Sunday, 13 October 2013

What it is to Fail

`Boy throwing stones into the river Severn
I started writing this during the summer holidays, but it took a long time to get it right, as I couldn't seem to put into words what I was trying to say. It's a little out of date now, but I thought I'd publish it as it's written, I hope it makes sense! I can't be the only one who looks forward to the summer holidays surely? I know most of us suffer from over exposure to our kids at some stage or another, but I have to say I love having them home. I love the relaxed atmosphere, doing things at our own speed and having time to actually enjoy each others company. Today I spent an hour lying on my back in a tent in the garden, playing 'I spy' with a seven year old. 

I always come away from those situations feeling I've learned something. Like how to spell. I've walked along the beach with my daughter, collecting shells. She has an amazing sense of humour and we can laugh and laugh about nothing in particular for hours. I would even go so far as to say, I have a little, tiny knot of dread, because I know it will be gone in a heartbeat and we will be thrown back into the day to day rush of family life. And all goes by so quick. So I wanted to take a little time today to share my thoughts on being a mum. As any of you who have shared my journey will know, I had my first child at 18, gained a teenager at 26 and completed my family with another baby at nearly 30. Obviously, having children changes you and, for me, each one was a completely different experience. When I had my first child, I felt judged every day. And I think we all judge ourselves, anyway, so it was really hard. Looking back, I think I spent far too long focussing on looking the part and trying to create 'the perfect family'. When I had my second child, I was ten years older, and a lot more relaxed. I felt more confident, so I didn't have the inner turmoil of balancing motherhood, with trying so hard to 'do it right'. I just got on with it. But I still feel the guilt. Am I not trying hard enough? Are my decisions the right ones? Will I look back in years to come and wish I'd done things differently?

Boy on a Bridge, overlooking the M5.

The answer to the last one is 'probably'. But, then, when you think about it, is that not true for all aspects of life? In which case, so long as we do our best, why not just accept that? We might fail. There will be times when we shout, or forget something, or make the wrong choice, but the important thing is to recognise success equally as much. No one can get things right all the time, but, by moving on from our failures and accepting them, we can concentrate on getting things right and, most importantly, enjoying our children and all the brilliant parts about being a parent. Do something silly today. And remember, you're only human.

If your children are smiling, you have not failed,
If there is laughter in your house, you have not failed,
If you can make a snake from an abandoned twig,
Hum the theme tune to Peppa Pig,
And recognise the 'potty jig'
You are a parent, you have not failed.



  1. I adored the holidays too, I seemed in a minority, people moaning about the 'kids' being off and not having me time, whereas I was looking forward to being daft, lazy days to talk,dream,do! I now have 18 year olds and feel I have failed on occasion. But then I look at the whole of it and see I have loved, (got it wrong sometimes) but loved, and that is more than enough. Lovely to read this,you have done good.

    1. Thank you, Jo! My daughter turns 18 this year. I think that's what got me thinking about it all. It is nice when we can recognise that it all turned out well in the end! :-)

  2. My eldest is 21 and my youngest is 9, and we have loads of fun together still. I also have a 19 and 15 yr old. We play the rain game on dull days and have great fun outside on the nice ones. Its all about laughing, too much sadness in the world. x

  3. I was so pleased to read this post! For someone who doesn't have, but wants children, just not happening for us, I absolutely loathe it when people post on facebook or moan to me about having their children at home, or schools should be year round. I sometimes wonder if they ever think about what they are saying or think about how lucky they are?

    It is refreshing to hear someone say they love having their children around.and are excited for the summer!

    I think that is the key to not failing as a parent! Good for you!!

  4. I think there is so much pressure on being a mum. Everyone thinks we should be the perfect parent, whilst holding down a job, making cookies with the kids and taking them to ballet or football twice a week.

    If we learned to accept we are not perfect and that we make mistakes, the world would be a better place


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