Why I Embrace Being an Imperfect Mom

Parents' editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello knows there's no such thing as a perfect parent. So she's laughing at her mistakes while trying her best every day—and encourages you to do the same. 

Liz Vaccariello and Jenny Mollen Anna Wolf

Hi. I'm the editor of Parents, and I am a mediocre mom.

I mean, sure, my daughters are fed, clothed, vaccinated, seatbelted, hugged, kissed, read to, and cherished with every fiber of my being. But every day I fall short of the mom goals that I worry I should be setting for myself.

I do try. I try to listen to everything they say, feed them the colors of the rainbow, and turn spilled milk into teachable moments. But embarrassingly often, you’ll see me buried in my phone, shoving chicken nuggets in the oven, or throwing up my hands in exasperation. And like Vicki Glembocki in Steps to Quit Yelling At Your Kids, I yell.

All this is from a woman who knows better (I “do” parenting for a living!) and who has a hands-on husband and a full-time babysitter on her team. That’s the thing. None of us can parent perfectly. And so I say let’s laugh at our mistakes, confess our fails, and wake up tomorrow trying our best all over again. 

The April issue of Parents is the Imperfection Issue—a sometimes lighthearted, often serious, and ultimately helpful edition that says, “You’re doing great.” Trying to be a perfect parent is an exercise in futility. It’s the effort (and self-forgiveness) that counts.

Every day, I fail my children in some way. And every day, I’m okay with that. 

I invite you to e-mail me at liz@parents.com. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.