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How Do You Explain Failure?

In no way can anyone prepare you for motherhood. It is rife with unexpected events and dismay that will boggle your mind. Truthfully, I expected to have more answers. But, boy, was I wrong.

The thing that causes the most heartache for me is when my children experience rejection. Whether it is from a person, group, job, school, or whatever, it is the worst feeling in the world. So how do you explain away what they see as their failure?

We understand that our children are not perfect, but they are certainly good enough for an after-school job at Home Depot. They might be a little shy in large groups, but they would be great in Student Government. And do not get me started about why that rat-fink [insert kid’s name here] didn’t like my baby dumpling! It all compounds into a greater sense of disappointment in your kid’s mind.

I know that to endure this world, we all have to build an outer shell (not unlike an M&M). The only way to earn that thick coating is to survive dismissal and keep moving. But, seriously, does our shell have to be THAT thick? Or start at such a tender age?

And how do you have the answers for them when you cannot find them for yourself?

I just realized that with every rejection or failure, I immediately blame myself. Just like my kids. Which makes me think it must be a universal reaction.

Yet, most times, when I look back on those rejections, they have happened for a reason. Almost always, I have come out the other side stronger, more prosperous, and happier. It’s just so damn hard to remember that HINDSIGHT is coming if I just hang on.

In a way, maybe it’s given me the best explanation for my kid’s woes.

I’d say, “I’m sorry you didn’t get it. Neither did I. What would you tell me about my rejection?”

Luckily, my kids are kind and would usually say, “It was their loss. But, something better is on the way.”

I reply, “Right back at you, kiddo.”

How do you explain away failure?

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Sep 12, 2021

That is some food for thought. (lol because it is always about food) And I will have to sit on that one because it certainly could have been divine intervention.


Sep 12, 2021

"In the moment of failure we blame ourselves. It's only in hindsight that we understand why it happened." I found this to be quite profound and like you I questioned why do we always blame ourselves? How did we learn that behavior or response? Was it learned? Is it intrinsic? We question what we said or did wrong, we question why we weren't enough. Why do we do that?

I don't know what the answers are to these questions and I am guessing that they are more than likely all different because each of us come with our own baggage of how we were raised, what we witnessed, what we were taught and how we observed the world around us. So…

Replying to

This is beautiful, Lisa! Thank you presenting some very important messages so eloquently. Here’s another thing to chew on… What if it was divine intervention saving you for something better or keeping you safe from something catastrophic?

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