I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can raise a child with character, integrity, and intelligence. My most recent focus of attention has been how I’ll handle mistakes. I think mistakes are kind of tricky because there are many opportunities to teach important lessons within one. Plus I’m not just worried about what to do when she makes mistakes, but what to do when I make mistakes. I believe that how I handle my own mistakes is more important than how I handle her mistakes. As much as I wish that I were perfect, I will not ever be and I know I make mistakes (shhh-don't tell my husband). Most of the time, they don’t really matter, like last week when:
• I either fed the dogs one extra time or forgot one feeding.
• I didn't think to tell the babysitter (aka Grandpa) to use diaper rash cream after a diaper change and baby got a bad diaper rash.
• I missed my appointment with the lactation room at work and ended up with a big wet spot on my shirt. Good thing I had a jacket!
• I forgot to add detergent to a load of laundry.
These mistakes don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life and so the lesson that I should teach here is that I don’t worry about them anymore. Sometimes people do silly things, they are easily remedied and shouldn’t be given a second thought. Sometimes people make big mistakes though, and here’s where I want to be a good role model. I want to teach her about personal responsibility. When I make a mistake that does matter (hopefully not very often), I will own up to it, I’ll apologize, and I’ll work to fix it.
The bottom line is everyone makes both kinds of mistakes in life and it is ok. The important thing is to figure out which are important and which are not, fix the ones that need it, and apologize even if it’s not required.