I know some people have a difficult time exposing their mistakes or owning up to them. My two divorces are the kind of mistakes, however, that inevitably invite public scrutiny. As much as I wish I could duck and cover when the topic is introduced. it's just something that I have to learn to deal with.
The most difficult people to talk about my divorces with are my own children. At 8, 6, 5, and not quite 1, I am their role model and spokesperson for the world. It's a weighty job even in the best of circumstances, but two divorces on my record is a pretty unsightly black mark.
For my girls right now, the best thing I can do is to be honest, especially about my most recent marriage and divorce. I made a mistake. A really big mistake, granted, but mistakes happen. What I am trying to show them now is that mistakes aren't the end and quite often just mark a new beginning. As hard as this past year has been, I hope that I have been able to show my girls what you do when everything falls apart. I hope that at the very least I have given them an example of how to pick the pieces back up after a big mistake and keep moving forward.
Divorce is one of the greatest tragedies of childhood and I won't even try to minimize its impact. But, I do hope and pray with all my heart that even mistakes as big as this can eventually be a source of strength and a wellspring of wisdom. Mistakes can make us stronger and sometimes, when we keep forging ahead, maybe even a little wiser too.
At 8 and a half years old, Esme is beginning a transformation of her own. Suddenly, and I do mean suddenly, she is so much less of a child and more a young woman. It's incredible watching her begin to unfold and discover new layers of herself, if not a bit unnerving too.
Just the other day, on the way home from school, Esme announced that she doesn't really like math anymore. I was astounded. I have read that this shift can begin as early as 8 years old, but I hadn't expected it to happen to Esme -not yet! She has always loved math and done so well with it. She is just now graduating from the more basic math concepts and moving ahead into long division and more complicated arithmetic and fractions. I have been so excited for her, so this announcement was cause for some concern.
I know that not everyone needs to love math and I'm open to that. But I also don't want doors to begin closing for my girls before they are even old enough to really begin making choices about their futures and careers. I want math and science and engineering to remain open possibilities.
Fewer women run big companies than men named John, and I think that is a topic worth bringing up at the dinner table. Only 14% of engineers worldwide are women. Women don't have as strong of a presence in fields like engineering, science, math, and technology and I think these are topics worth discussing, things that we should be aware of even at the age of 8.
I love GoldieBlox because they open the discussion and, better yet, are the beginning of a solution. Just a week after Esme decided she wasn't a big fan of math anymore, the GoldieBlox Builder's Survival Kit showed up on our doorstep. As soon as the box was opened and Esme absorbed herself in Goldie's Diary of Inventions, I felt encouraged once again.
Both Esme and Eila have spent hours building and re-building. It's mechanical engineering and it's also just fun. GoldieBlox are kind of like legos, which we adore, but different. To build and invent with GoldieBlox requires a little more thought, more trial and error, more effort. They are fun, even as the kids are making mistakes and taking apart the Tea-Cup Ride they are building for the third time to replace a piece in the wrong position. They are learning what most engineers already know - that failure leads to innovation.
GoldieBlox are opening up the conversation at our house about working at things that don't necessarily come to us easily. We are talking about making mistakes and bouncing back and about keeping doors open while we learn to love the process. They are teaching us how to fail so we can learn how to succeed. They are useful tool as I do my best to teach my girls about failure in a positive way.
These are toys I can really get behind. We love them! The girls spent hours last weekend trying out Goldie's Zip Line in various locations around the house and yard, trying to figure out the best way to really get her to zoom. I just watched, grateful and totally proud! The world is still full of possibilities for these girls, and though we're all making mistakes together, we're bouncing back just fine!
Want to try them out? Use this code to get 20% off of any purchases from GoldieBlox before APRIL 5: Spring2015-2t97sb5a
Enter to win a Goldie Action Figure and the Builder's Survival Kit. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Tell me about a time you failed and bounced back.
For additional entries:
- Like GoldieBlox on Facebook, then leave another comment here and let me know that you liked them.
- Retweet this message, then leave another comment here and let me know that you tweeted: Win the Goldie Blox Builder's Survival Kit and more http://bit.ly/1CwHfs1 #GirlsNeedGoldie
- Pin the image below, then leave another comment here and let me know that you pinned.
