I Hate Making Mistakes

amazed woman with hand over mouth

I Hate Making Mistakes

I hate making mistakes. I hate it. I agonise over mistakes, mistakes I’ve made, mistakes I might make, mistakes that could have been worse, mistakes that I feel nobody else but me would ever make. Rationally I know that everyone makes mistakes, but sometimes the fear of not wanting to get anything wrong is so powerful I’ll refuse to make phone calls “in case I say the wrong thing” or I don’t want to take risks or try new things (especially with technology) because  I just hate making mistakes. Sometimes not wanting to make mistakes is also what causes me to make mistakes, like one time in a new job the boss was standing behind me and I so desperately wanted to do everything right I made a really obvious and silly mistake, that I wouldn’t have made had I not been freaking out inside my head.

So, today, I’m going to suck it up and share some mistakes I’ve made in the passed, hopefully I can let go of some of the mistakes I’ve made and get busy making more, and maybe, just maybe, help someone else who feels like me feel a little less like we’re the only people who make mistakes. Here we go.

One time we were driving home from the shops and a little voice in the back seat says “Mummy, you forgot to buckle up my seat belt!” We’d maybe driven 1klm with our eldest unbuckled, but I felt terrible about it, as though that made me the worst mother in the world. His father had put him in his seat and then gone to load up the boot, I walked around the car and shut the car doors, we both assumed the other had done it. 2 years on we almost always verbally “cross check” that both kids are buckled in. Another occasion reminds me of Peaches Galdof’s pram incident  where I forgot to buckle my toddler into the pram, hit a bump and she flew out of the pram. Yes, I was also on my phone at the time. Never mind I had just finished a 6 hours of solid cleaning for our end of lease clean and in the 2 weeks prior our daughter had been very sick, one the hardest couple of weeks of my life with stress of moving coupled with sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion. Would I blame anyone else for not doing up the pram seat belt under those circumstances? Not a chance! Did I feel terrible about it – you bet.

One time I was doing up my son’s zipper on his jacket and it was really stiff so I tugged on it really hard and when it finally gave in and zipped I was pulling so hard when it released my hand flung up and I accidentally punched him in the chin. Yep. That happened. I was really glad nobody else was there to see it, especially the look in his eyes, the look of utter betrayal – and now I’m telling the whole internet.

There’s more, there’s so much more, it’s the kind of unimportant trivial things that keep me up at night. I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about the judgement of error I made when I was 17 and I lied to my brother about something stupid. I’m sure he’d have forgotten about it within a week, but that mistake weighs on me a decade later.

I leave the oven and stove on All. The. Time. I nearly burned the kitchen down the other week – flames leaping off the stove – because I started cooking popcorn and then totally forgot. It was only by chance I happened to walk back into the kitchen (just before the smoke alarm went off) Easy mistake. It could have been costly – but it only cost me a pot and about 50cents worth of corn kernels. I break something glass in the kitchen on a weekly basis. I’ve washed things in the washing machine that I wish I hadn’t, from phones to important receipts to disposable nappies (can you imagine gel crystals all through the clothes – shamefully it’s happened more than once) Also the other day I put body wash on my face thinking it was moisturiser.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve approached the counter in stores, began paying for my items, and had the sales person ask me what I planned to do with the clothes/items hanging off my pram. I’ve managed to walk out of stores a few times like this – then sheepishly walk back in to return said ill-gotten gains.

I’ve made so many social mistakes I call myself a walking faux pas. I forget people’s names, I misread social cues, my foot seems to be in my mouth more often than it’s not and when I get nervous rather than stop talking, I talk more, which never ends well. I forget social engagements that I’ve RSVP’ed for and I’ve turned up to social engagements which I’ve failed to RSVP’ed to, or go to the wrong venue, or on the wrong day. I’m really grateful these days a lot of events are planned over Facebook and I find myself double checking the times, dates, locations while on the way to events to avoid mistakes.

So, there it is. Please (please) feel free to share your own mistakes!

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.


  1. Also: put on my childs buckle when too tight and pinched the skin on 2 separate occasions. Sent him to kindy without water (they obviously give them a loaner , but you still feel as though you have failed them). Fallen off a bicycle with him in the child seat. Probably lots more I can’t recall at this time too

  2. Oh whoops. I’ve forgotten the drink bottle too, or hat, one time shoes… Shoes! In my defence we were running late, I told him to put on his shoes, buckled the baby into the pram and then I put him in the pram and off we went – I didn’t check that he’d done it. I realised when I took him out of the pram and said I’d run home and get them but his teacher said don’t worry.

  3. Oh I also smacked him once when he bit me. And yelled at him (what seems unnecessary in hindsight) on many different occasions. Oh the guilt!!

  4. i like to define things as what they are, not just mistakes. takes the pressure off. falling off your bike with a little passenger-accident, take the blame off yourself. it was an ACCIDENT, not mistake. Leaving shoes, waterbottle, the chld behind when you run out the door is a sign of a mum with alot to do and is FORGETTING, again, not a mistake. a mistake in my mind is putting plain flour instead of self raising, you made a MISTAKE, not the end of the world, but mistake does not cover all the whoopsies we happen to make. redifine your terminology and feel better about yourself 🙂

  5. (i F things up all the time, difference is i don’t worry, a little whoopsie is no big deal, it happens, doesn’t make me any less of a good mum/person than any one else. intention is the key. your not intentionally doing these things. if you intentionally clip your kid with the seatbelt, smack them in the chin when zipping up their jumper, go to kindy without shoes and water, thats not cool. but when it’s an accident, it’s an accident

  6. Lately I’ve been asking myself when something happens that I stress about “what would I say to myself if I was my own best friend?” because it’s never what I’d say to myself as myself.

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