Right as this school year was getting underway, I came across a news story about a mother who showed up to school pick-up insanely drunk. And instead of feeling bad for her child or sympathethic towards the woman's troubles, my first thought was, "Wow, next to her, I sound like a pretty good mom."
Renata Congleton, 27, tried to pick up her child at a Florida elementary school, but staff wouldn't let the kid leave with her because she was visibly wasted. So wasted, in fact, that when school officials called the police, the woman recklessly drove off, smacking into two cars on her way out of the lot. When Congleton was arrested a short while later and given a breathalyzer, the hard partyin' Mama blew a .413, five times the legal limit! Parent of the year, am I right?
Now, I've gone to pick up the kids at school in slippers. Braless. Or wearing dirty, holey sweats. I've been unshowered, had unbrushed hair, have come straight from working out, dripping in stinky fresh sweat. I've been 2 minutes, 6 minutes, even 8 minutes late, with no good excuse other than that my manicurist had taken forever. Once, when carpooling, I even completely forgot it was my day to pick up the kids, so I didn't. And, between us, I can admit that on two occasions max, I did have the teensiest glass of wine with girlfriends over lunch, an hour or two before dismissal.
But never, and I mean never, have I done anything half as crazy as this Florida mom, showing up to fetch my brood drunker than a high-school girl shotgunning Pabst Blue Ribbon at a college kegger. So, right about now, I can't help but feel like I'm winning.
And we all need that once in a while, don't we? A little confirmation that we don't suck at this parenting thing quite as much as we could. That, even when our kids say they hate us, there are moms and dads out there they would probably hate way worse. So, as my little gift to you, my friends, I've rounded up a few other epic failures in parenthood from across the netosphere to remind you what a good job you actually are doing.
The Mom Who Gave Her 7-year-old a Boob Job for Her B-Day:
British mum Sarah Burge celebrated little Poppy's 7th birthday by giving her a £6,000 voucher for breast enlargement surgery. Because who wants to play with Barbies when you can have boobies? Mrs. Burge said she sees her daughter's gift as 'investing in her future – like saving money for her education.'Now before you get all judgy judgy on the plastic surgery-obsessed Mumsie and her mini-me, you must know that poor Poppy can't actually cash in the voucher until she turns 16, which is when the cosmetic procedure will be perfectly legal. Whew. That is so much better.
The Parents Who Plyed their Kids with Booze to Make them Sleep:
The 13-year old son of a Pennsylvania husband and wife called 911 because he and his siblings had been left home alone, drunk. Police arrived at the 'extremely filthy home' of James and Roxanne Murphy to find the boy and his three sisters –ages 9, 12 and 15–extremely intoxicated, with empty beer bottles in the trash and, of course, a .30-30 rifle lying on the living room floor.
The Murphy kids claim their parents wanted them to go to bed, and let them choose to either drink from a case of beer or pop some of Mom's prescription pills to make them nod off. I guess the family was all out of Benadryl and Motrin. But at least these unbelievable parents had a great reason doing for what they did: they were headed to Walmart to buy their brood holiday presents. Yup, that totally explains everything.
The Mom Who Arranged a Fightdate for her Daughter and a Classmate:
This crazy mutha, who was brought up on charges of child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, told cops she had arranged the fightdate to settle a beef between the two girls, so they wouldn't have to beat up on each other at school. Because that would be wrong.
I wonder why the daughter couldn't schedule her own after-school scuffle? Maybe Mom took away her cell phone to punish her for fighting?
There are plenty more fine examples of poor parenting out there–too many to fit in one little blog post. But I hope this was enough to convince you that you're doing a better job than at least part of the population. This way, the next time your kid tells you that you are the worst, you have a little ammunition to refute them.