It’s not success, but it sure isn’t failure

We are so hell-bent on our own failure, which so rarely occurs

BRATTLEBORO — I have this nasty habit of overemphasizing my downfalls. Because I feel unworthy of success, or maybe I don't know what to do with the feelings of actually not failing. Because failure, success and the art of not failing are three separate things, and we have the right to acknowledge them as such.

Failure is if my kids are in bed wondering if I love them.

Not failing is when I run out of granola bars and give my children 14 different dairy products for school snack.

“Have this Yoplait Light, a cheese stick, and some....cheese. Have a great day!”

Success is reading three books, preparing a well-balanced meal and heading into bedtime without threatening to donate their entire dress up bin to the Salvation Army if they don't get their stuff off the floor.

Seriously...pick up your stuff, kids.

While we are so hell-bent on our own failure, real failure so rarely occurs.

You're not failing if you're 15 minutes late to school.

You're not failing if you have cereal for dinner.

Or if you laugh when a beach ball knocked your toddler over.

Or if you feel like you need to run away.

Or wonder if you're even cut out for parenting.

It's not success, but it sure isn't failure.

It's human, and it's OK.

* * *

At least 100 times a day, I wonder what I'm doing wrong and completely disregard everything I've done right.

It's such a bullshit way to live, to parent, to love, to exist.

Because my imperfection is success. I've successfully been a human being - fallible, aware, and trying. And maybe even kinda-sorta succeeding. (Or maybe not. Pass the Cheetos, kids. We're out of protein again.)

And I don't even care that my kids' clothes never match. Even though you might care. We can care about different things. But, I was also raised by MTV...so what do I know?

Maybe I know a lot. And maybe you do too. I bet you do.

* * *

But there's no medal for motherhood, and the only way you know you got it somewhat right is if your kids show up for Thanksgiving.

Or quote you while laughing and sharing a bottle of wine.

Or climb up the stairs to tell you they love you even after you've yelled as loud as possible that their teeth are going to turn green and fall out if they don't brush them.

Especially after all that dairy.


“Mama, I love you.”

“I love you too. I love you guys the most.”

Yes. Success.

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