Wednesday, April 5

i hope you fail

     Happy Wednesday friends and I guess happy April as well! I hope the week has been good to you so far. I'll be honest it's been a rough few days, but as you'll see the net couple of weeks, this month is full of a lot of hard memories and anniversaries, so I've been expecting things to be a little harder and have been giving myself a bit more grace when things get tough. 

     The funny thing about this post on failure is that I've been wanting to share it on here for a couple weeks or more at this point, and I have failed, day after day to do it. Overall I've been sitting on the thoughts themselves for a while now and try to refer to them whenever I need extra confidence, but last night I read through a few really touching emails from you some of you(I read all the personal emails from readers by the way:)), and so in realizing that this post was another answer of sorts I made myself get it done, so here I am. Bear with me if I'm a little scattered in putting my thoughts together:)

     What I want to say definitely isn't anything groundbreaking or new, and it's not something that I've learned so well that I'm passing on my wisdom, far from it. This is something that as I said earlier that I struggle with constantly and try to remind myself of every day, and I simply want to remind you of it too. 

     Quite often as a mother, and sometimes non-stop for days or even weeks during the past year especially, I have felt like a failure. So let down in myself as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a housekeeper, as a blogger/earner for my family, as a member of my community, as a contributor to society, etc. No matter how many times I tell myself I'm allowed time to breathe, at the end of the day we still need to eat and pay bills, and I can't help feeling frustrated at how much I really need to do and how little I'm actually able to achieve. Even just yesterday I was reminded on my new youtube video(where I set a big goal for posting) how many goals like that that I've made in the past, and how many times I've failed to follow through, for one reason or another.

     I was having a particularly hard day last week when Richard noticed my mood and asked what was the matter. I told him that I just felt like I was falling short in all those aspects that I mentioned above, that I feel like a failure, that I couldn't get anything right, and that I just couldn't get ahead no matter how hard I pushed myself. That I felt exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He assured me that I was doing just fine and made me feel better immediately, but I know that those moments happen to most all of us (edit: originally I said 'especially mothers' here, but I want to stress that while most of my struggles are around being a mother, we all share these moments mother's or not:)) over and over and over again.

I know there are times when you shut yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace and just cry into your hands thinking about how you can't keep up.
I know that you've felt alone in a crowded room because you think that nobody understands what you're going through.
I know that you look at Instagram and Facebook and feel like a failure because you think your family isn't as happy or your marriage isn't as perfect as everyone else's, or your house as perfectly decorated and tidy as all the rest.
I know that you've gone to sleep with a wet pillow and smeared mascara more times than you can count.
I know that there are days where you feel every ounce of strength is drained from your body and you don't know if you can move.
I know that you look around at your life and wonder if you're making a difference at all, after you've worked so so hard.

     I know, because I've talked to thousands of you in the last few years and we have all felt one or all of those ways at one point or another. I need these nextwords probably more than any of you, but stop it right now. I know it's easier said than done, but this is the main point of this post and it's that failure means that you're trying. And I know you're trying your best, and that's enough. 

     I heard a story a while ago about a family, where every night at dinner the dad would ask the children what they had failed in doing that day. That seemed really sad and depressing to me at first, but then the story went on that the children would proudly state how in what areas or ways they'd failed and would be congratulated. Why? Because failing at something meant that they had tried, and trying is the only way to succeed at anything. Because the one who falls and gets back up is so much stronger than the one who never took a shaky step forward. Because in order to achieve greatly at something, you have to be brave enough to fail miserably. 

     I have this newspaper clipping on my dresser and it says: 
'You've failed many times although you may not remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk. 
You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you? 
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? 
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home-runs, also strike out a lot. 
R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. 
English novelist John Casey got 753 rejection letters before he published 564 books. 
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. 
Don't worry about failure. 
Worry about the chances you missed when you didn't even try.'

     So at this point I feel like I've said a lot of things that sound good in theory, but there are still things that have to be done that are beyond us. Circumstances that mean to matter how many times we tell ourselves we're trying our best, that sometimes our best simple won't be good enough for whatever reason. I guess all that I'm trying to say is, go easy on yourself. You'll have days that you rock it and days that go horribly awfully wrong, and someone might come along and turn those days around or you might just escape to hide under the covers and try to forget everything, and that's okay too.

     I want to push forward more than anything and do more of what makes me happy and that will produce more laughter from my family, but as I said, there are still many more days when I just want to stay in th basement with my babies eating snacks and watching cartoons without an ounce of physical, mental, or emotional energy. 
     There are days that I set out feeling so energized and motivated, and then a song will come on that suddenly takes me back a year and I'm useless for the rest of the day. Trying to move through chores and to-do lists suddenly will feel like trekking through tar. My chest will feel the all-too-familiar crushing grasp of heartache and the pull of fear and depression, and I can't get images out of my head of happy days gone by, or of memories that just hurt so much. Sometimes I can't stop the fear of being abandoned or of letting down my loved ones, of pushing too hard and taking on too much, of not doing enough or being enough. Some days I'm tired of failing over and over, and it's okay to stop and rest and to just be. Failure isn't permanent, giving up is perminant.

