Motherhood: Giving yourself permission to fail
Not long ago, my 7-year-old boy John came home from school ecstatic about some prizes he had earned at school. One of his favorites was a bouncy ball that he bounced on our floors and on the ceiling, and his sister was jumping off the walls in sync with it.
“John, take that outside please,” I told him, as I desperately wanted some peace and quiet.
He opened the door and ran outside, and within three minutes, he yelled my name.
“Mom! You shouldn’t have told me to go outside! I bounced the ball, and now it’s lost.”
Oh boy. There goes my quiet time.
I walked outside to help him look for it, and it’s nowhere to be found.
“I’m sorry, John.”
“It’s your fault. You told me to go outside,” he said on the verge of tears.
I reason with him and share how he’s still responsible for the ball. We talked more about it, and I let it go, but something inside me still felt like I failed him and didn’t suggest the best solution for play.
My feelings toward his lost bouncy ball reminded me of how I often feel in motherhood. Am I failing at this? I never feel like I quite have it down, and as soon as I do, some other struggle and difficulty surfaces.
In her honest article “My Pact to Become Good at Failure,” Mandy Arioto said, “In a sense, motherhood offered me new eyes to see that failure can be the thing that saves us. This is what I’ve come to believe about failure: It’s good. Just like childbirth is good. And by good I mean incredibly painful. Failure hurts, but there is tremendous potential for goodness to be born through it.” (Hello, Darling MOPS Magazine Spring Issue, pg. 29).
I think she is right on. For so many years, I have looked at failure as a bad thing. Could it be though, that failure can be turned into a good and godly thing?
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Holyoke Enterprise November 26, 2015