Not the perfect Mom..
Any one who knows me knows that I don’t put on pretenses of being a perfect mom. I’ve never pretended not to raise my voice or lose my patience, in fact, I’m pretty sure even my neighbors are aware of this fact too.
Growing up, I imagined that I would be a different parent. I imagined all of the things I would do on a daily basis with my kids, from taking them to sporting events or traveling with them. Of course, this is because I had no concept of what parenting actually entails. It’s grueling and never ending, a string of saying the exact same thing in as many different ways while trying crucially not to mess them up too badly or be the cause of yet another tantrum. It’s rewarding and exhausting; something I could never appreciate until I had my own two little people.
My house isn’t as clean as I imagined it; I don’t spend as much time writing as I would like. I don’t always use the most child friendly and appropriate sentences as I know I should. Sometimes I yell, sometimes I cry and sometimes I ignore.
Why do I say all of this? Because I’m speaking to the parent(s) out there who has feeling that they too aren’t perfect (and upset about this), especially when there are so many blogs, pictures, and posts that only seem to focus on all the perfect things parents are doing these days. (Pinterest, you succeed at this the most often and I consider you the bane of my existence.) Let me ask to those parents struggling, how often do you take pictures of the bad days? If you are like most people, you don’t. Your pictures only take a small snippets and they don’t show you the full story but they are what gets you through the bad moments. Yes, sure, there are days when I feel like high fiving myself because we all had an awesome day. And yes, everyday I am thankful that I have my two boys. But I’m far from perfect. Every night, I go to bed worrying about what I did wrong during the day or worrying that my children know I love them even if I did raise my voice at them. After scrolling through Pinterest, I realize there are so many more ways I can challenge them rather than being lazy at the end of the day. But really, when it comes down to it, I hope my children realize I need a break at the end of the day too. At least I try to cuddle with them on the couch as we once again watch a rerun of Phineas and Ferb or Thomas the Train.
And there’s no way to tell how good of a job I’m doing as a parent until my own become old enough to have their own kids. Only when they grow up into the kind of men I hope and pray that they do, will I have any clue as to whether or not I parented them well. I remind myself it’s ok not to be perfect; we are not in a competition to be the most perfect parent. Really, all our children want from us is to know that they are loved and taken care of. Like I tell my son, it’s okay if it’s not easy. I’m more proud of him for keeping on with something that’s hard for him than to only do things which are easy to him. I need to recall this mantra when I’m struggling in the challenges of childhood, like potty training, math homework even I don’t understand, or, heaven forbid, trying a new food.
So remember, it’s okay not to be perfect. Your children won’t hate you for not being perfect and when they are all grown up, hopefully they will remember the mistakes you made, not make them and then make some of their very own. And hopefully, we will be there to tell them it’s okay they aren’t perfect parents either.