My wife recently stumbled across a speech by Denzel Washington. In it, he made a couple of very profound statements that I think will resonate with every parent. The first statement was simple. He said, "If you haven't failed, you're not trying."
How many parents feel as if they have failed at some point? How many homeschooling parents feel as if they have failed? Raising kids is hard, but does that mean we quit trying when we fail? Look around. All of your friends have failed at parenting in some way. Did they quit? No, they kept on trying.
Parenting isn't a formula. Often it boils down to a series of adjustments made in response to the random things our kids throw at us everyday. We are constantly tweaking how we interact with our kids because they aren't all the same. What worked for one may be a total failure for another.
In the speech, Denzel went on to say, "To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did." How true that is when it comes to parenting. We all try it for the first time without any experience. And then we do something else we've never done when baby number two comes along and is totally different from baby number one. And the cycle continues as they grow, always presenting us with new chances for failure and new chances for success.
Don't let momentary parenting failures define who you are. Let your never-ending quest to be the best you can be define you. Let your refusal to accept failure be your legacy.
If you want to see the whole speech, here's the link.