Monster Mommy Moment – Shell Style

Today, one of my bestest blogging friends, Shell from Things I Can’t Say, is here to share a Monster Mommy Moment with us!

No idea what a Monster Mommy Moment is? You can read all about how my new weekly feature came to be here.

Shell is smart, funny, writes beautifully, tweets like crazy, and is also my fairy blogmother. She’s also the mom of three boys (I can barely handle one boy!), and writes her blog semi-anonymously…a lot of her friends and family don’t even know that it exists.

So grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy Shell’s Monster Mommy Moment!


My Worst Mommy Monster Moment

Rush, rush, rush.

Out of bed early to make breakfast, get backpacks packed, one lunch made, two snacks packed, three little boys dressed. Try to squeeze in a little bit of work before the clock says it’s time to go.

Into the van, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.

No, you can’t watch a video on the way to school, it’s only a few minutes.

Don’t hit your brother.

Don’t kick your brother.

Drop off Kindergartener, then drop off Preschooler.

Back home with Toddler.

Clean up, laundry, work, work, work.

Let Toddler watch too much tv so I can work and get things done around the house.

Already time to pick up Preschooler.

Make lunch, scrub the floor, scrub toilets, fold laundry.

More work.

No patience left.

Break up fights over toys, fights over a spot on the floor, fights over nothing at all.

Yell too much.

Go play. Mommy is busy!

Start getting dinner ready, do more work.

Two boys in the van to pick up Kindergartener.

Back home, get afternoon snack for all three.

Out to check the mail since boys try to race each other to get it and I don’t want them racing into the street.

Snacks will keep them occupied.

Back inside and whew! There’s peace.

Sit down to do more work. Get started.

Wait. It’s too quiet.

Kindergartener on the sofa, watching a cartoon.

Preschooler on the floor building something with legos.

Where’s your brother?

Toddler! Toddler!

Mommy, he’s upstairs.

Keep calling for him. Run up the stairs, yelling his name.

No answer.

Back down, still yelling. Panic starting to creep into my voice.

Into my bedroom, into the toy room, into Daddy’s office, into the kitchen, into the bathroom.

Near the laundry room, I can hear his sobs.

Not normal crying. Hysterical, there-is-something-wrong sobbing.

Coming from…..


Outside. My toddler got outside when I was out getting the mail and I didn’t realize it.

I didn’t see him get out and I didn’t notice when I went back inside.

I shut him outside and was sitting down, enjoying a moment of peace.

How long did I sit there, enjoying the quiet before I noticed he wasn’t there? Did I check a few blogs? Was I tweeting? Or doing my job?

Oh, Dear God, I don’t know.  I think it was just a few minutes….

Scoop him up and hold his shaking body, try to get him to calm down.

But, I can’t calm down.

He could have wondered out into the street. Got hit by a car, wondered off down the road, someone could have taken him.

My worst mom fail yet. I feel like a Monster Mommy.

I know I need to stop the rushing, stop trying to do it all.

Slow down, pay attention.

Or the next time, I could have a worse Monster Mommy moment to tell.

Thanks Shell, for reminding us that we are all sharing the same experiences with our children and that we’re all in this together. Each of us can relate to this because as bloggers, most of us are guilty of saying “just one more minute”, “mommy is busy”, “go watch TV”. I’m glad that your ending wasn’t any worse than your mommy guilt.

Now go swing by Things I Can’t Say and say hello to Shell, and if you’re new there make sure to tell her that I sent you. I know you’ll really enjoy her blog!

And so it goes…

Psst! I’ve got a guest post today over at my favorite mom of multiples: Helene at I’m Living Proof That God Has A Sense of Humor….she has TWO sets of twins, people! So when she asked me if I’d like to guest post, I couldn’t say no. My post is all about kids and their incessant talking.

And if you’re looking for some very easy, very inexpensive kids crafts for Valentine’s Day, check out my guest post over at Our Mommyhood!


  1. Thanks Shell for being so honest and thanks to you Natalie for sharing her story. I feel like I'm running around all day with my head cut off and we are always a minute away from some kind of disaster. It is so hard to maintain everyone and everything. Glad you shared to remind us all that we aren't alone.
  2. So familiar!!! Like when I slammed Matt's fingers in the door two days in a row b/c I was rushing. They looked like sushi by the time I was done, but nothing broke...except my heart. Thanks for sharing and showing that no one is perfect all the least you scrub the floors!
  3. myevil3yearold says:
    Oh Shell, we have all done it. The best/worse I have ever seen is my sister. We were at Vanderbilt hospital with her then 3 year old. We stood in the lobby talking and Katie was running around being a 3 year old. My sister ask her to hush and kept talking. Then, a moment later she turned around just in time to see the elevator door close with Katie in the elevator. The hospital had like 15 floors. We had no idea what button she had hit. We paniced and went crazy. But, she was fine. Eating Ice cream with security when we found her. She was in a patient's room talking away when he found her.
  4. Shell, I know nothing I could say would take the guilt away. A true mother is going to feel guilty. I'd be more concerned if you weren't feeling guilty.

