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Take a Failure Bow in Parenting

IMG-20130120-WA003Yesterday I stumbled upon an interesting article on how some companies are helping their employees to learn from failure. They are turning failure into fun and lessons that may lead to productivity in the future. For example – MomsRising is an organisation that holds weekly “Joyful Funerals” for campaigns that did not work. Then there is the Global Giving’s Honest Loser Award. I quote from the article: “the failure bow can be transformative because it alters our physiological response to failure by removing the demons of self-doubt and self-judgment.”

This made me think about the failure bows I could (should?) take on a daily basis when it comes to raising my little people…..

When they refuse to eat anything remotely resembling a vegetable, I give in and feed them crap like two minute noodles instead.

I am the human shield who prevents my one year old from rolling off the bed. What a loaded statement…Yes – I let them come to my bed. Yes, my solution to this very common problem is a bigger bed (a 5m x 5m bed to be specific, that my husband refuses to build. He argues it won’t fit into our room. Break down a wall is what I say).

After I had my second little person I abused Eglynol with red wine for about six months. I still have an emergency supply of Eglynol. Come over anytime.

I can go from family clown to monster mom in no time at all. This is scary even to me.

Whenever I try to photograph our family life, my two year old freaks out from extreme desire to play with the camera. This, for a long time, resulted in many photos of my son crying with outstretched arms, reaching desperately for the camera. No cute photos in other words. So I gave in and I now give him my camera to play with, so that he can take the photos and lay down our family life in memory for years to come. This results in many shots of the crotch area since that is exactly on his eye level, but every now and then he gets a beautiful close-up of my daughter or himself, or Beast’s left paw.

I let them run in the rain.

I’m not always strict enough about routine.

I enjoy turning tantrums into fun upside-down tickle fests instead of sending someone off to the ‘grow-good corner’. Because it is boring in the grow-good corner.

I have, on more than one occasion, used swear words in front of my kids. But because I am Afrikaans most of them can be easily explained away. “Vark” (pig) sounds awfully lot like you know what.

I think about how I was raised and I know my parents must have made many mistakes. But they did their best and for this reason I don’t remember any of the bad. I only remember the good. I also know that these small mistakes they may have made have turned me into the unique individual I am today. I applaud them. I applaud you dear parent. Take a Failure Bow. Bow down low and then pat yourself on the back. This is how we learn.


  1. This is even more entertaining than your Face Book messages – and I LOVE those!! 🙂 It makes me feel like a normal parent, and it makes me forget that I swore my child will never see any junk food until the age of 5 (what is 4 years between friends??!). Thank you for taking what little sleep time you have to entertain us – the “too scared to say anything” and “what will they think of me” parents. Well dunnit!


  2. Yeah good job:) so many of us out there who experience the same daily, we truly are blessed to have them and boy Bianca makes me laugh:) love reading all your posts on Facebook, glad you have started the blog.


  3. Dear Monster Mom,

    Loving that your talent as a mom writer is now solidified in this blog – looking forward to reading more. Even though I may be later in the ‘mom-sphere’ than you currently are, all your words ring so true. Hope you get to spread your words to many other moms and dads as they ride the rollercoaster of parenthood!

    Lots of love


  4. So glad you are converting your sense of humour to a blog! I look forward to your Facebook posts every day – now I have another piece of your life to share. Congratulations. Now where is that red wine?


  5. Well done Karen!!! I love reading your status updates about your experiences with your little peeps and I know I will thoroughly enjoy your blog too!! We are way too serious about everything in life and its lovely to see the brighter side of failures because mostly through those failure ,do we see our success! Much Love and Bloggness!


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