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4 mommy fails to be proud of
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More and more, moms are finding themselves racked with the dreaded "mommy guilt." From the perspective of your three-year-old, you might be doing better than you think. - photo by Lyndsi Frandsen
Scroll through Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook and it might just hit you, too: a debilitating dose of mommy guilt. Everywhere you turn (or click), women are openly proclaiming their inadequacies and self-perceived failures. From a themed dinner gone wrong, to piles of untouched dirty laundry its easy to get down on yourself. In fact, Psychology Today suggests parenting guilt can actually lead to parenting depression. But what if we could see ourselves through more important eyes? The truth is, from the perspective of your 3-year-old, you might be doing better than you think. I offer four mommy fails that should be celebrated as mommy wins.

1. Ignoring laundry piles

Laundry and I do not have a good relationship. Ill say it straight up: we despise each other. Part of my disgust? Laundry always wins. (Author Emily Watts once made the brilliant observation that the only way to claim victory over the mountainous piles of clothes is to strip the family completely naked for one full wash cycle. I rest my case.) One afternoon, when the piles were particularly threatening, I sat down to start in on folding. Only, instead of creasing those bathroom towels into small, neat squares I realized how perfectly they stretched from the living room couch to the coffee table. Across the room, my daughter eyed me suspiciously and quickly jumped in to offer assistance. We went from folding laundry to building a fort. I cant say we accomplished much, but I can say it was the best laundry day ever.

2. Playing hooky

One morning, my dear friend gave into a fight weve all engaged in. Instead of forcing her 4-year-old to brush her teeth, find her shoes and scoot out the door on time, on this particular day she simply caved. School took a backseat to a morning of Barbies a day she describes as one of her favorites to date. It allowed for the unstructured, slow paced, one-on-one bonding time she desperately needed with her daughter. New habit? Of course not. Mommy fail? Not exactly.

3. Botched meals

Last Christmas, we had just bought our first home and I was determined to make it a Christmas to remember. After setting up our tree (did I mention we moved in the night before Christmas Eve?), and making sure every gift was wrapped and ready to go, I hopped on to Pinterest to track down the perfect Christmas breakfast that could become a new family food tradition. I settled on some darling Santa Clause pancakes, complete with a whipped cream beard. Christmas morning rolled around and my head-strong 2-year-old had come to the breakfast table with her own plans. She wanted Easy Mac. After an intense back-and-forth battle, those Santa Claus pancakes got sent back to the North Pole. In their place, the precious macaroni (hold the whipped cream). I will never forget her sweet orange smile as she sat smack in the middle of the stairway, chowing down.

4. Turning the other cheek

One busy Sunday, my friend found herself at church, faced with a tough decision: wrestle, contain and force her toddler to sit quietly during the meeting? (Since we all know how well that works.) Or relinquish full motherhood responsibility and let him run wild, possibly risking a worse outcome? Hoping he would at least embrace his freedom quietly, she decided on the latter. Her little boy immediately sprinted over to a new family with better treats to offer, and proceeded to make himself right at home and there he stayed, for the entire hour. At the end of the meeting, she went over to offer her apologies. Not only were the two little boys instant buds, she also completely hit it off with the young mom and they have been close girlfriends ever since. Good friends and good treats! Not a bad tradeoff for a slacker mom moment, if you ask me.

These are a few silly stories that hopefully illustrate a bigger takeaway. Although the toddler way is not usually the right way, looking at our mommy fails through the eyes of a 3-year-old might just be the way to go.