24 bad parents

If you are one of those parents who sometimes feels like you’re not doing the best you can, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. Anyone who can claim to be a fantastic parent all the time is either hiding the secret to perfection or is possibly deluded.

We asked some real parents in a Facebook post to finish this sentence:

“I feel like a bad parent when…”

Here are their candid moments of reflection on guilty parent moments, times of regret and twinges of sadness:


Valarie: When I lose my temper and raise my voice.
Thandeka: When I lose my temper and raise my voice, I hate it when I do that to my baby.
Lerato: When I hit my child.
Zingisa: I hit or shout at my child and she starts to cry.
Masie: when I lose my temper and raise my voice.
Fiela: I feel the same as 'Valerie's comment!!.... My kid knows how to make me 'cross'.
Tapiwa: When I lose my temper, raise my voice and smack my little gal. It kills me when she cries and comes right back to me to comfort her.

When I need some me-time

Nthabiseng: When I make time for my love life and need time to myself.
Ilane:   [When I] Just want to be alone
Lerato:  When I have a lil wine or go out with friends...
Bertha: I’m on phone chatting instead of paying attention to my lil one.
Refilwe: When I think I had kids too early and should’ve waited, focused on my career first...

When I’m not in the mood

Sharlene: When I get irritable.
Imelda: When I'm stressed and impatient
Malebo: When am on my periods because I'm moody and I don’t want anyone near me:  “I just want to be alone” *sign*

When my child isn’t behaving or doing what needs to be done

Dilshad: When I scold my son I feel like a horrible failure of a parent and when he makes that sad face yuss
Julie: Raising my voice in the morning when he won't get ready. My little book worm just wants to look at his books.

When I’m not there for my child

Joleen: My kids go away for a weekend.
Beaulah: When I have to travel on business, like I am now
Mochabo: Not spending enough time with my kids.
Johanna: When I left my daughter alone at home with his brother.
Tracey: Having to work long hours when I had said we could spend time together. Clients put food on the table, but sometimes it's heartbreaking to have to say 'sorry I have to work instead... Next time'.
Masego: Looking for a boarding school- I feel terrible.

When I’m tired

Wasilla: After a long day at work and I come home and he has so much energy and wants to do the impossible.

So it seems that many of us battle to control our emotions and feel bad when this spills over into our parenting. This makes us feel bad as we don't feel in control, but perhaps we need to give ourselves more room to express those emotions rather than trying to bottle them up. Sheer exhaustion and pressure can have an impact on anyone's ability to stay happy and upbeat, so respect to all of you parents who are 99% awesome, 1% bad days and 100% human.

(Some slight edits were made of text-speak for the purposes of this article).

How would you finish the sentence, "I feel like a bad parent when..."
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