Failing to Fail

Why are we so determined to make sure our little darlings never know what it’s like to fail?

Why do we expect everyone to be a high flying “success” at everything?

When did failing at something become so terrible?

I grew up failing.  I failed plenty. I’m still failing.  And yet, each and every one of those failings was, and is, a learning.

Sometimes, no matter how many times I try and try and try at something, I fail.  Maybe I’m not meant to do it.  Maybe I’m not good enough at it.  Maybe, it’s not within my skill-set.

If it’s not happening, I have two choices;  I can keep going until I (maybe) do succeed. Or I can be proud that I tried but move on to another project, accepting that it’s just not going to happen

But either way, I’ve learned something.  I’ve either learned the right or successful way to do something, or I’ve learned something about ME; about my abilities and my limitations. Because, it’s OK to have limitations. And shock horror, it’s OK to know what YOUR Limitations are.  It actually helps.

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If they don’t run, they won’t fall… so how will they learn not to?

There is a massive problem in our society and it’s not just with our children.  There is and has been for many years,  a mistaken perception that we should teach our children that they “can do anything”; that they “can be anything”; that they can not lose or fail at anything.   That failure is not an option.

Well actually it is.  And I’d go so far as to say that failure is necessary.

 

The fear of failure is everywhere. None of us want our children to experience rejection or failure.  It’s evident at the school sports days, where we make them “race” and “compete” but then give them ALL a certificate or medal.  We see it in dance classes or drama groups, where they audition but ALL get onstage anyway.  We see it at football training,  or where the only options are “win” or “a tie”, so that no one has to lose.

Of course,  equality and inclusion are inherently important  in schools and clubs.  And most of these societies and organisations have individualized and tailored policies and programes in place to include everyone.  And so they should. Inclusion is not what I am talking about here.

But when in general, we are not rewarding the “winners” for fear of upsetting the person in 2nd place, or indeed 24th place, what we are creating is a generation who feel entitled.

We need to stop telling our kids that they can be “anything they want to be”.  We should be encouraging our children to try and try.  We should be telling them they can be what they want to be… IF they have that ability and are willing to work for it.

What is wrong with encouraging them to learn what their strengths and passions are?

What is wrong with encouraging them to try and to work to earn and to deserve the end goal, may that be a degree in medicine or a place on the football team?

What is wrong with our children knowing what they are good at and recognising what they are not so good at?

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How are they supposed to work towards improving and learning if they simply think they are entitled to an ‘A’ in an exam, or to the place on the team, or to a certain job because they’ve always been told they can be anything or do anything they want to do?

We do not all have the same skills.  We do not all have the same strengths. I can teach Shakespeare to a brick, but I couldn’t be a math teacher for all the tea in China, no matter HOW much I work for it.  And I wouldn’t be able to be a Doctor or surgeon, because I am way too emotional for such a job (and I’m probably not that academically able!)

Does that mean I am a failure?

Eh no.

Every Irish dancing feis I didn’t win, was a lesson.  It spurned me on. Every time I saw that a certain ‘Leah’ or ‘Clare’ was there, I knew that I most likely hadn’t a chance of anything higher than 3rd place. Did that mean I couldn’t dance? NO.  It just meant that those girls were better than me. They trained harder.  They had more talent. They deserved every medal and cup they won. They inspired me to push harder. Sometimes I won, sometimes I didn’t. It’s called life.

When I tried gymnastics, the day that I gave myself a black eye with my own knee was the day that I decided I was done.  Funnily enough Mum agreed.  Did I fail? No.  I was just shite at gymnastics!

When I got average results in my Junior and Leaving Cert, did I feel like a failure?  No.  I got what I deserved and I got out what I put in.  I had done my best.  And as long as I did my best, that was enough for my parents and it was enough for me.

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However, when I have won, or achieved or succeeded, it was celebrated.  Because I bust myself and try and graft and work and any other synonym you can imagine. And if I do succeed, I am proud of it, because it is mine and I have probably failed ten times before managing it.   If you burn the omelette and don’t try to make it again, how do you eat?

Every failed friendship I have, (and there are many), while heartbreaking to deal with, have all been for the best.

Every failed romance (yup many of those too!) teaches us something else important about ourselves and the person who is not right for us.

Every failed job or project or application or interview teaches us something.

For me, every time I auditioned, and was rejected, for a part in a show, , broke my heart a little.  Of course it did (and does). Let’s be honest, if I didn’t want the part, why would I go for it?  But rather than stomp my foot and think myself too good to return, I pulled up my big girl knickers and still joined the group; may it be to a smaller role or into the chorus.  Because I love it.  I don’t have to be the leading lady to have fun.

And our children need to understand that they don’t have to always win to be winners.  That they don’t always have to score the goals to be important to the team.  That even though they are doing their best, sometimes the person beside them is just a little bit better.  And sometimes, THEY will be that person and someone else will lose to them.

When we started to walk, we all fell…

And then we learned how NOT to fall. And eventually we walked, all by ourselves. (And sometimes, we still fall!) If we keep carrying our kids and our young people over every obstacle, how can we expect them to learn how NOT to fall?

