I fully believe that oftentimes we learn more when we lose than when we win. But even as an adult it’s still a tough pill to swallow. As an adult, hindsight and past lessons learned make it a tad bit easier, our years of experience give us perspective. Children don’t have that advantage so to watch your own child struggle as they learn their own lessons, trying to choke down the pill, is hard.

Speed Skating Son had a speed skating meet this past weekend and in his head he didn’t do as well as he wanted. I get it, like COMPLETELY get it. I understand how hard it is to put yourself out there 100% and still not get the results you wanted. He skated his ass off. I could see the pure determination on his face as he fought to win. He’s competitive by nature, mixed in with a sprinkling of being ridiculously hard on himself, it wasn’t a good day. But it was, in a way, because he learned some good lessons about himself. Lessons about the mental aspect of being in a sport, lessons about how you have to put a loss behind you and start each race fresh.

But it sucked watching him go through the process. My heart hurt for him even as I was telling him he had to buck up and keep moving forward, his body stiffening when I hugged him.

I know he thinks I don’t understand just like I felt like my parents didn’t understand when I was a kid struggling through my own lessons.

This parenting stuff is hard.


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About Sharon

Sharon DeVellis is a mother, wife and writer who can uncork a wine bottle in less than 10 seconds but buys twist-offs for emergencies. She’s currently in therapy to stop talking about herself in third person.
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8 Responses to Struggles

  1. Kim Foster says:

    That’s definitely the yin and yang of being the mom–you know those lessons are crucial for your kid’s emotional development…yet it’s SO hard to watch, and you instinctively want to just sweep it all away and only have your child experience the good stuff. You totally said it, Sharon, being the parent is hard.

  2. Charlene says:

    By far I think the one thing that I was completely unprepared for in motherhood was that feeling that once you have a baby it’s like your heart is walking outside your body. Their hurts are my anguish. Their triumphs are my crack. As much as someone can tell you this will happen you have no understanding until it actually happens to you.

    I have two children that throw themselves headlong into their passions.I marvel at their determination to try,. Just to try. They don’t always succeed and the struggles can be hard. But I honestly feel one of the best gifts we can give our children is resiliency in the face of adversity.But damn!!Does it have to hurt SO much?

  3. Katja says:

    He will figure out that you understand, but that doesn’t make it easier now, nor will watching them struggle ever get easier I suppose.

  4. Keith says:

    He’ll know sooner or later that you did get it. We all want our children to succeed but we all learn more from failure than success. Perhaps the most important lesson I ever learned that way was that when you’ve put it all on the line, and you know you did the best you could, there is no shame in losing. That’s what pisses me off about watching the Olympics, calling the second place person the first loser. To peak for race, and do that well, there is no rational standard of judgement that says that person is a loser. You did the right thing for your son.

    • Sharon says:

      I strongly feel that anyone who puts themselves out there and gives 100% is never a loser. You only lose when you sit on the sidelines and watch life pass you by. Thanks so much for the comment, Keith!

  5. Samantha says:

    Some day he’ll look back and realize that you *did* get it, though. It just won’t be any time soon. I’m just starting to get a taste of this with Eliza, who’s just 5 and in kindergarten. It hurts my heart so, so much to watch her go out into the world a few steps at a time and learn painful lessons for herself. I know in my logical brain that all I can be is her soft place to land, her rock when she needs something to hold onto. I can barely handle it now, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to cope as she gets older!

    • Sharon says:

      I think we all manage to cope as they get older – we just can’t think about it too much. Big hugs to you! Trust me, you’ll be able to handle it.

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