Confession of a Failed Parenting Moment


This is not an educational, inspirational, or leadership post. This is a confessional note, and I’m not proud it. Sometimes you have days where there’s not much left of your brains, patience or both at the end of a long haul. Yesterday was that day for me. I got home and by the time I took the boys out for a “guys dinner out,” I had nothing left for them.

Confession of a failed day

Our dinner was, for all practical reasons, a non event. I was tired of thinking and talking so I just sat there like a lump on a log and watched the boys eat their dinner. There was no teaching moment, no funny stories, not even an argument from me. I was barely there; as a matter of fact, I was not there at all.

I’d rather write about all the life lessons I get right and the good things that come from figuring stuff out. But I’m writing today from a place of weakness and failure as a reminder, mostly to myself, that I don’t have it all figured out. I’m not the perfectly positioned brand carefully crafted in my social media persona. I’m writing this post so I will not buy into my own PR and start patting myself on the back for a job not even done yet, much less one that’s well done.

It’s sad that those who need us the most, sometimes get our left overs, our silence, our non events. I know I risk losing some who might find my transparency a turn off. But more often than I let on, I am weak and I screw up.

Thank you for being here and holding me accountable. This blog has become such an important part of my life. I’m sharing more than just knowledge through these posts. I’m processing life through them in real time.

I hope you get something out of this.

  • After a long day of work, no energy? You’re not alone, and you will be prayed for. Just as I would expect from my readers, and friends.nnIt’s always refreshing to see “real,” so I thank you for that.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your transparency Maurilio. As a parent of two teenagers, I suffer from this kind of thing myself at times and it’s good to know I am not alone. It doesn’t make it right of course, but I often think as parents we often tend to believe other parents have it totally together when in fact we all struggle with many of the same issues.

    • Teenagers require more brain power than I ever realized. My two are constantly trying to argue their way out of every situation.

      • Lorrie

        Especially 2 boys…it is so exhausting…like 2 dogs having a territorial peeing contest…it is everlasting! nI so get this post…When a parent is busy and out of town so much like you and my husband, it is moments like these where you do need to stop and say ok, something is wrong here, something is not right in the priority ladder…its a tricky balance as you are still the bread winner and have to provide for these same boys that also need your attention. n The good thing is you made the effort to be there for them. You took them out for dinner, were you meeting their every need and being on task and witty and all…maybe not, but you were being real, and as boys turning to men, this is a great teaching tool for you to discuss with them, how sometimes life gets off balance. n Now you can be transparent with them and ask for forgiveness and grace, and ask how and what they need, next time, at the same time showing them that this is part of life and part of being a parent. We are not superhuman, and we hit a brick wall too…That is showing that you are real. Funny how when we are totally transparent after our screwup’s, and take responsibility, how forgiving they are, and what amazing conversations you can have through this. It can actually draw us closer to our children, as long as it is a learning lesson for all…nn

  • I find myself w/ some type of a parenting confession on my blog monthly…I know the feeling, I feel like i screw it up pretty regularly. thank you for the honesty! Parents need to hear this stuff from leaders such as yourself.

  • I’ve done the same thing with my wife, and it does feel terrible. there are days I’ve done it at work, and I feel like a phoney. Conversations at church, with old friends, with my neighbor…I’ve been a lump through them all before.nnConfess and repent — it’s a new day 🙂 Praying for you, friend!

  • Often things like this happen and we feel like we’re failures. Rather than beating ourselves up, we should take it as a symptom – very much like, if you have a fever, you know you are sick. When we’re at a point where we have nothing left, it’s because there’s a problem. We’re empty and need to be recharged. Perhaps a weekend away, or a night spent in prayer (this is usually the best cure!) or, for us girls – a trip to the mall! Sometimes we have nothing left over for anyone, and the worst thing we can do is try to do something we’re not capable of. Take a break, get away alone for a little while, refresh, recharge, then come back and give 100%!

  • Aguest

    My son is 33 now and he still loves me regardless of all my mistakes as a parent….and now he gets to go thru the same thing with his. You SAY you screwed up but you were THERE, and even if you weren’t mentally there sometimes just being there in whatever form is enough for your kids.

    • Well, I guess even a lump is better than not there at all. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Laurie Seay

    As a single mom, the exhausiton factor sometimes leads me to failed moments too. Thanks for your transparency. Praying for strength for all of us parents to be the models we need to be and represent Christ to our kids.

  • I wrote a post today on a very similar topic! I think I’m learning more as a parent than I have in any other role in my life! nnLove your blog and that you are able to go from topic to topic authentically.

    • Yep, this is one of the most random blogs ever. It’s supposed to be on communication and technology.

  • Maurilio, thanks for being real. Press on…..

  • Maurilio, these are the most important lessons you could share with us.

  • Christian

    This post is like a burning knife of shame through my chest. So often I find myself running around putting out fires and getting lost in the day-to-day chaos, that by the time I get home, my daddy-hat is lost somewhere between the sofa-of-wasted-time and the tv-remote-control-of-disconnection. Thanks for sharing this life lesson, and for encouraging me to re-think my priorities.

  • I’ve had more failed moments–and days–than I can count. As a parent and as a grandparent. It’s always encouraging to know I’m not alone and that we can hold each other accountable. nnOne thing I’ve learned is that I can’t focus on the failure. I have to focus on Him.