     Don't give up.

     Please stop being so hard on yourself. Take a moment to sit back and marvel at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything in your life that tries to pull you down you still move forward, you still grow, and you still keep trying every day, and that is enough.

     Life can be so so hard. All I'm trying to say is stop demonizing the word fail, and think of it as a step closer towards your goal, not a setback. So, as funny as it may sound, I hope you fail today, and every day:)

Chin up, beautiful,


  1. Oh Emily, I'm so sorry that it's still so hard. I can only begin to imagine the heartache, and the struggle. We all love you and your honesty. You aren't failing anyone, because you don't owe anyone anything. I hope every day gets easier and I hope you know what a light you are to those around you even when it feels like you are in the dark.

  2. Yes, I needed this. Today and so many days. Thanks! I'm a mom of four ages five and under, and as you know some days are miserable and other days I'm on cloud nine. :) This is the view of failure I want to adopt. Hope you have a peaceful, restful night! :)

  3. So well said!!! I needed to hear this today �� Thank you!

  4. This was a beautiful and we'll timed reminder for me. We are on the precipice of some big life changes and it's scary. We keep falling short and dusting ourselves back off. That's what's most important. Thank you for this. Thank you for you. <3

  5. I just wrote about feeling less than stellar the other night which I'm sure no one saw as my blog doesn't get much traffic. This is why I was so happy to see you reach out to others and being vunerable yourself as I can see you have a much bigger following. I think we can all help each other by showing our true selves even if it is uncomfortable. I know it was uncomfortable for me when I did it. Thanks for the beautiful writing, and for hopefully helping other women feel better about themselves.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this. You have no idea how much your words have touched me. This honestly was an answer to a prayer. Thank you, thank you.

  7. Oh Emily, I could hug you right now, this was so touching to read, and I NEEDED to read this. You are such an inspiration. One day at a time. One minute if need be. You got this 💗 We all go this. 💗

  8. Thank you so much for this. I'm not a wife or mother but I face the same feelings everyday. I have the following quote on my phone by Winston Churchill "Success is not final, Failure is not fatal, it's the Courage to continue that counts." It's comforting to know you are not alone in the struggles.

  9. Oh my goodness YESSSSS!! I was just thinking these things the last couple days. I've been really trying to focus my mind on remembering to do what I can, and doing it well. :) The Lord remembers our frame and has pity on us. XO

  10. This. All of this!! So beautiful and inspiring. I think it's something we can all relate to no matter what our struggles are. Thank you so much. Big hugs

  11. This was just so good. And so what I needed to hear. I have been just a wreck with anxiety about failing lately. Like can't sleep, not hungry, ball of nerves. And I am so worried I will fall on my face and be judged by people. But it doesn't matter. At least I will have tried. Thank you so much for this post.

  12. Ugh, thank you so much for this very timely post. As many others have said, I needed this. Sending love to you and your family.

  13. I hope you find that happy place more and more. I battled crippling depression and it felt like there was no end in sight. Years later, I'm not perfect but I'm so, so, so much better. You can get there. It may not seem like it now, but time truly helps ease the harsh sting of painful memories.

    Be gentle on yourself. Allow yourself those lazy days and allow the house to get a bit messy. If you're like me, even that can feel stressful because you might feel like it's just another thing hanging over your head, another chore to add to that long list of responsibilities ..when you feel that way, order a pizza, stay out of the messy kitchen, and tell yourself to knock it off. You deserve to slack off if that's what you need! And when you desire to do more, I hope you find the strength for that as well.

  14. I do wish it were as easily done as it is to speak of doing. I love that you shared this because I so easily look at you, Emily, and think, what is wrong with me? I have 2 kids. I have a husband that is wonderful. I haven't lost anyone close to me. And yet, here you are with grace and so much more energy and positivity than I will ever have. Your home always seems spot on. Your hair always looks great and your kids are always having fun. So, thank you for sharing this to show me I am not alone. That you are real and what we feel as women, as moms, as adults, as humans is NORMAL. I don't know why knowing this just felt like it opened my lungs and cleared my foggy mind a bit but all I can say is thank you.

  15. Oh, thank you, thank you. We're at a major crossroads right now and it's incredibly stressful knowing what the future holds for me and my family. I feel like I'm working like crazy to support my family, but it's not yielding any immediate results and it's horribly discouraging.

