Lessons I Have Learned From My Children: Failing with Grace

by Melody on May 2, 2012

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I have done the following:

After becoming increasingly frustrated with my 3-year old who wouldn’t nap, I told him that his ears were probably hurting because he and his brother had been throwing dirt at each other.  Next day, come to find out, double ear infection.

After finishing his round of antibiotics, I spent 2 days lamenting the fact that his listening was getting worse and worse.  Both my husband and I were at our wit’s end trying to get him to do what we asked.  Two straight days we tried, chalking it up to normal 3-year old craziness, until it finally dawned on me that he really couldn’t hear us.  Back to the doctor, still had an ear infection and had fluid built up.

Our youngest son slipped off a heavy wooden stool when I wasn’t watching and ended up in the emergency room.  Turns out his nose that I thought was broken was fine, but he did have pink eye.  In my exhausted state, I swore I heard the doctor’s instructions for how often to take his medicine.  Follow-up appointment one week later, we found out I was giving him 1/3 of the medicine he needed and his pink eye was coming back.  I couldn’t even remember the name of the medicine to tell his normal pediatrician.  I insisted that it started with an O, I was sure of it.  Apparently, it started with a T.

Fail.  Fail.  And fail.

Have you ever had weeks like this?  When your best of intentions fall wildly short?  We have been so busy I can’t help but second-guess myself.  Am I too busy with the blog?  Should we really have left the kids with Grandma and Grandpa to go to the Mariners game? Are they watching too many cartoons?  Am I being careful enough not to spread their germs?  Are they eating a healthy diet? Should I be reading them even MORE books than I already do?

And so on and so on.

My kids, however, seem no worse for the wear.  It’s as if they have either completely forgiven me or don’t even remember what happened.  I’m trying to take from this a valuable lesson.  Although it is of course our responsibility to provide a safe and loving environment for our kids, as long as we are trying our very best every day, even if we fall short, we are doing our job well.

My children have taught me that failing is okay and perfection is near impossible.  They have taught me that in order to continue this job and do it well, I have to suck it up, shake it off and jump back into the fray.   I have to learn to be humble and accept my failings.

Accept them with grace.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

lynn May 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Oh Mel, you and Mike are such wonderful parents! I think of that so often and don’t tell you enough!! and when in doubt, feed them Moose Tracks ice cream ~ they’ll know you’re the best Mom in all the world!!! Love, Grandma


Karyn Franz May 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Thank you for sharing this…as a perfectionist, it is hard to accept my failings, especially as it comes to my husband and son. But you are right, accept them with humility and learn to keep going. 🙂


Miss Jay May 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm

We had a wretched day yesterday that left both my daughter (4) and I in tears. Just when I am feeling like the worst mom ever, my son (7) got some paper, and cut out hearts for us that all our names in it and arrows pointing to all the love.


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