  • Shari

    One of the most important lessons we can teach our children is that we are NOT perfect… so even in what you determine to be a failure, you are teaching them. It took me years to find Jesus because I never felt I was perfect enough… until I finally got what grace is about.nnBe encouraged!

  • Failure is an option and sometimes it is the best option…it reminds us that we are not “the perfectly positioned brand carefully crafted in my (our) social media persona.” What is the Arab proverb, “All sunshine make a desert” We need these moments of rain in our life and walk so that God can grow us too. Good post my friend – I love you.

  • Thanks for the post -I’ve been there, all too often. there is just so much that has happened in a day and I am still processing it all and i shut the family out. My two boys both need me as does my wife. Thanks for honesty and sharing your heart. we are all on this journey, growing and learning together.

  • Anonymous

    I tend to think that we learn more in our times of failure and weaknesses than we do in our times of strength. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’m right there with you man. Keep your chin up.

  • As always, thanks for your authenticity! I can definitely relate! Ironically I just posted about the idea that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Something to hold onto as we mess up!

  • Traci

    The fact that you know you were “not there” is – to me – a sign that you ARE a good parent. So many parents do not care when they are not present for their children, let alone, feel bad about it afterward. nnI still think you are a good father…although I have been “uh humming” my child’s non-stop questions for half an hour now, so my opinion may not matter. 😉

  • Thomas McDaniels

    Thanks for sharing. Love the real life stuff! Thanks for the transparency!

  • Dan

    nKevin turned me on to your blog right when he left for New Zealand. I’ve loved reading all that you’ve shared. You’ve definitely been a big inspiration for someone brought up in a more traditional marketing environment so I’ve really appreciated tapping into your knowledge, wisdom, and passion. Reading your message today left me remembering days I wish I could forget. Your transparency is enormous and well received as nobody is perfect. However, each day brings forth a new dawning for starting over. It’s OK to trip up once in awhile. Just keep getting back up and give us your best. nProverbs 22:6n

  • Families are where we first learn to give and receive grace. In the case of grace, sometimes it is easier to give than to receive. To receive it means having to admit that I am not what I would like to be. Tough, but I’ve grown as a result.nnAnyway, who would want a perfect dad? How would you ever live up to that heritage?

  • I completely relate Maurillo. Too often I find myself having let the day and pursuits take the most out of me and bring home a shell without much to give… This is a good reminder to make sure we keep a reserve of our best for those we love the most. Thanks for our honesty!

  • Maurilio, thanks for your transparency. My son is only 18 months and I feel like I have no clue as to how to be a dad. I have not accomplished the insurmountable task of being a husband – more or less a dad. nnWe will learn. We will grow. We will succeed if our hearts remain as open as yours. nn

  • This is easily my favorite post that you’ve written. Kudos, Maurilio. Now, get back in the game and go for the goal. 🙂

  • Mjhunter

    Did I miss something? So you were tired and your North American Christian parenting moment wasn’t perfect. I’m sure the hungry orphans in South Africa have shed a tear over your confessional. “There, there,”, they’ll say, with a pat on the back. “Next time will be awesomely epic.”nnBtw, did you take them to Chic Fil A?

  • Robert Wright

    Thanks for the post Maurilio. I too appreciate the transparency.nnI certainly am in a constant struggle to find fair and right balance between responsibilities at work and those at home. Knowing what is right and what should always be the priority order is not always enough. In my case, I feel the need for constant self monitoring and correction, humbly acknowledging that sometimes things must be left unfinished at work, saved for tomorrow, in order that I have more of myself to give to my family at home.nnThanks for demonstrating that I am not alone in this struggle. It may not be much consolation, but be assured that recognition/acknowledgment of this issue is more than half the battle.

  • I get a lot more out of a heartfelt post like this than a dozen polished “how to” instructionals about how to be the perfect parent. Your transparency is fine with me, Maurilio, and most welcome. We need to know that we aren’t alone when we mess up, and that it’s ok to admit it so we can come alongside each other and encourage each other. Cheers!

  • Duane

    This is a great post. Thanks for the transparency. It reminds me of how I have decided in the last year or so to stop letting other things take away what is meant for my wife and kids. My colleagues think I’ve lost my mind, my friends sometimes wonder why I don’t do the same things as everyone else, but in it all I think God is teaching me how to focus on what is really important versus what I think is important in a very temporary moment. God’s best to you, and thanks for simply being there for your kids.

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  • elizabeth

    Maurilio, you started as a youth pastor and part of a mega church. If you never had any relationship in the God of the bible and His son Jesus Christ then why would you be surprised by the disappointment as a parent. There is the famous saying kids do not come with manuals and we do not understand how to be a parent. There is much in God’s word on the subject. There is much wisdom and revelation for all aspects of life, including parenting. nI raised two children with very little help from my husband. My prayer life included them all the time and I walked out the word of God everyday. Today they are 20 and 22 and serving God, living for him, careers on the way, but young people of character, God’s character. I now see the fruits of my labour. However, no perfect parent here. If I made mistakes I apologized to them, just like they did to me. God gets the glory. For I did not do it in my strength but His. I do appreciate your honesty.

  • Aaronsoareshuang

    Wow you are a really good parent. Just yesterday my Mom says college is not important and that I’m not special for going. She’s illiterate and feels so damn inferior to me. I really wished I had a parent like you.

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