Dear parent, you are going to fail.
You are going to fail over and over again while parenting. I don’t care if you have nine children or one. I don’t care if you are a step-parent, an adoptive parent, or anything in between—you are going to fail. Over and over again. But the great thing about kids is God made them so resilient and forgiving, so He could show us grace on earth.
I have forgotten to send the paperwork to the school.
I have forgotten about events and practices for the kids.
I have had to do laundry in a rush to get a jersey clean.
I have been so angry at them at times that I have given myself a timeout to take a breath.
Do not think, dear parent, that you are the only one out there who doesn’t have the answer to the problems facing your child.
I cannot begin to tell you how many sleepless nights and hours during the day I have spent questioning my parenting skills and the problems facing my children. I know my spouse has done the same.
It is hard not to look around the world and feel like you are not doing enough for your kids. When we are constantly shown perfect kids, doing perfect things, in perfectly clean houses. Ugh! Let’s normalize chaotic kids in messy houses, please!
I recently found out about an incident at school when my son could have been in trouble if the coaches involved had actually believed he had done something wrong. But they knew he wouldn’t have committed the rule violation he was accused of.
But it wasn’t what people thought he had done that I was upset about, I knew he hadn’t committed the rule violation. It was the fact he didn’t tell me. I felt like a complete failure as a parent because for whatever reason his teen brain didn’t trust me enough to tell me what had happened. And that is one of the most important things I want from my kids—I want them to trust me with their problems. I don’t want them to think they are alone in this world, ever.
I fail as a parent all the time.
But every once in a while, I get to hear that I’m doing a great job, or I get to witness my kids show their heart and leadership in the small ways that they can. I am a believer that God intersperses those moments during the times I need to know I’m not a complete failure.
Like those really rough weeks when I feel like I am completely failing everyone in my life, including myself, and God has my back by nudging someone to tell me my kids are doing great. Or God gives me a glimpse into their lives to show me the good people they are becoming. A moment to breathe and know they are going to be good people.
So I take the wins and the good reports every chance I get. Knowing that in that one win there are a hundred different ways I have felt like a failure.
In the failure there is learning.
I get to show my kids that everyone has bad days and failures. That there is no such thing as perfection on earth. They will witness false perfection every day on social media, but they will know it is fake. They will get to see their mother grow and become a better mother each day. They will know it is okay to make mistakes as long as you own up and learn from them.
So, dear parents, know that you will fail from time to time, but from the failure will come the knowledge that you are not alone and that failure is not the end of your story, just another chapter in this thing called parenting.