Ok, so I actually stopped keeping count of my mom fails at around the 150 mark, but since a few happen on a daily basis I figure I have to be close to 10,462! Come on moms, you know we have small failures every single day. That’s not to say that we don’t also have small triumphs every single day as well. There are some days that I have more triumphs than failures. There seem to be many more days that I have more failures than triumphs. Of course, they are not all dream-ending, life-altering failures, but they’re there.
So, let’s get down to one I was called out on a while back. Even with all of my mom fails, I have praised myself for getting my boys ready for an independent life. I have taught them to wash clothes, cook, clean, open a bank account, change a tire (thanks honey!), solve problems, order at a restaurant, and even buy a car. My oldest decided he needed money before he went to college and wanted to get a job for the summer. Great! That’s awesome! I showed him how to check sites for job openings and walked him through the first application. He did many more on his own. I was so proud! He got an interview and nailed the job. Yes! I had done my job and raised a young man who could adult and join the work force! Go me!
The first day of training I get a text from my son. It says, “I am so disappointed in you. You failed me as a mother. I cannot adult!” After I read this, I thought, what the heck! I did my job! I taught you things! I made you be independent!
My eighteen year old calls me. “Mama, how could you do this to me? You didn’t teach me anything! You failed!! I can’t adult!” I was shocked! “What did I do wrong? What happened?” My son is solemn as he says, “I had to fill out tax papers and what to claim! You never taught me that!”
So he thinks I was a failure. What he didn’t know was that it had been about fifteen years since I had filled out W-4. It probably didn’t even look the same! Hell, it was probably online for him when I filled out a little piece of paper!
Well, my son lived and even got another job this year. He was a little more prepared for the W-4 this time. I made it a teaching moment and told him that we can’t always be prepared for everything that comes our way, but we can learn from everything that comes our way.
The point of the story: schools need a life class about banking and taxes; parents, please tell your kids how to fill out those dreaded tax forms! As for me, I failed but he learned. I’ll call that a small victory!