Because We Fail

January 17, 2015


image via the fresh exchange (Iink)

image via the fresh exchange (Iink)

Real talk: I’m having one of those moments when I know I have rather sucked as a parent. Contrary to many pretty, shiny blogs out there in the parenting space, these moments happen, and I’m having one. There.

For the better part of six months I have let the kids be baby sat by electronics, fallen off the “better food” wagon, and generally chosen the easy path that led to “quiet” as opposed to “correct.” I’ve lived in my head, not theirs. There is shrapnel of awful fast foods, lack of connection, and behavioral tip-toeing. None of this is grounds for CPS, but, still, I’m bothered by it. A lot.

I rarely hold myself to other people’s supposed standards, but I do hold myself to my own, and, in this, I have failed my kids and myself as of late.

It’s okay to say that word, fail. It’s important. Because we do, as parents. We fail. The trick is we hope to only fail at the small things, the recoverable ones.

The things I’ve failed at lately, they’re a mixed bag of small and big. Some require only a small course correction – a few others will require bigger, more consistent efforts. That’s fine – it’s important work. The most important.

I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to not just take my word for it this time. I decided that, if I’m going to sit down and have a big discussion with the kids about some of these things, that I am also going to ask them what they think – about these things, and about me. What am I doing right? What could I do better – or differently?

The kids are 13 and 8 now. They’re old enough to give thoughtful answers, even if some part of it might be “let me keep my phone in my room (nope)” and “let me stay up ’til 10:00 every night (nope, again).  I’ve spent a year consciously changing how I deal with each kid. I’m hoping that effort pays off with a deeper level of trust or honesty when it’s really needed.

Those are hard questions to ask, and the answers may or may not be hard words to hear, but I won’t know until I ask them.

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5 Responses to “Because We Fail”

  1. Christine Says:

    What a great lesson for the kids too — failure is ok. It is how you deal with it, how you course correct, the conversations you have that truly matters.

    • pamlewis Says:

      Thank you, my friend. Yes, it is absolutely how you handle it. What a great way to put it. 🙂 xo

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    You have amazing kids! Cut yourself a little slack, you have been healing yourself to be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend and so much more. I bet you’ll find they really were more than ok with taking a back seat as you become a healthier and stronger you.

    • pamlewis Says:

      Well, we’re gonna find out! 🙂 Thank you – you had a hand in Leah becoming who she is, so take THAT as a big compliment, my friend. 🙂

  3. Pat Says:

    You haven’t failed anyone. Failure is when you quit trying. Your kids are lucky! Yes…I know, luck is the residue of design. Cheers!