Direct them, encourage them, support them.  But let them feel disappointment sometimes.  Let them learn to accept the success of others. And when they DO succeed, celebrate with them.

We have to sometimes fail to really appreciate succeeding.  We’re not entitled to anything.  We have to work and try and earn things.  Life will not simply give you things because you think you deserve it.  You get out what you put in.

And while we don’t want our kids to repeat our mistakes, we have to let them make their own, so that they walk by themselves.

Who knows, they might even fly.

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I am Sucking the Dodee Mum

Mammy is chancing her arm tonight and going with the flow…or maybe making a HUGE mistake?
 
Mammy has been aware recently of some tuts and raised eyebrows recently about the fact that her almost-Threenager Beast-Baby still has not only ONE dodee, but THREE of them, attached to her “Dodee-cow”. (the adorable cow head with four weird tags onto which the precious dodees are attached and adored.)
 
And despite Mammy’s usual “not-giving-a-singular-fuck” attitude towards what others think of her parenting style and choices, Mammy has recently heard herself making excuses and explaining that they’ll be “going shortly”.
 
Why?
 
Fuck knows. Because let’s be honest, she won’t still be sucking at them and carrying them around when she’s 11, will she?
And really, they’re doing her NO harm whatsoever. They provide her with comfort. She rubs one on her cheek while the other one hangs out of her mouth like the fag (cigarette) of a 75 year old Popeye-type, and the third hangs as an emergency back-up at her belly.
 
I try not to give them to her during the day. And we’re down to “in the car” (if I want her to sleep) and “bedtime”. because I like to sleep…)
At playschool she doesn’t have them at all. In Granny’s, she doesn’t even ask. But when her lovely teacher tells me that she caught her over at the shelf they sit on, having a wee sneaky suck, I’m reminded that she is still a baby and if she gets comfort from the blasted thing whe I’m not there, if only for a few seconds, what-the-feck-ever.
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And so I HAD decided not to panic about taking them off her just yet. I HAD decided that she can hold on to them until she turns 3 anyway, and if they’re not gone before then, I’ll use some clever Modern-Mammy technique (lie) like Elf on the Shelf or the Dodee fairy and they WILL be gone by Christmas.
 
But then tonight, we left them in Granny’s. (Well, I THINK they’re in the car, but I’m sticking with my story…) And so rather than a heavy, dirty, taggy-toy with 3 dodees hanging off them, (one of which is split so she uses that one for her cheek), she has gone to bed with only ONE tiny, solitary, lonely, pathetic little doddee.
 
And so far so good.
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So while yes, I am not worrying about it too much, I’m also doing what we Mummies do best… I am IMPROVISING and hoping and praying that maybe this might just work and that maybe I shall get rid of the dodees without any real forethought or planning or stress.
 
Because sometimes, (OK rarely, ) but still, sometimes, shit works without us trying and we get little Mammy wins handed to us…
 
But tomorrow is a long way off and I might not be as smug in the morning…

I am So you think you won’t Mum?

10 things I thought before I had kids:
1. I shall never shout at my child:  Oh you will you know.  Actually, it’s more a case of shouting at yourself really, because if you are having to shout at all, chances are that you’ve reached that wonderful stage where the little minions have decided to ignore every single fricken word you say, until you are screaming it at the top of your lungs like a mad woman.  And do you know what else? Even THEN, they’ll probably not listen to you.

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2. I shall love my child unconditionally always.  Yes,  indeed.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to LIKE them unconditionally or always.
3. I will never have to deal with a tantrum in a shop:  Oh yes you will.  The 30 seconds of your Minion’s meltdown will feel like an HOUR and even though no one is looking at you, you will feel like the entire shop has stopped specifically to watch your little Hell Demon throw his strop.  You will burn a new shade of crimson that you never even considered possible, and you will discover dexterity and wrestling skills that you didn’t know you possessed as you wrangle the wriggler out the door.  And yes, you will growl through gritted teeth and swear that you’ll NEVER leave the house again.
4. I will only feed them healthy, nutritious, organic home-cooked meals:  For the most part, we all manage this one, most of the time…mostly.  But trust me, Freezer Fridays are a thing and Leftovers are a blessing in disguise. I write my weekly meal planner on the fridge most Sundays.  At the beginning of the week, it makes me feel like I’m the bestest Mammy ever.  By Friday, it reminds me of just how hilarious I can be sometimes.😂 But hey!  They get fed don’t they?         Most days.
5. I will never be manipulated by a toddler: Yes, yes you will.  And even when you are using the bribery and blackmail (that you swore you’d never resort to), you’re still being manipulated by the minion.  And this is not reserved for toddlers.  Signs of parental manipulation can appear as early as Day 3 of your baby’s life, when they learn that if they make a certain noise, you’ll react.  And it never ends.  Our kids manipulate us forever… My Daddy loves me most you know. 😉😉

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6. I will bath them every night:  Ok, some parents DO manage this one.  If you are a Daily bathermum, I salute you and am in awe.  I NEVER got into this habit.  There are 3 reasons that mine get bathed.

