MOM! You’re Embarrassing Me!

A child adores their mommy without abandon…


….when they’re young.


They think she’s smart.

They think she’s beautiful.

She’s their bestest fwend.


They write love letters, give too-tight hugs and slobbery kisses, and pour out their adoration on the “best mommy in the whole world.”

Then the bubble bursts. The child realizes their little world is only a subset of the bigger universe. And they don’t always like how their mom fits into their newly discovered world. They measure their mommy’s intelligence against the new knowledge imparted to them, and she falls short. They compare their mommy’s beauty and fashion to the world around them, and she falls short. They wonder how in the world they got stuck with such an uncool mommy.

It happens at all different stages of life, tween and teen, and to varying degrees, but it eventually happens.


MOM! final


We become an embarrassment to our children.

Like the first robin  indicates spring, a newly-mortified child will first try  to walk a little ahead of or a little behind a parental unit. Then, they stop answering in complete, articulate sentences, ya’ know the kind our gifted kids used from about three to ten.  But, at ten they’re excitedly launched  into the years of double-digits and realize they’re almost a teenager, so celebrate by reverting to toddlerese, using monosyllabic grunts and nods as a form of communication.

Eye-rolling, heaving sighs, raised eyebrows, hoodie pulled over face are other incriminating signs that you  have definitely crossed an invisible boundary.

Sometimes they’ll even come out and blurt the deepest, darkest secret of their tortured heart. “Mom, you’re embarrassing me!”

I greatly appreciate their willingness to communicate, but the subject still mystifies me after a few decades of parenting. What are these offenses that would render us incompetent in their minds?

Read carefully. You don’t want to commit these offenses.


Offenses Mothers Committ:


  • Talk to them in public
  • Look at them in public
  • Hug or kiss them in public
  • Smile at them in public
  • Wear out-of-style jeans
  • Talk to their friends
  • Laugh too loud
  • Talk to their friends’ parents
  • Drive the wrong model of car
  • Spell out words in texts
  • Get a FB or Twitter account
  • Wear uncool shoes or boots
  • Chew gum
  • Wear in-style jeans in public
  • Don’t use emoticons in our social media
  • Talk to their teachers or coach
  • Don’t smile enough
  • Complain about your uncooked food at a restaurant
  • Take pictures of them at functions
  • Sing in the car to music
  • Ride the grocery cart to the car (OK, so they outgrew it before I did?!)
  • Dance in the store (It was a REALLY good song!)


This transition from adoration to agitation is a stage, like their biting or tantrum stage. It will pass. Eventually.

Even though I threaten my teens to behave with the promise of wearing leopard stretch pants in public with them proudly by my side, I don’t usually intend to mortify my kids. They’re just so easily mortified.

After one such exasperated conversation at home with the offended child because of the way I talked to them in public, I laughed.

Out loud.

“You’re embarrassed of me? Really? You want to talk about embarrassment? I never climbed the library shelves. I never bit anyone at the Bounce House. (I raised my voice. Why yes, yes, I did!) I never hit anyone with a hammer at the Children’s Museum. And I still loved you and took you out in public! Do I need to go on?”

Our children never stop to think about the horrifications we have endured as mothers. The list is general so you all can feel a part of the fun justifying ourselves today and removed the blanket of shame our tweens/teens try to throw over us. (I’ve included some from best friends’ kids, nieces, and nephews so they all can squiggle and worry. Names were excluded to protect the guilty.)


embarrass pm

Offenses Mothers Haven’t Committed:


  • Sat in church with finger two-knuckle deep in nose
  • Wiped a booger on your wall
  • Ran naked through the house and/or yard
  • Hit a friend with a belonging just. because.
  • Pulled, scratched, bit, kicked, pushed, or hit a friend just. because.
  • Throw food on the floor to eat later
  • Shoved something up nose to play with later
  • Opened four tampons and decorated the church with the pieces
  • Pooped in the bathtub
  • Pooped in the hotel swimming pool
  • Pooped on the sidewalk
  • Kicked someone in the privates because they said to stop throwing rocks
  • Scanned her head at the self-check-out counter at the grocery store
  • Peed in the front yard of a garage sale
  • Stuck pantiliners to the church pew
  • Wore your undies over hers then crawled down the church aisle – during the sermon
  • Yelled from the church bathroom, “Come WIPE me!”
  • Wiped her nose on your shirt
  • Asked you in a crowd where babies come from
  • Pitch a tantrum in the store then yell “You’re HURTING me!” when picked up
  • Wore Super Hero or Princess pajamas in public (we wear our pj’s in public only when embarrassed child forgets the garbage again.)



