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Challenge: Parent Fails

Failing Forward

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If there was a “Worst Mother of the Day” award, I’m sure I would qualify for the prize on a regular basis.


I’m not sure if this sounds familiar, but here’s how I sometimes see a typical weekday:

  1. Get out of bed ten minutes late after pressing the snooze button—so tired!
  2. Quick workout (never long enough) followed by scrambling to get showered and dressed. Change outfits three times.
  3. Get the kids ready for school. Dylan’s jeans are too short. Didn’t realize Morgan was wearing two different shoes (ugh!). Kids eat frozen waffles; no fruit or anything remotely healthy.
  4. Pick up carpool (five minutes late). Yell at kids for yelling in the car. Drop kids off at school and realize Morgan forgot her lunch.
  5. Drive back to school to deliver lunch.
  6. Unsuccessfully try to cram ten hours’ worth of work into six hours.
  7. Drive kids to soccer practice (I mean, speed to soccer practice). Arrive five minutes late.
  8. Go to McDonald’s drive-through on the way home. Don’t buy the Happy Meals (a rip-off), but buy from the dollar menu instead, which makes the kids mad.
  9. Homework, reading, showers, practice singing for voice lessons….
  10. Lie in bed. Can’t sleep, thinking about all the things I screwed up today.

It’s so easy to remember every single thing we’ve done wrong during the course of the day, but rarely do we give ourselves credit for the things we do right. What if we were to look at the positive side of our parenting instead of just beating ourselves up for everything we do wrong? The same day could look something like this:

  1. Get out of bed (an accomplishment in itself).
  2. Work out. Feels great to get that out of the way in the morning!
  3. Kids are self-sufficient and get themselves ready in the morning. Dylan’s clothes are getting small, so make note to go shopping this weekend.
  4. Drive kids to school. Dylan blows me a kiss good-bye. Makes my whole day.
  5. Realize I forgot Morgan’s lunch and feel good that I brought it to her later. Will put money in her school lunch account so she can buy lunch if it happens again.
  6. Get lots of work done. Check seventeen items off my “to-do” list.
  7. Take kids to soccer practice. A great way to incorporate physical activity into their day.
  8. Hit the drive-through on the way home. Skip the fries, and serve their cheeseburgers with fruit and milk at dinner.
  9. Spend time together helping with homework. Teach the kids about responsibility and preparing for their upcoming day.
  10. Share a special moment with each child as I tuck them into bed. Go to sleep knowing I did my best.

The bottom line is we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we do right. If our best intentions end up going wrong, we can correct our course. Each evening, even if the day didn’t go your way, try to find at least one thing that made you proud. If that’s hard to do, remember that tomorrow is a clean slate, and get ready to rock it!

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