When You Feel Like You’re Failing At Everything

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‘What is wrong with me?

That is the thought that goes through my mind as I survey the status of things around me this morning and make several observations.

Old mail and school papers are piled on the counter. ‘I will get to them soon,’ I tell myself.

The dishes are stacked in the sink and the dish drainer is overflowing. ‘I just need to soak those pans a little longer, and then I’ll put everything away,’ I rationalize.

I wipe the latest puddle of spilled milk from our kitchen floor. ‘When was the last time I mopped in here?’ I think.

My big girl just walked out the door for the bus and we were still debating up to the last second what show-and-tell items she would bring to school. ‘Why don’t I plan ahead better?’ I scold.

My sniffly toddler wipes his runny nose on his sleeve as he sings along to a cartoon that he is watching on his tablet. ‘I really should be planning some more educational activities for him,’ I believe.

Ugh! I forgot to cancel my coffee/play date with my friend and her son this morning because of the baby’s cold! ‘I hope she’s not mad. It’s been forever since we got together,’ I remember.

I check my phone and see a text from my husband. ‘My poor husband. When was the last time I really looked him in the eye and had a conversation with him?’ I wonder.

As I take in the reality around me, I feel it. The old, recurrent realization that finds its way back to me more often than I’d like. It hits me again.

I feel like I am just piecing my life together with bandages like a triage nurse tending to the most serious issues first. Just making it through the day and never getting ahead.

I feel like other moms out there can make this work. Why am I struggling so much?

I feel like I am not enough in any role in my life. That when I give more to one area, I fall hopelessly flat in another.

I feel like a crappy mother, a crappy wife, a crappy friend – a crappy EVERYTHING.

‘Why can’t I just get it together?!?!’


‘Stop. Take a deep breath. Just think.’

This is exactly what I need to do in moments like these when my thoughts spiral away from me. These are the moments when I need to take a step back and really look at the big picture.

‘When we let ourselves be consumed by the little negative details of what we feel we are doing wrong, we are not able to see the positives that are all around us.’ I must remind myself of this as if I was talking to an old friend.

‘There are so many positives. So many.’ If I just stop, breathe and think, I will remember to see them.

‘No one is perfect.’ That is true. And, when we let go of our perceived fails long enough, I know that I (and you) will be able to see the lovely evidence of all the things that we are doing right.

We need to give ourselves the grace that we would give our best friend if she came to us with these things.

We need to give ourselves the encouragement that we need, instead of tearing ourselves further down.

We need to remind ourselves that we are doing just fine. That being perfect isn’t required, or realistic.

And when we do that, we will see that maybe – just maybe – we’re not so crappy after all.”

Playroom with toys covering the floor in women's house who feels like she is failing at everything
Mia Carella

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mia Carella. Be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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