The giveaway will end at 10 P.M. MST on April 15, 2015. Winner will be chosen at random and have 3 days to respond. Good luck!
This post was sponsored by The Motherhood and Goldie Blox, but all opinions are my own. We are proud owners of Goldie Blox and we are excited to share them with you! Thank you for supporting Some the Wiser and the sponsors that make it possible.
I think there are things we all fail at every day, no matter how small they are. But I've learned that pushing forward and finding the good is most important - because there are better days ahead.
Wow, this looks great! I have added it to my 8 y/o's wish list.
I feel as a parent I make mistakes each day. The ones I share with my children seem less like mistakes and more like learning opportunities.
Just last week the kids were fighting over a rock and while they were coming to a (heated)
compromise I got frustrated and threw the rock away. I realized I was wrong and admitted it to them and gave the rock back. Hopefully it showed them that when we make mistakes it's okay to admit it and to take responsibility. BTW, you have always inspired me with your grace and humility.
Tiffany P says
Thank you for sharing this! I have never heard of Goldie Blox. You just made shopping for my daughter and all my nieces' Christmas and birthday gifts easier!! Thank you!! I liked Goldie Blox on Facebook. 🙂
Tiffany P says
I also pinned the photo link on Pinterest. Thanks again!
One of my biggest mistakes since becoming a single mom involved handling money; which was a whole new thing for me. I had been a stay at home, homeschooling mom. So after a few years, I invested (read put on credit cards) a course (for a career) that I thought (hoped, prayed and desperately wanted) to make a better life (easier, less financial stress) for my kids and myself. Huge huge huge huge mistake! It took me over 5 years to pay off. It has made me a lot wiser and very frugal. It has sparked creativity in me that was probably always there but dormant from being so busy and trying to take care of 7 kids. I've learned to repurpose a lot of things and cook with food, that had never been on my radar!
Ida Z says
One of my biggest mistakes was taking offense and holding onto the hurt. I have learned that even if the offense is intended it is not worth holding on to. My time & emotions are too valuable to allow someone else to hold them hostage.
I fail in so many ways every single day, as I am sure all moms feel like they do 🙂 But I think the my biggest failing that I have been trying to bounce back from is spending more quality one on one time with each child. I feel like my youngest is definitely getting the best of me and that by the time my other kids get home, I have lost steam and patience for great mothering. It is something I have been working on bouncing back from and will be a continuing battle. Allison, I am incredibly amazed by you, your approach to life, and the life you make with your girls. You inspire me to be a better teacher and mother. Thank you! And ps- I absolutely love Goldie Blox and would love to win, seeing as my daughter turns 8 next month and I've got gifts to get!
"Liked" them on FB!
Pinned it, too!
I feel like a failure with my girls so often. I'm constantly worried I've caused lasting damage -the thing that they'll be going to counseling for as adults! But I've also learned how to apologize when I really do mess up. Saying sorry to my children is always a humbling experience ... But it's always a great teaching experience. And then I learn how to be a better mom.
Liked on FB
And pinned it!
Nancy Sparrow says
What a great giveaway! As for failures, I have failed at cooking more times than I can count, and yet somehow I keep trying to learn to cook well.. 🙂
I have had to be a role model for my daughter re failing and bouncing back a number of times. Divorce and unemployment were the biggies!
I once was asked to do a speaking engagement and turned it out out of fear! The next time I was asked I said yes, and afterwards felt SO empowered.
I follow Goldieblox on FB
Because of some personal problems, I failed an important class when I was in college. But I re-took it the next semester and got an A.
I pinned on Pinterest
I like Goldie Blox on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson
Denise M says
My first year of college I failed a class because i was just not prepared for the coursework. But I picked myself up, re-dedicated myself to my schoolwork and graduation from undergrad and grad school
If I hadnt failed, i wouldnt have realized that what it takes to succeed
Denise M says
I like Goldie Blox on Facebook
christine j says
I failed at a recent diet, but bounced back with a fun new exercise program I love.
christine j says
I like Goldie Blox on facebook!
Barb Wiseberg says
As parents, we continually fail. But the good ones use these failures as an opportunity to strengthen our resilience, our grit, our tenacity and our ability to teach our children important lessons from these failures.
My son is now fourteen.
