A good fail is how you succeed.

Hey, mamas (and papas!) I've got a parenting question for you. How many of you have felt like you failed at something this week?

Yah, me too. But I'm going to try and put a different spin on it. I'm going to start to think about these lower moments in parenting as the moments when the success can begin.

Ok, well maybe I'm just trying to encourage myself... but isn't that a good first step?

I think so. I even put up this quote "It's important to be a loser to be a winner."

Parenting can be hard and tiring and rewarding and inspiring. All in the same minute. Did I mention tiring? There are days when I snap at them, days when I might yell at them both instead of just dealing with the one kid that is acting out because it is easier, days when I make them pick another book because I just CAN'T read another book about trains.

But 99.9% of the time -  about 10 minutes later - I'm feeling bad (and maybe a little sorry for myself) about the way I acted. I start making mental notes of things I could do better or just noting that my reaction wasn't the best. Or sometimes it's just more of a "wow - that trick just doesn't work for my kid." realization.

But whatever shape it comes in - that is growth.

The other night I was feeling that failure -- and feeling a little sorry for myself -- maybe even crying. Lucille (who had been throwing a fit for like 20 minutes straight at that point) asked me why I was crying. I told her I felt like I wasn't being a very good mommy - and she replied, "Yes you are."

And guess what? In the end - they are the ones that matter right? Or at least she knew what to say to make me feel a little better. So I do what I tell them to do -- and I take a deep breath and move on.

Put the kids to sleep, grab a glass of wine, and picture the perfect day that tomorrow is going to bring. I'm also taking better notes about when I'm winning. Like when they help clean up without even being asked. Or when the doctor tells Gus he is the "best pediatric patient" he has ever seen. We must be doing some things right.


So all in all - good job parents. All your failures are little tiny steps towards perfection. Which I think won't fully be here until I'm well into Grandma-hood.

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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