Parents

Mom's honest list of parenting fails inspires others: 'We should be compassionate'

Every parent makes mistakes, even if it's not something they want to admit.

But a Canadian blogger and fitness trainer is sharing her parenting fails in an honest effort to get people to be kinder and less critical, and remind us all that nobody is perfect. Jennifer Campbell, who has three sons and blogs under the name Mama Lion Strong, shared the post on her Facebook page, where it's gone viral.

She recalls a frightening time when, while nursing her infant and watching her 4-year-old play, her 2-year-old son escaped from the yard without her noticing.

"I wasn't expecting anyone but suddenly I heard footsteps coming down the side of the house," Campbell wrote. "I didn't even have time to cover myself before a woman came around the corner, a look of fury on her face and my 2-year-old on her hip. She started yelling the second she saw me. 'Do you know where I just found your child?' she screeched."

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Campbell shared other startling stories, too, like when "my oldest son fell in the backyard and split his head open," and another time her youngest got his hands on a butcher knife in the kitchen.

"I didn't mean to be callous about it — we obviously learned from each one," Campbell, 32, told TODAY. "But my husband and I... we're just trying to navigate this journey of parenting like everyone else."

Her point, she said, is that "we're all in this together."

"Women keep being told that it takes a village to raise a child, but most of us don't know where that village is," Campbell said. "Usually the village is standing back and pointing fingers at the mom when something goes wrong."

She was inspired to share her own "close calls" in light of criticism aimed at the parents of 2-year-old Chase Martens, the Manitoba boy who drowned after he went missing from his family's home last week.

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"Very soon after, the judge and jury we call the Internet started up," she said. "There were rumblings that this accident was preventable, and where were the parents? How could they let this happen? I just thought, anybody could be this little boy's parents. We should be compassionate, not blaming."

"[Being a parent] can be overwhelming and frustrating, and I think people need more help," Campbell continued. "Enough with the judgment. If you have time to stand around and point fingers, you have time to stand up and help."

For fellow parents, the honesty is refreshing.

"I feel less alone as an 'imperfect' parent when I read your truths," one mom wrote.

And dads chimed in, too: "As a parent, we all need support," said one father.

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Campbell hopes her words encourage even more parents to share and be honest about the hard parts of raising kids.

"There's a lot of shame in parenting, and in not being a perfect parent," she said. "I hope my post helps other women open up and say hey, I'm not perfect, and maybe also say, hey, I need some help here."

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