When Motherhood Gets Embarrassing

sloanwinksLet’s face it. You’ve got to have a sense of humor to be a mother. It starts from the very beginning when you check your shame at the door and deliver a child in front of a group of strangers. From there, you suddenly have to deal with the bodily functions of your bouncing babe on a daily basis, also in front of a crowd of strangers.

But those are the natural aspects of motherhood that you go in expecting. What about the embarrassing moments of motherhood that no one warns you about? There are, of course, the embarrassing moments that are easy to laugh at – and then there are the moments that make you cringe, shudder and want to crawl under a rock in shame.

When my oldest was one, we went to a local air show. We laid our blanket out on the grass amidst the rest of St. Louis and watched as he toddled about enjoying the excitement in the air. It happened in slow motion. I saw it coming and I knew what was happening, but I just couldn’t stop it in time.

The girl sitting in front of us was wearing an extremely low-cut pair of jeans. Extremely low-cut. And she was sitting cross-legged on a quilt directly in front of us, her half moon screaming at the world behind her. I tried not to look and I foolishly assumed my baby wouldn’t notice. But he did notice and with arm outstretched he did his little Frankenstein walk right toward her. I scrambled up and stumbled over to him just as his chubby little finger plunged into her crack.

She yelped and jumped to her feet. I yelped and snatched him up. He crumbled into startled tears and both of us girls mumbled embarrassed apologies and sat back down on our respective blankets with her hiking her pants up along the way. That was my first real embarrassing moment as a mommy. I’ve had many more since then…

Like when my son was obsessed with women’s chests (which for some reason he calls a nest) and would point and comment on every “nest” he saw from the grocery store to church. Or when my daughter looked at a larger woman and told her she was a “big fat baby head.” Or how about the time we were at a restaurant and the waiter asked if we needed anything else and my son blurted out, “No I’m fine. I just tooted so I feel great now.”

Of course, there’s also the ever unpleasant grocery store meltdowns that make me want to walk away and pretend those out of control children aren’t actually mine.

So what about you? What embarrassing moments have made you want to crawl under a rock? Which moments are so funny that you recorded them specifically so you could share them at your child’s wedding rehearsal dinner someday? Do share with the rest of us. May we all laugh together as one and remember that motherhood, though a lot of work, is fall down, clutch your sides, laugh till you ache funny. And the funny is sometimes all it takes to get us through the day.


  1. says

    I just blogged about this very topic. My embarrassing story was a stinky diaper blow out at the library, and I DIDN’T HAVE ANOTHER DIAPER WITH ME. I scooped up my child and ran for the door. Of course, at the time, it didn’t occur to me to ask another mom to borrow a diaper.

    • says

      But of course…nothing is sacred around here. :) I wake up each day wondering what they will do to shame me and remembering that soon enough they will be teenagers and I will get to pay them back by pulling out these stories in front of their prom dates…while proudly displaying pictures of their naked little baby tooshies. Muahahaha!

  2. says

    Yesterday we were driving to a neighbouring town and my 3 year old daughter and I were playing “I spy”
    DD: “I spy with my little eye something that is yellow”
    ME: “The sun”
    DD: ” You’re right, I spy with my little eye something that is yellow”
    Me: “The sun?”
    DD: “No, it’s your teeth”

    Oiy! I guess its time to get some teeth whiteing done :)

  3. says

    Hmmmm, my 5 children NEVER embarrassed me….NOT. 1. The twins were toddlers sitting in the lap of our minister’s wife at church and she was feeding them raisins. One of them dropped a raisen down the front of her V-neck dress and they both dived after it! (FYI-the twins have the distinction of being the only two of my children to ever get kicked out of Sunday School class….by my aunt) 2. Son number 2 was about 5 and was acting up during prayer at church (why was it always at church) I grabbed him and gave him a threatening look and he didn’t like it and yelled out “You know what mommy. The next time you are in the bathroom and need toilet paper I am not getting it for you!” 3. My daughter went to the dentist with me and while the dentist is working on me she’s sitting in a chair all prim and proper (she was about 5 too-dangerous age) when the nurse asked her if she had any pets at home. “Yes maam, a pet rat but my mommy killed it this morning when she throwed a garbage bag on it. in the garage” I almost fell out of my chair! It was a mouse in the garage and it wasn’t a pet, but I couldn’t defend myself because the dentist was working on my teeth. I could go on and on and on…..but I won’t.

  4. says

    Just last week my daughter pointed to a checker (who did have a rather strange dyed hair color) and literally pointed, laughed, and loudly proclaimed, “She looks funny!” The worst part was despite my attempts to shush her and make mean faces at her, she continued to say it about 3 times over while I completed the checking out!

