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Our 7 Most Shameful Parenting Moments

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Written by Stefanie Wilder Taylor for Babble.com

Last month I witnessed a mom becoming the victim of some mom-on-mom shaming right in front of me. Right then, lots of bad parenting moments came flooding back to me; like the time I lost my daughter in Barnes & Noble when she was only 16 months old and security had to block the doors until I found her. Or the time a dresser fell on top of Matilda when she was almost 2 because she climbed up on it to get into a drawer and someone hadn't secured it to the wall like the babyproof experts beg you to do. I knew I wasn't alone in making parenting mistakes or really just having things go wrong the way they do in life sometimes. We can't be on top of all things at all times and sometimes no matter how much we try to prevent it, the stuff is just going to go sideways!

In order to make us all feel better, I put out a call for bad parenting moments and got flooded with moms who couldn't wait to share their most embarrassing one with us. Thank you to all who were honest enough to let me post, and please know that we are collectively nodding along with you and when we laugh it isn't at you... well, most of the time.

Lost on the boardwalk
I was in Seaside Heights, NJ, with my daughter Megan who was 5 at the time. My mother, Megan and I decided to "go down the shore" to hit up the boardwalk and make a fun day of it. Long story short, a total miscommunication between my mum & I turned into Megan getting lost -- ON A NEW JERSEY BOARDWALK. Poof, she was gone. I thought she was with my mother, and my mother thought she was with me. We found her standing at the merry-go-round watching it go round & round. Twenty years and two more daughters later that is one of the most terrifying things I have ever experienced ... and I still feel guilty about it. Good times! -Shawn Kathleen

Returned by a gypsy
I was giving stroller advice to friend in a busy Roman piazza, as I spouted about my hot double ride... A gypsy girl "returned my child" who had escaped from the park and gone down the street. I don't know which was worse... The fact that my then-22-month-old escaped or that his behavior was clearly so scrappy that an actual gypsy would return him instead of enslaving him. -Kissy Dugan

The poop incident
I went to take a shower while I thought my 2-year-old was napping. The doorbell rang as I got out. I went to answer it and found my neighbor holding my son's hand. He left the house and was sitting in front of my house in just a diaper. -Trisha Jones

Just trying to buy gelato
We were at the "fun" grocery store that has a bar and a playground. The playground isn't fenced, though. I went inside to get gelato (seriously, this grocery store is awesome!) and when I came back out, my husband said he hadn't seen her run by in a while. We looked for her on the playground and didn't see her. That's when the panic set in. Another mom came by and was sympathetic (thank god) and was helping us. This all took maybe five minutes but in my mind it was hours and I didn't know why the police weren't called yet. My husband found her with a lady who heard her crying upstairs. I had no idea this place even had an upstairs! But they had gelato and I ate two servings. -Lisa Caldwell

2-year-old went for a walk
We had just moved into our house, and I was out in the garage doing laundry with what I thought was my 2-year-old daughter sitting on the floor behind me playing. The garage door was open so we could enjoy the breeze. I turned around to say something to her, and instead saw an elderly woman walking up our driveway, holding my daughter's hand. She then informed me that she was out for a walk and spotted my daughter around the corner. I guess the outside world was more exciting than the toys she was playing with inside! I have to say, the elderly lady did not say anything negative to me, but it didn't matter, the internal guilt lasted a VERY LONG TIME. -Robin Campbell

Didn't lock the stroller wheels
New mom ... never even considered "locking" the wheels on the stroller, until I turned around to look at something, looked back and her and her stroller had rolled completely into a [four lane] boulevard! It was a miracle there were no cars. Thank god we made the light!!! Also, I was a smoker, and she dug in my purse and ate a cigarette ... you wanna talk sick, baby? -Beth Carter

She took a shower
I went to take a shower while I thought my 2-year-old was napping. The doorbell rang as I got out. I went to answer it and found my neighbor holding my son's hand. He left the house and was sitting in front of my house in just a diaper. -Trisha Jones

For 12 more of our most shameful parenting moments, visit Babble!

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