of the elevator was glass and you could see the hospital grounds as the elevator went up and down. When the three of us got into the elevator, she immediately went to the glass and watched as we went up. Theo looked at me and asked which floor we had parked on and I had no idea. “Two? Three? Maybe four?” We were very focused on trying to figure out which floor we had parked on when the elevator dinged and we both stepped out to glance around the corner to see if our car was on that floor or the next one up.

And then the door closed.

With our toddler (all alone) still inside.


Thankfully, Theo is quick on his feet and he immediately pushed the button- again and again, until the door opened up. It was probably about 10 seconds, but to us it felt like an eternity. And Tera? Well, she didn’t even have a clue. She was still looking out the window the whole time. Bless her heart.

I cannot imagine if that elevator had gone to a different floor. There are no light up numbers on it to know what floor it is at, and our two year old could have been lost in the parking garage. Theo and I immediately looked at each other and burst out laughing. I guess that is just our response when it could have been much, much worse.


Story 2: That Time I Locked Myself Out…

….with my children still inside.

Listen, this is not one of my finer moments.

I was havin’ an attitude. You know…one of those days. Theo had worked the day before and was upstairs sleeping. Kiah was having a rough day and was not only refusing to eat, but crying all day. Tera was being a two year old and disagreeing with everything I said. I had finally made it to lunch time and as I went to make Tera her grilled cheese, she pushed her stool over to me and rammed it into the back of my legs.

I was SO frustrated I just needed to explode. So I marched to the front door, opened it up, stepped outside and forcefully closed it behind me.

It was January, and 32 degrees. I made the decision to do this without shoes and in a tshirt and PJ pants. I took a few deep breaths, stomped my feet a few times and then went to open the door back up again.

Nope. Nope. NOPE. NOOOOOOOooooooooooo.

That door was stuck. Not locked. Just stuck. It’s happened a few times before…but never when I was outside and the precious lives entrusted to me were inside.

Theo was home and inside, after all, but he was upstairs sleeping with the door closed, a fan on and a sound machine on. This is our normal routine. After he has worked all night, he comes home and sleeps for a few hours. We are always home still and there is just no way to keep a toddler perfectly quiet, so we have made the bedroom as sound-proof as possible.

I immediately began ringing the doorbell and pounding on the doors/windows. Theo was upstairs so I couldn’t pound on his windows, but I ran around to the back to see if by some strange chance I had left the back door unlocked.


By this time, both kids were inside crying (I was pounding as hard as I could on the doors and windows), and I remembered that I had left the stove burner on. I had no shoes, no phone and no way to get inside the house. Just as I was about to run to the neighbors house to try to call Theo, he waltzed down the stairs. For the first time in over two years of this sleeping arrangement, he had heard all the noise and came downstairs to see what in the world was going on.

The look of absolute confusion on his face when he saw me outside was almost hilarious. I would have laughed if I hadn’t been crying so hard. Of course, his first thought was that I had been outside for hours, but in reality I don’t think it was more than 10 minutes. Tera’s grilled cheese was a little burnt and I was shaking for a few hours afterwards, but all was well- only by the grace of God. I have no idea what I would have done if Theo hadn’t been home or if my pounding and the kids crying hadn’t woken him up!


Story #3: Inappropriate Dress

Theo’s Grandpa passed away just two weeks ago. While we knew it was coming, it is always hard to lose a family member. We were so, so grateful that we were able to attend the funeral in a neighboring state, only a 3 hour drive. I did my best to do all the packing that is required for a weekend stay in a hotel with two little kids. As I was packing, I mentally checked through the different events that we would need to dress for: the viewing, a private family burial and the memorial service. I also reminded myself that it was the dead of winter and checked the weather only to find that the high was going to be 14 degrees. I dug out all the winter gear for the burial service, which I assumed would be outside. I put everything in a bag and realized that Tera’s coat was in the car. Perfect…we are taking the car, so it’s already in there and ready to go!

A few minutes later I handed Theo a bag and asked him to clean out the car. “All of it”, were my exact words.

Well, I’m sure that you can see where this is going.

1.5 hours down the road we stop for some lunch and I ask Theo where Tera’s coat is.

His response? “Um, inside the house in that bag.”


Here we are with a high of 14 degrees and not only did we forget Tera’s winter coat, but we also didn’t bring a jacket, sweatshirt OR sweater. Oh me oh my.

THANKFULLY, the burial service ended up being inside a heated chapel at the cemetery and we only had to go from the car into buildings once or twice. Still, my child ended up going to her great-Grandpa’s burial dressed like this:

At least I remembered her hat and gloves, right?



Does anyone else feel like they are just stumbling through parenthood sometimes?

So tell me…what are some of your most epic parenting moments/fails? Am I the only one who has these stories saved up to tell my kids and grandkids?



  1. Jennifer Clauson says:

    Mornings were always crazy when my daughters were 10, 8, 5 and 2. I decided I would make the school age kids their lunches the night before and store in the refrigerator to get a better start on the day. When it was time for everyone to leave, I grabbed the Kroger sacks with everyone’s lunches and hurried them out the door. Imagine my surprise that afternoon when my 5th grader announced that I had sent a package of raw chicken to school for her lunch. That was just one small fail among many larger ones. Thankful for God’s grace that covers so many of our parenting mistakes!

  2. Stephanie Gilbert says:

    Oh my! The things that happen to you lol. Seriously dying over here!! When Avery was a newborn, after church one Wednesday, my husband and I got the boys out and took them inside only to realize that we had a third child now and she was still in the car! Sleep-deprived….buuuut it was only for about a minute, thank God!

  3. Nancy says:

    I’m really sorry to have laughed so hard at your stories, but I did. 🙂
    Let’s see …. rolling Daniel’s fingers into the car window; slamming your foot into the car door; having you fall out the back of the station wagon; leaving you in the car when I went in the office because I totally forgot you were in the car — thankfully it was only for a few minutes. What is it with me, kids, and cars! It sounds like a losing combination!!!

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