When you look at that list and add your offspring’s childhood follies, you will feel empowered to

  •  wear what you want, IN PUBLIC
  • say what you want, IN PUBLIC
  • act any way you want IN PUBLIC.


We moms have earned the right to embarrass our children.



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15 Responses to MOM! You’re Embarrassing Me!

  1. Kendra May 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Oh Mindy, I almost peed my pants for laughing so hard, after all having 4 kids does not help one’s bladder control!

  2. Mindy Peltier May 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Yes, that’s why we moms have mastered the poddy dance AND leg crossing, two skills highly needed for anybody who’s given birth.

    Glad I could make you laugh, and give you fodder. You are newly in this stage, I believe!

  3. Tandis May 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!! You have given me a great come-back for this conversation that is bound to come in my future. I think I will print this off and keep it in my Bible for when the time comes. KIds, they think WE embarrass them? LOL….. if they only knew!!!!!!!

    I have told M&M that I will wake them up at 5am when they are teenagers trying to sleep in. I will. Even if they are having friends sleep over…. 🙂 it’s fun to threaten this. They get nervous already.

    • Mindy Peltier May 20, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      Glad you enjoyed the lists, Tandis. Mostly, just enjoy this precious time when all four of your Little Women adore you! 🙂 Have been totally missing your family and our time together at Bible camp.

  4. Sharon Steele May 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks for the giggles and the memories! Both of being the terribly embarrassing mother and being the embarrassed mom. You hit the nail on the head!

    • Mindy Peltier May 20, 2014 at 7:09 am #

      Sharon, thanks for stopping by today and leaving a comment! Your encouragement is a blessing.

  5. Aron Smith May 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    Awww, Mindy, I bet you did do some of these things when you were a kid. Particularly the booger thing. We’ve all been guilty of that one at one time or another. And just as mothers have earned the right to embarrass their kids, kids who embarrass their mothers are just giving payback for what the mother herself did as a kid. It’s a generational cycle.

    • Mindy Peltier May 20, 2014 at 7:09 am #

      I refuse to answer on the grounds…..:)

      However, I love your point, Aaron, of the generational cycle. Maybe I should interview my Mom for her side of the story….thanks for dropping by today and leaving a comment. I always appreciate people’s valuable time.

  6. Cherrie Herrin-Michehl May 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Great article. It’s exactly what my friend needs to see. She’s discouraged. I’ll send it to her.

    Loved the picture! LOL 😉

    • Mindy Peltier May 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Thank you for the encouragement and sharing my writing with others. May it bless her and remind her that sometimes in the parenting we have to laugh – it keeps us from crying. Blessings to you and your discouraged friend.

  7. Judith @WholeHeartedHome May 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    All too true but they seem to come around when they hit nearly twenty. You are too funny, Mindy

    • Mindy Peltier May 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Yea, you’re right, sister, they do come around. But, in the meantime, we reserve the right to embarrass them. 🙂

  8. Mitzi Curi May 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    What a cute post, Mindy! You are such a talented writer. I need to visit your blog more often!

    • Mindy Peltier May 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      Thank you, Mitzi! I always appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I’ve been crafting in the home and garden as spring fever sets in and your blog has been inspiring, as usual! Blessings!

  9. Jackie June 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m so crackin’ up right now!!! While my kids haven’t said their embarrassed of me yet (I know it is coming soon), I’m so going throw a few things back at them. Oh, and I have a huge list I could go on and on. At the last homeschool field trip, one of the moms caught Josiah peeing (in the open) into the bushes as everyone was lining up for a picture. Really? You’re 10 years old, going on 11, kid! I’m always glad when I have time to read one of your posts. This was one of my all time fave’s. Stay cool, Mindy! No matter what your kids think 😉

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