    We all have our off moments that could of turned out so much worse than we did. Just like any other mistake, we need to learn from them.
  5. Aphrodite's Mortal Friend says:
    And it's moments like those that make us better ... moments that suck ... and that we never forget, but still, being mortal they are bound to happen. I fel guilty for you ;-) Thanks for posting here- now I've found a new blog to follow!
  6. Renegades says:
    Be really glad he was safe. Learn from it and move on. Everyone has less then perfect moments. We can all hope we learn from them.
  7. I am so sorry. It is a terrible feeling when you can't find a kid...........and even more sometimes when you figure out where they were.

    No mom is perfect.

    (Put a bell on them!)
  8. They sneak off easier than you would ever think possible! I seriously don't know how they do it at that age!
  9. Your poor thing. You will remember this far far far longer than he will.

    It's terrifying to me as a mother, that we are all just one mistake away from something horrible happening. Everyone makes mistakes, the ones moms make have such scary potential. But at the end of the day, we are only human too.
  10. IVE had that happen before i know the guilt and what ifs are almost unbearable
  11. Megan (Best of Fates) says:
    Okay, after reading the intro at Shell's blog I was somewhat prepared for her to have done something terrible! So she should feel better - the things I considered her doing were far worse!
  12. How scary!!! I'm glad you found him safe and sound. I know how the mind travels so quickly down very dark paths of "what if." Don't beat yourself up - just put a cowbell on him! ;)
  13. FreeFlying says:
    Oh, how terrifying! I'm so sorry that you had to be scared like that. But don't feel bad about yourself too. You're not supermom.
  14. Shell - I can't believe it. I can't get over it. Finally, another mom that has my experiences! ;)

    Chin up, Shell, I'm right there with ya!
  15. Mothers' Hideaway says:
    **hug** How scary!! You're still a great mom, we all rush way too much.
  16. "What if" is a scary, scary thing. I know. It's so easy to get too busy to pay attention, especially when you have three little ones PLUS a million things to do, like you do.

    This reminds me of the time my sister decided to walk home from the park by herself. My dad was busy with my little brother, who was probably only a year old, and when he turned around she was gone. She was 5 years old and walked more than a half mile home, crossing 2 major thorofares on the way. Luckily the park was adjacent to her kindergarten, which is how she knew the way. My poor can imagine how insanely frantic he was when he realized she was gone, it still breaks my heart. And how frantic I was when she got home without him - this was 15 years ago, in the days before cell phones.

    Unfortunately, there's no way to keep your eye out every second of the day, especially when you have more than one little guy running around. All you can do is be thankful that the "what if's" are only in your head.
  17. This is a great post. As mother's we are human and make mistakes. I have been there so so many times.
  18. Not a Perfect Mom says:
    came over from Shell's site...
    love your page..I'll be back!
  19. SassySillySpunky says:
    Isn't the worst feeling when you feel like you really screwed up? I've had many of those moments in Drake's short 18 month life.

    You are a great Mom Shell!:)
  20. Elaine A. says:
    I like Cheryl's cowbell idea. I may go buy some today... I lost my second child IN THE HOUSE one day (he was about 20 months old or so...). I was so freaked out because I couldn't find him ANYWHERE and I was almost sure he could not be outside. I was in hysterics, calling my husband and FREAKING OUT!!! I finally found him under his brother's bed, eating candy. So scary! Anyway, I get it. And I also know that we all need to try to slow down... it's hard though...
  21. TornadoTwos says:
    Oh no, that must have been awful for you! I've had moments like this too, I think all mom's have. Someone once told me that as long as the "could-have-happened" is worse then the "what-did-happen", we're doing ok. My 2yo once got out of the van on an extremely busy street while I was vacuuming it. I was trying to be quick so I didn't have to put in an extra dollar, so I didn't buckle him back into his carseat after I vacuumed it out and he slipped between the seats and out the other door when my head was down vacuuming. I look up and saw his little head outside the van bobbing up and down because he was running. When I think about what could have happened, all because I didn't want to spend one measly dollar. I felt/feel so guilty.
  22. Aw, Shell. Really, truly, I think it happens to all of us.
  23. Shell, if it makes you feel any better; I don't know of a mom that this hasn't happened to in some way or another.
  24. OMG, I say the same exact things when driving my kids to school....I swear the next time we buy another mini-van, it will NOT have a freakin' DVD player in it!!!

