Bad parenting moments: Making the best out of a bad situation


Today something happened which was an incredible reflection point for me. We were due to head out for a family morning to a farm, all geared and hyped up; then 10 minutes into the journey the car starting shuddering and spluttering. Uh oh bad parenting moment on the horizon…

We pulled up on the tiny verge on the dual carriage way. The grey September skies loomed over us in Northern England, where we were staying. I looked for a wobble in the toddlers face. We called the AA man.

Before entering this crazy world called parenthood, my response probably would have been a lot of eye rolling, tutting, whinging and moaning – yes, I probably would have acted like a big sulking child, I’m not proud to say. But no! I had a very head strong toddler in the backseat whose hopes had just been massively dashed and I needed to head off an armageddon as her morning slowly unravelled.

We made everything into an adventure – a nature scavenger hunt along the side path (steering clear of the syringes I worryingly spotted on the way); a trek up to the motorway bridge with large sections of panels missing where we could car spot as the insanely unseasonal September wind whipped our cheeks red; a bumble into the fields where we (thank the Lord!!) found some friendly horses; a ridiculously extended version of Simon Says while the AA man came not within the hour, but almost two hours later.

I looked round at my little family, which was not usually even close to being so harmonious and wondered how being dealt a rather shit hand could have morphed into actually a very enjoyable morning?  Was this really my own meltdown-prone 2 year old beaming with happiness on the side of the road while we were freezing our asses off looking like lunatics? Yes, it really was.

It certainly wasn’t anything like this…


…but  it taught me, as parents we develop an amazing knack for making the best out of bad situations. There is no time for moaning. Or feeling sorry for ourselves. And what an amazing knack it is. These are the surprisingly golden moments of parenthood.

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Monkey and Mouse


  1. I love this post. Really crap that you broke down but I’m glad you managed to turn things around. It sounds like your toddler had a great time. You did so much better than me, I daren’t even imagine what my daughter would be like if we were stuck for two hours. But it’s amazing that you came up with creative ways to cope like the scavenger hunt! We have an emergency car breakdown kit ( in our car in case of situations like this. I was a new driver when Evie was born and was terrified of breaking down. You’ve just reminded me that now she’s a toddler it’s probably time to update it with emergency entertainment. Thank you so much linking this up to whatever the weather. x

    • Haha honestly I was gob smacked! It could have been that my imagination was driven by fear..thanks for hosting this lovely little linky x

  2. You are completely right, I would probably have sulked and got annoyed pre-kids, but now you have to think about the little ones and try and help them when their excitement and adventures for the day have been ruined. It sounds like you did a fantastic job at filling in the 2 hours until the AA man finally turned up (do they not make more of an effort to get there quicker when it’s a young family?!) and if she was smiling away at the end of the morning then that’s fantastic! I hope I could do as well in your shoes! Did you get the car fixed ok in the end? Hope it didn’t need too much work?
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  3. Well done for turning a bad situation into an adventure. Being a parent makes you think outside the box and change your reactions. In the end I suspect you both had quite a memorable day! Thanks for sharing

    • Actually one of the most lovely on record…who would have thought it? And then there are the so called perfect days which turn into nightmares haha x

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