A) It’s the weekend

B) They’re so rotten that I have no choice but to wash them if I want to keep up the facade that I have my shit together.

C) In the event of a Poonami or a Pukenado.
7. I will never swear in front of my children:  Yeah, good luck with that one. 😂 Try not to swear AT your children.  That should be reserved for special occasions, but swear in front of them, you shall. And do you know when you’ll realise it?  When they repeat what you’ve said at full volume in front of the WRONG person, you know, like the local priest or the PHN, or the School Principal, or…a Sanctimammy.  And sometimes, as mortified as you are, you’ll be slightly proud that they have used the expletive in the correct context.
8.No other child is as special as mine:  This one is true.  My children are the most special in the world…to me. 💖💖

 

9.Being a parent can’t be that hard. Everyone does it:  hahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahah.  Yes, everyone does it. And most of those everyones at SOME point wonder WHY they did!
10. I will never turn into THAT Mammy:  Oh my Darling.  Yes.  Yes you  will.  Every one of us has an inbuilt ability to be THAT Mammy.  You’ll surprise yourself.
I’m sure you could add your own Ladybelles xxx

 

 

 

I am Some FriYay Reminders Mum

Rejoice! Rejoice!

It is Friyay…the FIRST Friyay after a FULL week of school and work and routine. And we have all survived. (albeit just about, but survive we have.)

We may be frazzled and fooked Mammies, but still we must find the energy to REJOICE in the Fact that we have made it to the most wonderful evening of the week.

This week, after a long and sunniful summer,I am back to being a Full-time Mammy with a Full-time Job-job. What have I learned? Nothing. But I have remembered many things; Things that I had suffocated and locked in a tattered old box at the back of the memory part of my subconscious, but which now bounce back to the forefront of my ridiculously tired little mind.

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Tired Children:

  1. Tired children are cranky.  
  2. Tired children like to find a reason, ANY reason, to cry.
  3. Tired children do not KNOW that they are tired.  
  4. Tired children refuse to admit that they are tired.
  5. Tired children will bite one another.
  6. Tired children do not like to go to their beds, regardless of how tired they are.
  7. Tired children like to wake up at 2am and play with their toys, with the light on, noisily enough to waken everyone so that they have someone to tell that they are NOT tired.
  8. Tired children do NOT like to get dressed in the morning.
  9. Tired children do NOT like it when you bounce into their bedrooms at 7am singing “Good Morning, Good Moooooooorning!,  opening curtains and declaring that it is time for school. (Especially the not tired children who have been up half the night playing with their fecking toys.)
  10. Tired children like to say “No” and “No” and sometimes, “Noooooo!” to absolutely EVERYTHING that Tired Mammy asks or suggests.

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And along with tired children, comes the Tired Mammy.  But as well as being a tired Mammy, Mammy ALSO has to be SUPER-ORGANISED Mammy.

  1.  Mammy needs to keep on top of the fridge situation.  
  2. Mammy needs to pack lunchboxes and school bags and afterschool bags.
  3. Mammy needs to remember the fecking HORROR that is HOMEWORK.  
  4. Mammy needs to think about dinners sooner than when she opens the fridge at 6pm.  
  5. Mammy needs to set her alarm to make sure she gets out of bed 30 minutes before everyone else if Mammy wants to pee, shower and have a coffee all by herself.
  6.  Mammy needs to be an intelligent and functioning adult.  
  7. Mammy needs to rid her brain of references to Peppa Pig and Andy and Bing because they are not relevant to Macbeth and teenagers do NOT respond well to them.
  8. Mammy needs to try to keep the washing basket from puking and Mammy needs to arrange everyone’s clothes before bedtime.
  9. Mammy needs to remain relatively Wifely and interesting enough to hold a brief conversation with Tired Daddy when he comes home from Jim.
  10. And Mammy needs to get used to wearing stupid heels and muckup every single day.  (I’ll last until the end of September…)
  11. Mammy needs to cram all of the Mammying and playing and cuddling and scolding and fun into 3 hours in the evening, while being JUST as tired as her beloved Tired Children who are determined to PUNISH her tired ass for abandoning them in school and creche. (Even though they both LOVE where they go and actually CRY when they are collected.)
  12. Mammy struggles with balancing the Mammy guilt when she’s away from them, and the urge to sell them on ETSY when she’s spent an hour being screamed at and cried at by her Tired Minions.
  13. Mammy can’t win.

In conclusion.  Mammy does indeed need to rejoice that she has made it to Friday night, has the tired minions in bed, her feet up and the grapes poured.  And now Mammy needs all of her Lovely Supermums to say Hello and remind her of what I have been missing while abandoning you all this week while trying to keep 286 plates spinning without falling off her heels and onto her poor,  muck-uped, Mammy-guilty face.

Because as Tired as the two Dollies are, and despite the fact that I had to WAKE them every morning this week, I guarantee that the little farts shall be up at 6.30am tomorrow…

Why?

Because it’s Saturday of course.  

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Cheers Bitcheepoos. xxx