    Love Shell and loved this post! We've all had our moments...glad she had the courage to share hers with us!

    Thanks again for the guest post!! Each time I read what you wrote, I can't help but chuckle (because I'm just a little bit insane).
  25. Ma What's 4 dinner says:
    OH Shell!!! It's hard somedays, but we've all been there. Big hugs heading your way.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
  26. The mad woman behind the blog says:
    WOW. Tears were welling up as I read this. Even before he was left outside. Angry tears at myself and sad tears for my children.
    ***Slow the fuck down***....I'm screaming this at myself, not you. Thank you for the scary reminder.
  27. blueviolet says:
    I'm just so glad he was ok! You learned a lesson that day, I'm sure.
  28. The Mommyologist says:
    Don't feel bad...I can top that. One day I was over at a girlfriend's for a was after 4pm and we decided to make martinis. A little while later, we realized that her two year old was missing. He had gone out the garage door, and was in the driveway riding his bike. We didn't hear him because of the martini shaker. #fail
  29. Lady Jennie says:
    When Young Knight was 2 1/2 he wandered off from our country house, which is right next to a highway. He was gone at least 20 minutes to see the cows. We found him in the middle of the road walking home (a quieter country one) suburnd, crying, poopy diaper. I still tremble when I think of it.

    We were cleaning the house to go and thought he was with the other kids with the neighbor watching. But he went to go to the bathroom because his kids know not to wander off, and when he came back and our son wasn't there, he thought he had come back inside. It was such a nightmare.

    Oh! Yes! And then Petit Prince took off on his walker when the workers left the gate open and was running down the middle of the street towards the traffic light. The neighbor swept him up just as I ran to the gate panic-stricken, and just as a car was coming.

    All I can say is God, God, God, God, God( or please, please, please, please).
  30. Momma Fargo says:
    Thanks, Shell! Don't fret. I've done the same. I've also driven to work with my child and forgot to drop her off at school. Until this little voice says...Mommy, did you forget about me again? Ugh.
  31. OMG, Shell!!!
    I don't ever want to go through that!!! I know it sounds horrible, but this made me feel better about all the dumb and dangerous things I've done with my kid (without meaning to).

    I forgot to buckle Emma on her high chair and she took a dive, which ended us in the ER. :-(
  32. Don't be so hard on yourself Shell! I think it takes guts to come out to Natalie's site and admit you did something like this - something that we've all done at one time or another.

    You are an awesome mom!!
  33. Secret Mom Thoughts says:
    Glad everything was ok. Don't beat yourself up too much.
  34. Oh, Shell! That had to have your heart racing like no other!
  35. JDaniel4's Mom says:
    Shell is so right about losing track of things and people. Some days you just find yourself trying to tick items off you to do list and forget the most important people in your life.
  36. Mommy Lisa says:
    Wow Shell - I can feel your pain. We all do it...

  37. Shell, I've been there. It could have (and probably has) happened to any one of us. Glad your kids are ok. And you.
  38. How scary! It could have happened to any of us though. I once ran out on the back porch for just a minute and my daughter locked me out of the house. Thank goodness she was able to unlock it or I would have had to knock on the neighbors door.
  39. I had a similar instance happen to me and it is SO scary! Thanks for sharing.
  40. Oh Shell, I shared your panic! So glad he was safe, just scared. And please, stop beating yourself up, if we all started sharing our stories, which we won't because this is about you, you would see that forgetting a child here and there is really par for the course when you have more than one. Please forgive yourself. xoxoxox
  41. Oh Shell, we have all had some pretty horrible mommy moments. My kindergartner got locked outside for literally 30 seconds by her sister and you would have thought she was going to die. I understand the mom guilt thing, but don't be too hard on yourself.
    It is hard to slow down, but it really is worth the results. I found myself running around like crazy and the kids were naughtier and I yelled more. I cut some unneccesary things out of my life, deliberately slowed down everything (eating, walking, chores) and it has really made a big difference. Not that I don't still yell sometimes and they don't still fight sometimes, but perfection would be boring....right?
  42. Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds says:
    That must have been a terrible feeling. Glad it ended well.
  43. I won't lie Shell, my son learned at a very early age how to open the doors. He was so tall he could reach the handles. I was getting ready and just like that, he was out in the backyard. I almost vomited I was so scared.
  44. Things happen. I think the near miss is a universal experience of motherhood. And I just have to say that being a "monster" and being human are too very different things. You are human. Great post.
  45. Oh Shell I am so sorry. I would feel horrible too. And you are right, it is so easy to try and rush through life. Thanks for sharing
  46. The Twin Spin says:
    How. Scary. Thank goodness everyone was ok.
  47. Thank goodness he was okay. So scary for you. We have all been there, and someone hasn't, their day will come. It's just the way of the mom.
  48. SHell, I love ya girl!! I've actually done this before...and it is such a horrible awful feeling! Don't be too hard on yourself...we all suck sometimes. As long as we learn the lesson and slow down. I love ya girl!
  49. Oh know Shell.. I am stopping by from Shell's place to say hello and read her post. Oh the things we do as parents. Thanks for your kind words today..
  50. Just Another Mom of 2 says:
    Oh those moments really can take our breath away. Some days, they drive us so crazy that we don't think to check just why we're able to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet- it's usually because they're into something they're not supposed to be! There's always so much to get done, it's hard not to rush...
  51. Sorta Southern Single Mom says:
    We've all done it... while I've never locked a child out, but I did lock myself out and them in one day... the feeling of panic is enormous and it's a good reminder that we all need to slow down and take a breath.

