Parenting :: We All Fail Sometimes


I have a critical nature—both of myself and others. I hate it, but it’s true. It’s one of those things God may be working out in me over the course of a lifetime. I’ve done enough personal work and soul searching to connect some dots as to what is at the core of that and when it began, but the act of being critical remains for now.

As critical as I can be of others, I am much harder on myself, especially where parenting is concerned. I strive to make vast improvements in what likely is the result of generations of parental transgressions. I seek counsel from others. I pray. Yet I often worry that I am screwing up my kids.

My biggest fear is my kids sitting in a therapist’s office as adults having to heal from the wounds of their childhood and family of origin issues as I have.

And yet, I look at my kids and they seem to have secure attachment. They trust my husband and I, they seem to feel safe expressing their feelings, and they love well. I keep reminding myself that studies show you only need to get it right 40% of the time (and the grace of God) to create secure, attached adults with healthy styles of relating to others (Thank you, Jesus).

So, today I would like to try a different approach. Today I would like to be kind to myself. I posted a status on Facebook yesterday and it seemed to resonate with people. It was a “parenting fail” and it’s okay. Funny even. Here’s what happened: I was in the process of unloading the dishwasher and putting things away when I kept hearing Reagan (my five-year-old) and two little girls from next door jumping and banging around upstairs. It had been going on for awhile and I’d had enough so I stopped what I was doing—mid-dish—and went upstairs. It was only when I opened the door to Reagan’s room and said, ‘Playtime is over, girls’, that I realized I was still holding two butcher knives from the dishwasher. Needless to say, they didn’t argue. #‎ParentingFail‬

As parents, it’s important to show ourselves grace and it’s equally important to show it to others. It’s also nice to take a break from the world of Competitive Parenting and to be real. A little honesty and levity can be so refreshing. What if, today, we all posted our parenting fails for the world to see, and we laughed with one another? Encouraged another momma? Supported another sista? Uplifted a cyber-friend?

Now is your chance.

Do you have a funny story to share? What’s your latest #ParentingFail?



  1. I don’t know where to start with my parenting fails! But God is graceful and I can always find hope in Him at the end of the day. Thank God for my hubby, my partner in this big task that is parenting. And thank you Sarah, for sharing in total honesty. I kinda needed to hear I am not alone feeling like a total failure at times. So thank you for the encouragement!

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