Feeling Like A Failure


Today was rough. Is rough.  I’ve put kiddos to bed, but I’m still dealing with my own issues.  I feel like I failed everyone today: the kids, my husband, and myself.  Why?  Because nothing got done.

It hit me as I finally got a shower after the kids went to bed (I usually shower in the morning – that’s how my day has been) that my attitude is a really bad example.  I preach to my kids and on this blog that gifted doesn’t mean high achieving, and then I beat myself up over a bad day where nothing got done.  I achieved nothing.  Forget high achieving, today was about surviving.

I know I’m not the only parent dealing with this.  I’m not the only person dealing with it in their lives.  There are millions of us all over the globe disappointed in ourselves for not doing what we thought we should have.  It’s a human trait, apparently.


It doesn’t help that I’ve been working hard on the art class handouts and I’m comparing myself to others.  Always a bad move, by the way.  Frida Kahlo did most of her famous self portraits from bed – using herself as a model because her body failed her and she couldn’t physically get up to paint.  Matisse started a whole new path for his art when his health began to fail.  He was bedridden or in a wheelchair, and instead of giving up completely, he began to paint with scissors.  His collages are world-famous now – because he didn’t give up.

I remind myself that I didn’t give up either.  Look, I finished sorting and cleaning up the Legos!  Instead of boxes strewn all over my dining area, now they’re neatly organized and placed in the storage shelves where they belong.  The Destroyer believes that Legos should be shared and strewn everywhere, hence the mess.


I make a mental list of all the things that I did manage to accomplish, and it’s a meager one.

Got out of bed.  Took a shower.  Prepped 3 meals for everyone, with the pediatrician’s nagging voice in the back of my head spouting “try to avoid processed foods because they’ve been shown to reduce life spans” as I microwaved the chicken nuggets and tossed a few applesauce packs on the table.  I did a load of dishes.  I took a nap and a shower.  And I’m writing this post instead of burying my head in the pillow and sobbing.

What I didn’t do: mountains of laundry.  Vacuum.  Finish cleaning up the school area.  Do ANY schoolwork with the kids at all.  Deal with the car in the shop (Mr. Genius had to take time off from his busy day to manage that.)  Mop the floor or clean the bathrooms.  Spend more time with the kids.  Go outside.  Clean up the toy mess.  Weed the garden (the HOA is doing inspections and we’re going to get dinged if I don’t get my ass out there and weed.)  Do a test run for Friday’s class.  Prep portfolios and folders for my new students.  The list goes on and on, filled with essential, critical things that our family needs.  And I didn’t do any of it.  Zilch.


It doesn’t matter that it’s not my fault.  After 9 straight days of waking up with a migraine I made the decision to go off my latest medication trial – now I’m feeling dizzy and dealing with side effects.  Plus we did “stuff” on the weekend and I used up all of my spoons just managing that.  My health dictates my life, and right now I’m in a downturn again.  Bad timing.

It really makes me mad that I’m basing my sense of self-worth on what I can do.  What happens if/when I’m bedridden?  Will I feel useless and worthless then?


Instead of wailing and whining about what I didn’t do today, I’m trying to think positive and focus on what I did.  I cared for those I love.  I took care of myself the best I could.  I made it through the day without any children killing themselves (near miss when the Destroyer took a header off the brick steps.)  And I didn’t completely lose my shit on the kids because I feel bad.  Which, in itself, is a major victory right there.   I’m here.  I’m surviving.  And tomorrow might turn around and be a better day.

I grew up thinking that I was never good enough.  Even now, imposter syndrome and low self-esteem are battles that I face nearly every day.  I write a lot about the issues that gifted kids face, and I have empathy for them because I am them.  I deal with it too.  I don’t really have any great peppy answers for these issues because I’m not a therapist – I’m just a mom trying to get through my day.  So for all of you out there feeling the same, be kind to yourself.

Give yourself a break.  So what if we didn’t get anything done today?  We need to stop defining ourselves by what we accomplish and start thinking about the unique, wonderful people that we are.  We need a little love for ourselves – a little kindness.  Sometimes life is tough.  Sometimes, making it to bedtime is the accomplishment that defines us.  We did it!


Now, go get some sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day.

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