    But you're right- chin up. Let's keep plugging away, trying, and doing our best :)

  16. Well, I really, really needed this today, after the few weeks I've had. So Thank You, Emily. Thank you.

  17. God... I feel like I'm constantly failing... And you are so right about the frustration I get when I see other people's life through the prism of social medias... Why can't I ? Am I not trying hard enough ?
    Anyway... SO much of you lately ! Insta live, here, Youtube ! Yay ! :o)

  18. Thanks for posting dear Emily! Great reminder for all of us. Failing can be a good thing to bring ourselves back up! You're so inspirational!

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  19. Well written and good timing.

  20. I thought this was a beautiful blog post. You don't need to always embellish your life and your story, sometimes just reminding yourself and the world about simple things in life is just as rewarding. I hope you take this blog post as a goal achieved - because you are certainly not failing miserably. We are with you when you have a hard day and we'll stay there until you come back.

    I hope you take some time for your family and yourself in these next couple months, as I'm sure they will be difficult and try to remind yourself as well that it takes great strength to have made it to these anniversaries.

  21. This is a great reminder that I've saved to my Pinterest for later. :) Thank you for your beautiful words and honesty.

  22. Beautiful post mama!! My 86 y/o grandmother always reminds me "When they're little, they're little problems. When they're bigger, they're bigger problems." When my kids start driving me nuts I have to remember that one day (and some days I pray it's a blink away LOL) they will be grown and I will miss the chaotic days. And when the bill collectors call I can now finally shrug and say "take a number" and pay them when I can. No one plans for tragedy and all you can do is YOUR BEST, even if you FAIL a bit along the way. Keep going, keep trying, keep reaching out, and know that your fans are here struggling (and failing) too. *HUGS*

  23. Did you read my text to two of my best mommy friends today? This, this is what I needed to hear and I hope you read your words and take them to heart too. We all struggle and it's always so nice to read that we are not alone. Our battles are all different but all huge to us when we are waking through them. I try so hard to remind myself that these hard times are temporary and with faith and sweet friends we can all make it through whatever trials we are facing. Thank you for this sweet reminder, to keep trying and embracing the failures we are ��

  24. I needed this today :" Please stop being so hard on yourself. Take a moment to sit back and marvel at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything in your life that tries to pull you down you still move forward, you still grow, and you still keep trying every day, and that is enough."

    Having lost a brother in September and my sister was just placed on hospice I totally feel like my heart is racing out my chest.

    Thank you for sharing your words. They always help me on the dark days. XO

  25. I hope you know that you are doing remarkably well considering what you have had to deal with over the past couple of years. You are very, very are a storyteller...your words just flow! We can all relate to what you are saying...but you, Emily, you have NOT failed. You have persevered! Love and hugs to you and your family

  26. Thank you Emily...truly you are an inspiration. Hang in there.

  27. On my worst nights I crawl into bed fully clothed, kitchen a mess, unsure if one kid has socks for the morning, or if the other has a clean pair of pants. I've worked for something like 16 hours straight and I feel like I've accomplished nothing. Those days are hard, but thats not all days. I try to remind myself of the things I did accomplish, even if they weren't the things I set out to do. As my Mum would say, chin up sweetheart.

  28. This was so beautifully stated and one I needed to hear. I laid in bed all Saturday and Sunday morning just feeling overwhelmed and feeling like a failure. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It was so needed.

  29. Such a great reminder! You are an awesome Mom Emily and you got this!

  30. I needed this today. Thank you!

  31. I read this with tears in my eyes! What a fantasticly meaningful post. Thank you for speaking to so many hearts

  32. Thank you thank you thank you.

  33. My mom used to always call herself a failure and she still does it all the time. I hate it. I said to her that she put it in my head that I only had failure to look forward to in becoming a wife and mother, so I decided that I would not be a failure and would see myself as a blessing and work in progress! I think it helps on hard days. I will not call myself a failure!
    Great post!

  34. Thank you so much for this one! Words can't describe my feelings as I read it. I stumbled across your blog by accident (found an image of a braid you had done and clicked on it to see more). I was intrigued by your story and started watching videos. Then I linked over to the blog. I know it's not much, but thank you for sharing your story!! My night started out looking for trivial things (a new braid for my hair) and has become an inward reflection and faith building experience as I have thought about what truly matters in this life! Sometimes in the chaos of raising my own family with 3 little ones, a house that never seems to stay clean, laundry and dishes that seem to breed on their own, and a husband that is far more patient than I deserve, it's easy to get sidetracked from what really matters. Reading your story tonight has helped put the trivial things back in perspective. So, I know it's not much, but thank you! Thank you for opening your heart and sharing a piece of it to lift others!!