Failure isn't all-inclusive.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 21: Failure isn't all-inclusive.

Day 21 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

While living in Florida, when only one child occupied my time, we discussed me watching another child or two to help with our finances. I was cautious, because I've never been known as the one great with kids. That's my sister. I'm the baby of the family that feels pretty awkward around anyone much younger than me.

We prayed about it, and when someone called me asking if I would be interested in watching a boy the same age as Brylee, we took it as an answer to prayer. I loved the idea of having a friend for Brylee to play with--someone that could fit into the daily routine we already had.

The mom dropped him off, and she seemed as reluctant to leave as the boy was to say good-bye. (Her having a few less tears.) I took him to our mom's group without shoes (because she forgot to leave them); he had cried after she left and before nap, and after failing at being any comfort or distraction, I let him; and after he finally fell peacefully asleep, I noticed his pull-up was full and it ended up leaking on the sofa.

To simplify a long, boring story: She didn't bring him back. Ever.

I have guesses at why. She was open about her reluctance to leave him, and wouldn't do it if their family business didn't need her. And coming to pick him up with a leaking pull-up, dirty feet, and hints of tears still in his eyes, I can't say I'd bring my kid back either.


That was definitely an embarrassing failure. I'm a mother--of course I can care for kids! I'm just not great with kids who aren't my own. Or close to me somehow. Or who don't warm up to us.

There's a truth I learned that made me feel a little less of a failure: Failing at one thing doesn't mean you'll never succeed at anything like it.

Not being great at watching other people's kids doesn't mean that I'm terrible at caring for my own. They seem related, but they're actually different. My kids and I have history and blood and expectations and a routine and all the things that put me in the position to care for them well. Those essentials for me don't exist with someone else's child.

Sometimes we're quick to right something off, because we think we know how it would go. Our past experiences suggest we'd be no good at it. But that's not always true. In fact, your next epic story may not be far off from your last epic failure.


Answer in the comments:

Have you ever written something off because you failed at something similar? Consider choosing a different angle and giving it a second chance.

Day 21 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner