Bad mom moment: I killed all her fish.

sad, hurt, anger, mad

amayaeguizabal / Pixabay

Sunday I had a very bad mom moment.

I killed ALL of Miss Crafty’s fish. I discovered the first 2 floating and within an hour the 3rd one had joined his brothers.

Her pets of nearly 3 years, dead and floating, all because I installed a new tank heater. It was necessary but it raised the water temperature too fast. The poor fish couldn’t handle it.

There was no one to blame but me.

And Miss Crafty was mad, hurt, in pain, grieving, and upset all at the same time.

At one point she was so mad she couldn’t look at me, but she was still my hurt little girl who needed her mom for comfort.

She didn’t know what to do, she stood in front of me looking at the floor as I apologized. I could tell she wanted to come for a hug but couldn’t bring herself to hug the person who had just killed her pet.

So I took responsibility and gave her an outlet, “I know you’re mad at me, and that is perfectly understandable and acceptable. You don’t have to pretend.”

That broke the ice.

She let her anger and pain show and it was raw and real. I stood there taking it, not fighting back, just listening. And she walked away.

About 10 minutes later she came and found me on the couch.

She needed her mom. It was one of those moments when nobody but mom would do.

Miss Crafty curled up in my lap, cried, and grieved for nearly an hour.

Because while I had hurt her, she knew that I could provide love and comfort in a way that nobody but a parent can.

I hugged her and just let her cry.

Once she got it all out, she was much better.

My heart continued to break. What a terrible mom moment. Here I am, the one who is supposed to lift her up and help her grow into a strong woman–and I’m killing her pets.

I haven’t forgiven myself yet. It is hard. I caused her so much pain and I can never make up for that.

Once again, Miss Crafty is teaching me, molding me, and making me better. She has already forgiven me. She’s no longer angry or upset at me. She holds no grudge.


Forgiveness I don’t deserve, forgiveness I can’t earn.

Pure. Perfect. Free. Unconditional Love.

And a reminder that even though I’m her mom, I’m still allowed to screw up.


It has been a few days since the ‘great fish incident’. Her tank is still set up waiting for her to decide what she wants to do.

She has started researching hermit crabs. It would take a lot to flip her tank.

I reminded her that Christmas is coming.

Miss Crafty reminded me that it would be her pet and I don’t need to help with ANYTHING.


Perhaps she has forgiven me, but she hasn’t forgotten yet.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie Volkert
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 17:16:10

    She’s going to be telling people 20 years from now about the time you killed all her fish. But I’m pretty sure by then it’ll be just a story, not a vent.

    We have a lot of pets here, and I’m always worried that I’ll hurt or kill one of my daughter’s pets. I worry the snake will escape, or the hedgehog will get sick, or the rat will starve because no one remembered to feed her.



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