What was your worst embarrassing mum moment? Dare to share it with us here.... If you have any photographic evidence, even better. If your kids are too young to be truly embarrassed by you yet, share your most embarrassing memory of your own mum.
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This photo isn't actually my mum as I was far too embarrassed to take a photo at the time...! Instead this is generously provided via Flickr by Landahlauts.
Aged 15, in a foreign campsite as other campers warmed their baked beans, I was horrified to discover my mum calmly doing Tai Chi under a tree on the top of a hill, in full view of everyone. This reflected very very badly on me and meant that no boy would ever grunt in my direction again. A tragedy.
Of course the reality (sadly only discovered about 5 years later) was that it is extremely cool to have a mum so committed to her health, body and passion that she wasn't worried what anyone else in the campsite thought.
I've not quite made it to that point myself yet, but I'm working on it and look forward to embarrassing my own children as soon as they're old enough.
My Mum learned the art of embarrassing from her Mum. Having spent years living with both I have been MORTIFIED more than my fair share.
Like that time I brought friends to visit my Very Smart And Well Spoken Nanny B - they were all on their best behaviour and I was very proud - right up until she told them Steve Redgrave made her clitoris tingle.
Or the time she did a lecture for my 6th form about the dangers of drinks being spiked and date rape - then told my form tutor she was glad I had lectures all afternoon as she was going home for a shag and didn't want me to hear and cramp her style.
You can see how my Mum got so good at it - she learned from the best! So she followed suit spectacularly - like the time I was chatting to a boy I fancied in town and she came over and honked my boobs.
Or the time she told my brother's mate Alan-in-an-anorak that I had fancied him for years and asked if he'd ask me out. (He said no.)
Or the time she told ALL of my brother's friends what size my new bras were.
I've picked up a lot of top tips on how to be a mortifying Mum from the two of them. I used to wonder WHY THEY HATED ME and were so determined to embarrass me so much in front of people, and they were agonisingly embarrassing. But then I had children.
Mine have managed to shame me publicly a number of times.
Like the day my eldest shouted "You are a very fat man - is that a delicious ice cream, fatty?" to a total stranger on a mobility scooter.
Or the time my youngest, who had been sitting peacefully in the trolley as we did our shopping, suddenly pulled down my top and yelled "BIG BIG BOOBIES" as loud as possible just as we got to the crowded tills.
I get it now. Why parents embarrass their teenagers. It's revenge.
I can't wait!
Having my son at 17 and not growing any taller than 5 foot has meant that people often have difficulties getting their head around the fact that I am in fact my son's mother! This has lead to countless occasions where other, rather embarrassing, assumptions have been made...
There was the time when we had not long moved into our new house and my partner was chatting to the new neighbour. My son had no shoes on so I gave him a piggy back out the house and the neighbour looked over at us and then apologised to my partner for keeping 'his kids' up! (My partner never did get round to correcting the neighbour either, which may explain some of the strange looks!)
There was also the time I walked my son's best friend home, who was about 12 at the time, and as we passed the park there were chants of "who's your new girlfriend!", which we both awkwardly pretended we couldn't hear!
Then recently I went to my sons post-16 options evening at school, and, when I asked to look at the UCAS book, they asked if it was for myself! And then of course, maybe inevitably now that I have a handsome 16 year old son, there was the slight moment of hesitation when a new work colleague looked at my photo of him on my desk and slowly asked "..Is that your ...boy...f..", "SON" I shouted over her....(Not who was most embarrassed!)
Still, I guess as soon as the "you look far too young to be a mother" comments stop I'll only start to miss them. And for that reason I will hold my head up high and take them all as compliments, whether they are meant that way or not!
When you look back at your childhood are there moments that stand out as being highly embarrassing? I mean ground opening, horrifyingly embarrassing? Yeah? Me too!
I love my Mum to bits, she is amazing and has fought off the "C" word twice!! Being a teenager, she could be THE MOST devastatingly embarrassing woman EVER! Not through her appearance, as she always looked like all the other Mums. It was the things she said that seemed massively crushing and her timing was always perfect for maximum effect. It ranges from the slightly awkward "You'll have to go now, it's dinner time." bellowed at my friends to the disclosure of very personal information to various family members and friends.
Three incidences stand out the most, all of which occurred in my early teens. It was my first residential trip with school and Mum was checking through my case. Nothing to worry about there, until she found sanitary towels. I had only started the month before so was still quite sensitive about it all. Holding them high in the air she asked if I thought that would be enough. My Dad who was waiting to put my case in the car flushed deep red so I don't know who was more embarrassed, him or me!
Another morning she decided to make a family announcement at breakfast that I had Thrush, She advised everyone that they should avoid my flannel in case of contamination, Mortified!
I think the MOST embarrassing was during puberty. I had hard lumps in my boobs (that turned out to be developing glands) so she would invite people to have a feel and ask their opinion! That would be classed as child abuse now!! When she did take me to the Dr, she ignored my pleas' to have a female Dr and booked me in with a creepy bloke who was not unlike Osama Bin Laden in appearance. Judging by the look on his face I think I was the highlight of his day - UGH!!!
I realise this doesn't paint a great picture of my Mum. She has got a little better with age but now I just think the filter is broken between her brain and her mouth! She can still come out with some choice words at awful moments but it doesn't bother me so much now.
This has had a knock on effect with my boys. As Big is 13 now I am very careful not to embarrass him, especially in front of his mates. I offer to drop him off round the corner from his mates house and wear 'tidy' clothes for school meetings and appointments. I did ask him if I was an embarrassing Mum and he said yes but he couldn't think of a single incident. To me that says I am guilty of only minor embarrassments which happen with everyone, I can live with that!
I am an embarrassing mum! I have learnt to revel in it and enjoy the moment. After initially trying to be 'cool' or not saying anything, I just decided I would embarrass my children anyway. So stick to you guns be your own person and enjoy the moment with a little smile.
One of my favourite stories of embarrassing my son was when he was about 16. I knew that he had become sexually active but I didn't really know the details. I have always tried to be open with a few key messages like, treat girls with respect and stay safe.
Unluckily for my son I work as a youth worker so I had access to lots of information on sexually transmitted infections. So while my son was out I plastered his room with posters and leaflets about Genital Worts, Chlamydia and Syphilis. Although my son was a bit embarrassed when he returned with his friends he saw the funny side and was well informed about staying safe.
All Mums should have the power to embarrass offspring and not be embarrassed to humiliate themselves. So, just a quickie, I managed this weekend to shout loudly across a stall at a festival "Oh how cute is this dragon T shirt - the baby dragon is sucking his thumb and feeling his ear just like you used to!" Cue one red faced teen looking daggers. I've still got it :-)