Let me count the ways I failed:
1. When my work contract wasn't renewed, I took a series of jobs, starting at the bottom, to learn new skills. Although the road was rough, I learnt new skills at each of these jobs, and am able to use them all in my current role
2. When my husband developed was diagnosed with several medical issues, we thought our world would fall apart. But it didn't. We pivoted, we grouped together and we changed. The medical issues haven't gone away, but we are coping.
3. When each of his grandparents fell ill, and then passed away one by one, my world began to crumble. I couldn't believe this was happening as it was so unfair. But again, we created a new "normal" and through faith and humour, we are keeping their memories alive, along with the knowledge of how much each of them loved him, and what they adored about his personality and character.
Overall, he is learning that he needs to go out into the world, but it will be hard. There will be successes, there will be setbacks.
Life is complicated, messy and wonderful!
I feel like a bit of a failure right now, as I enjoy a financially scraped-out, but academically- and recreationally-rich home life with my kids, while my husband reminds me for the 2nd year that it's time to get back to the six figure STEM software sales jobs that I used to contribute to the household income, the ones that allowed us to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. My dilemma is that they didn't give me the chance to spend this kind of time and mind on my kids and I keep hearing that too soon, they'll have grown away into their own lives and loves. And so while I wait passively for a dream work-life balance job to come to me, I happily involve myself in my kids lives, and wonder what the long term cost may be to our sweet household.
Corilee Williams says
I am raising my granddaughter. I love this child more than life itself -- she is such a delight. But I'm tired and sometimes grumpy after working all day and I find myself losing patience over stupid little things, such as losing one of the earrings I had just bought for her. I apologized to her and said, "It's just an earring." I'm trying to, as the song says, "Let it Go" and just enjoy this gift that has been given to me in the form of a precious nine-year-old. (And, btw, she loves her Goldie Blox as well!)
shared on facebook
liked goldieblox on facebook
I have failed at diet and exercises, but I'm on track now and losing weight. Trying to set a good example for my granddaughter.
when I was in Officer candidates school, we were required to pass a land navigation test. on my first attempt I failed miserably. I thought I could just point the compass count my steps and find the marker. Instead I found myself outside the boundaries of the course and pretty lost. Somehow, I made a strong enough case to get another test. Before the next test, I practiced hours and hours. Eventually, I figured out there were so many changing variables. I needed to be open to the marker not being precisely where I thought it should be. I learned that sometimes finding the marker means circling around, looking up or down, around the back side of things. This failure and what I learned from it have proven be a good metaphor for lots of things since then!
Failed & bounced back, daily event, with a mantra of 'this too shall pass' failing comes hand in hand with trying - and as a wife, mother, sister, daughter & friend, I'm bound to hit a bump of two daily.
Emma Rice says
-hehe I want that
I chose the wrong university course - twice! First medicine, then teaching before graduating in product design. I felt like a failure for switching courses but it turned out that my experiences and insights I gained in the first two courses really helped inform my design projects and the area I want to work in. I've learned that I can still make a difference in healthcare and education, just not in the way I first imagined.
I like Goldie Blox on Facebook
Pinned on my Brownie board. I'm a Brownie Guider always on the lookout for new and different activities for my girls and your post has given me lots of ideas. Thanks!
When my children were young I was their cheerleader, recognizing their efforts and encouraging them to keep going. I was always there telling them how beautiful they were and how loved they were. But I failed in doing it for myself. My two little girls grew up watching me be critical of the way I looked, how my clothes fit, how my hair looked etc. As people would say to them "you look so much like your mom", they then began to feel shame around their bodies because of my insecurities around mine. No matter how many times they were told they were beautiful, all they really heard was what wasn't being said, but what was being modeled. When I heard them begin to look down on themselves, it was a wake-up call to me. My failure to see my beauty and focus only on my shame then placed me on a path of self-discovery and healing. The beautiful thing is that as I began to heal my shame, I became stronger. I am now able to model and teach others about those dark shadows we carry with us and how we can use them to bring forth the light that is in us. My daughters and now my little granddaughters are in a much better place because I was able to recognize my failure and turn it around.
I "liked" Goldie Blox on FB
This is great! Thanks for sharing! I am learning everyday to be the best wife & mommy I can be.
I "Liked" GoldieBlox on Facebook.
It seems I fail at parenting every day, but every day is a new day.