These are 24 of my greatest parenting fails.


Jo Abi





I had a grand vision of what kind of mother I’d be. I’d be firm but fair, steering my children with a perfect blend of wisdom and love. I’d be organised, supportive and, well, perfect really.

I never expected to be the kind of mum whose children regularly rolled their eyes at them. I never expected to become scattered and confused over which child needed to be wearing their sports uniforms on which days, or because I put their lunch boxes in the wrong bags, with the wrong flavour of chips.

But among the eye rolls and the sighs, I’ve realised that dropping the ball when it comes to parenting perfection is perfectly normal, and actually teaches resilience in your children…resilience being the word parents use to comfort themselves when they’ve stuffed up, of course.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Disney. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

When it comes to parenting fails, offences range from major to minor, funny to embarrassing, and everything in between.

Do any of these sound familiar?

All uniforms look the same.

1. Not unpacking my kid’s lunch boxes until the last day of the school holidays (and risking finding some nasty surprises).

2. Constantly mixing up sports uniform and normal uniform days.

3. Mixing up their lunch order. “I DON’T DRINK CHOCOLATE MILK MUM, ONLY PINK!”

4. Leaving my daughter’s curly hair unbrushed for so long that it had to all be cut off.

5. Forgetting to bring the Player of the Week trophy to the next game to be handed out to another child.


6. Buying all the vegies to puree and hide in their meals then never getting a chance to actually prep and puree it. “Kids, eat your rotten vegetables!”

7. Major dental work required on my first child due to poor oral hygiene learned from me.

8. Never keeping track of whogave which gift to my child and never thanking anyone for them aside from general, group thankyous.

9. ‘Borrowing’ money from my children’s bank accounts to pay bills then never paying it back in. But I’m going to, I swear.

10. Missing calls from the school about sick and injured children due to a flat phone battery.

11. Quitting the school P & F.

12. Never volunteering at the school tuckshop despite begging from both children.

13. Weird oil stains on my children’s blue school shirts. What even are they?

14. Not reading to them EVERY night – and sometimes skipping pages.

15. Breaking my ‘no more than two takeaway meals per week’ rule.

Potatoes are vegetables right?

16. Giving them hot chips and water for lunch at a shopping centre food court. Older lady sitting on the table next to me openly scoffing. Hey, I gave them water though.

17. Constantly running out of batteries.

18. Constantly running out of fresh fruit.

19. Failing to keep up with their changing food preferences such as, “I don’t eat red apples anymore, only green.”


20. Letting my son watch reality TV with me.

21. Letting them sip my coffee just to see the looks on their faces.

22. Referring to myself in the third person. “Mum’s tired”, “Mum’s just having a rest”.

23. Telling them the gigantic lie that a blood test/vaccination feels like a “small pin prick”.

24. Not sweeping under their beds regularly. Finding melted lollies on the floorboards and a very happy ant family happily transporting segments back to the nest. “Oh look kids, some new pets!”

Reading back over this list makes me cringe a little, I’ll be honest. But I recently came across the Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day movie trailer, and after watching it, I realised that we’re all prone to parenting failures from time to time (it also looks like a great movie, by the way). Because parenting is a roller coaster, and sometimes, the wheels come off. But it’s always, always worth it.

What are your most recent parenting fails?

To celebrate the release of Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, we have 20 prize packs, which includes 4 free movie tickets, up for grabs. To be in the running, all you have to do is upload a pic depicting a bad day on Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #lessgoodday

We can’t wait to see your pic so upload them today for your chance to win a prize pack valued at $139.70.

For the competition T&Cs, click here.




The new Disney film, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, follows 11-year-old Alexander (Australia’s Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—and soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Coming to Australian Cinemas December 4.