    {{HUGS}}} Mamma!
  52. Awww, Shell. {{{HUGS}}} That's a tough one, but it could happen to any of us. I'm so glad he was safe! I'm sure it wasn't as long as you felt. It's a great reminder to stop and breathe, and yes, quit trying to do it all!
  53. (Florida) Girl says:
    Oh sweetie. I appreciate you sharing this one. I hope to channel everyone's comments when my own mommy guilt kicks in one day.
  54. K Pugliano says:
    Oh, Shell!! I know you must have been just sick about this...we've all had those moments!

    I'm glad he's ok, and that you are too.
  55. Dolli-Mama says:
    That panic feeling (when something could be really wrong) is the worst. I have been there. I am glad everything is ok. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
  56. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says: scary, so scary.

    Those few moments of unknowing.

    You tell yourself this happens. To everyone. All the time. And 99.999% of the time it's FINE.

    But then, those numbers start playing with your mind.

    What if what if what if...until...

    You find them.

    But so scary, so so scary.

    Deep breath for you right now.

    Deep breath.
  57. Making It Work Mom says:
    I am always rushing. One of my resolutions as a mom for the past two years is to stop saying "come on we are late!" (I felt like I was saying it ALL THE TIME). I am always guilty of forgetting to buckle my 4 year old in the car seat. Luckily she now tells me before I pull out of the driveway.
  58. Oh Hon - but hugs to you. This post made me cry. I could feel what you were feeling. Things can happen in a moment. Wrapping my arms around you.
  59. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    Thank you for such an honest story. My heart is pounding and I know that this could have happened to me. I need to slow down and pay attention too. Hugs and <3 mama.
  60. The Empress says:
    We all need to slow down.

    Lessons like this do it to us.

    I wish I could remember more often.

    WOnderful post, Shell. You're always so honest.
  61. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:
    Oh Shell. I know. My son walked out the front door when he was 3. I was rushing off to work and my husband was putting the baby down for a nap. It was a horrible moment, a rushed day. I know exactly the guilt, the fear, the what ifs.

    I'm so glad everything is okay. And, yes, it was my reminder to slow down and be more careful.

    Thanks for being so honest and sharing :)
  62. Thank you for sharing. The constant push and pull can be exhausting. But, oh,those moments when you think, "I've really done it this time.." take your breath away.

    From one who has been there.
  63. cornflakegirl74 says:
    Awwwww, Shell. Deep breaths. That is scary. But all is well and that's the most important part. Don't ever question your ability as a mother; I know many wonderful mommies who have experienced something similar.

    *HUGS* just 'cause I feel like you need them.
  64. Sluiter Nation says:
    This was so honest.

    SOOOO scary, but so honest.

    My heart was RACING as I read this and picturing my own little guy outside alone.

    I am so glad everything turned out...and you are NOT a monster mommy...just a rushed momma.

  65. Oh mama, I totally feel for you! We've all had those moments. It was a thousand times worse for you than him. And psst, he'll never remember ;) Great message though. I have to learn to shut off when I'm with my son.
  66. Thank goodness he was safe and sound.

    Thank you, Shell for sharing a moment that we've all had!

    At the end of the day may our mommy successes always outweigh our mommy monster fails! :)
  67. This is a great meme (and post) because we've SO all been there.
  68. Vanessa says:
    Oh my God, I love this post! It feels like something I would go through and I only have two.