  5. says

    My son started potty training a while back and has naturally been learning about those body parts and how they work. He has also been learning the differences between boys and girls and just doesn’t understand why mommy doesn’t have what he has. We live in an apartment and one day the maintenance man came to fix our dryer. My son kept calling him a her and I told him that he should say “him” because the maintenance man is a boy, and my son goes, “Oh! He has a p…(certain boy part)” right in front of the man.
    I’m sure my face was bright red as I shuffled my son out of the room, and I can only hope that the maintenance man didn’t hear my son talking about him like that, and that the language barrier (he’s from Croatia) prevented him from understanding. That, or he was very kind to not react :)

  6. says

    Baaaahhhahahahahaha…“No I’m fine. I just tooted so I feel great now.” BEST LINE EVER!!!

    My kids are pretty little still…no talking yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be a wild ride. I guess the closest we’ve gotten is Matt tooting in a nice restaurant and then laughing hysterically about it…we’re not even in the ball park of the “crack toucher.” Hysterical!

  7. says

    HA! Love your stories. I have a few too. One of our favorites (thought both stories are under Millicent on my blog) was when we went to IHOP for supper and the waitress had an eye patch. She’s a pirate our sweet, little 3 year old said. OH!

  8. says

    The only embarassing thing I can think of is when my kids are WAY noisy in public. The library is one place we visit a lot. You have to be quiet in a library people.
    And then there is the time when you let out a tiny toot in the grocery store–and they point out the smell to you. LOUDLY and VOCALLY.
    Ahh, the joys of children!

  9. Crysta says

    Oh it feels so good to laugh! My niece asked her mother “what’s that” as a box of panty liners was dropped in the shopping cart. Her mother simply said, “those are panty liners that keep my panties from getting dirty.” As they reached the checkout stand, my niece felt the need to inform the teenaged check out boy what that box was. In a loud voice she announced, “those are panty liners, they keep your panties from getting dirty!” When everyone tried to ignore her, she only kept repeating it louder and louder each time. She wouldn’t stop until her mother snapped, “OK OK we heard you!!” Poor check out kid’s face was crimson red.

  10. Carolyn says

    This is an awesome post! The most recent embarrassing thing that’s happened in my family was arriving at taekwondo and helping my son to get into his uniform, only to realize that when he dressed himself, he had forgotten to put any underpants on! He had to do the whole 1 hour class without underpants, and those white pants are just a tiny bit see through! I’m going to have to check for underwear before we go anywhere now!

  11. says

    Too funny! My son calls them “sprouts” and is currently very interested in asking about them and other gender differences.

    My son’s speech was a little hard to understand until he was about 3 (we did a lot of interpreting for people). He used to say “cock” instead of “clock”. So of course on time when we were in public he yelled “Look at that c(l)ock”! I was so embarrased.

  12. says

    Ah, I can dry my eyes now :-) Funny stuff. Ours are too little yet to do really embarressing things, but I’m sure I have it all to look forward to!!!

  13. says

    My daughter is so observant, she has asked very LOUDLY why a man did not have an arm…why a woman from the Middle East was wearing a scarf during our AZ summer, and why our Asian friend has eyes like this…and she looks at me and squints her eyes!!!! I almost died each time, but I am getting used to it!

  14. Sara says

    My birthday was this past Sunday, and my husband and I took our 5 year old and 9 month old out for brunch at a nice restaurant. I was playing I spy with the 5yo, I spied a pomegranate, he spied a picture of a duck, I spied flowers, and he spied…
    A BLACK PERSON (at the top of his little lungs).
    Our waiter.
    Who was a lovely man that found it quite hilarious, but still.

    Also: while going over body parts at preschool, the teacher was going through and asking the kids where all of their body parts were located. When it came to the time for “brain”, my little guy pointed to his groin. She reiterated the question, and he told her “my mommy said my brain is in my penis”.

    Just for the record: I DID NOT!!! I swear.

  15. says

    When we were at Panera, I was explaining to my daughter, then 3, about the plate of sample bread that they have out. I told her that if she really wanted to have a piece, I would pick one from the back. “Why?” “Because some people pick bread up with their dirty hands, without using the bread tongs.” So, we’re in line and my daughter is watching the bread plate. Soon I hear, “Mommy! Mommy! THEY JUST TOOK BREAD WITHOUT USING THE PICKERS! THAT IS GROSS!!!”

    Ah, yes. A germaphobe’s daughter indeed.

  16. says

    I just stumbled upon this blog. Great post. My daughter is too young now for any great stories, but you shouild warn your readers “DO NOT READ AT WORK”. I know my co-workers must think I’m weird for breaking out into spontaneous laughter at the office.

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