“I’m pregnant!” What a life altering phrase? This phrase can cause an abundance of emotions and thoughts to flood the mind all at one time. For many, this phrase has brought upon feelings of great happiness and joy. However, for others there are other feelings and questions that come about for example, “What if I fail as a parent?” This question can chase away restful nights and peaceful mornings. This question can cause one to begin looking for escape options. This one question can lead to a plethora of other questions. And before you realize you’re holding a hefty bag of questions without any answers in sight. This feeling and question of failure usually stem from various seeds planted in your heart and mind throughout your life. For a moment (take as much time needed) reflect on the seeds of failure that may have been cultivated unconsciously - i.e. a parent’s constant scorn, forever being blamed, or neglect of some nature, etc.
As a father I have made many blunders throughout my parenthood journey. There’s an old saying, “A lesson hard learned, is a lesson well learned.” Boy-Oh-Boy have learned some hard lessons and the reality is, I’m still here to talk about it. Not only can I talk about it, I can also share what I have learned about failure. Here are 3 things I’ve learned about failing as a parent.
1. Failure is NOT Final
Some mistakes are harder to bounce back from than others. But with all failures we can all choose how we respond to them. In my book titled “The Champion Father” I quoted a great orator saying, basically there are three choices we have concerning failure “1) We can be like an egg that cracks. 2) We can be like an apple that bruises. 3) We can be like a tennis ball that hits rock bottom but bounces back up.” We all have three choices as a parent, but only one; usually the most challenging choice will crown us Champion Parent!
2. Failure Filters
One of the most amazing accomplishments I believe a human being can achieve is conquering the plus 29,000ft monster call, Mount Everest. To undergo the different changes in climate conditions and still manage to trudge along against all odds is simply incredible. Upon my observations, I notice that all climbers seem to only take with them what is necessary. As a parent, in order to climb your way out of failure you will have to get rid of the unnecessary. Similar to filtered water, absorb the nutrients and leave the rest behind.
3. Failure Reveals
I am so fascinated with the dynamics of light and dark. It is astonishing to watch how darkness retreats once light appears, honestly, it doesn’t matter how minuscule the light appears to be. It is a sure fact that a portion of darkness will vanish into thin air. Interestingly, it is the same with failure. With each failure, a speck of light is created. You may say to yourself, I’m so glad that’s over I will never do that again. After that moment, it feels as if the light switch of life has been turned on. Keep in mind, the more times you fail, the brighter your bulb as a parent becomes.
With anything else, parenting is no different. Failure is a perquisite for success. Keep in mind, the Chinese proverb “failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up.” Your children are depending on you to get back up. If you have fallen, there is still time to get back up; even if you have to crawl to the nearest fixed object in life to get assistance. And, if you so happen to fall (fail) know that there is a light burning deep down inside of you. This intense light is the love you have for your child, and your child has for you. Let that light guide you through all the times you may feel that you have failed your child. Always remember your child will not see you as a failure, but as their super hero.