Confessions of a Not-So-Perfect Mom
One of the most, no wait…THE most liberating feeling of motherhood is reaching the epiphany that no matter how hard you try, regardless of what you do or don't do – you will never be a perfect mother.
There is quite simply, no such thing. The perfect mother exists in the world of unicorns, and chasing her likeness is just as silly as trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So jump down off your Pegasus, take off June Cleaver's apron, and give your kids the mother they really want and need. YOU (with all your imperfections).
My fairy tale ended a long time ago, when I decided to stop trying to fool myself and the rest of the world that I was the best mother that ever lived. Of course, my kids kind of squashed my “Once upon a time,” story when they first learned to talk and would drop their toy on the floor and say, “Dammit!” Yes, I taught them that. And no, my head is not hung down in shame. “Dammit,” is in fact one of my favorite words to use when something goes wrong and in retrospect, I am actually surprised that my twins didn't think that was their name – because every time I messed up I would use my favorite superlative right in front of their newborn/infant/baby/toddler ears.
I have done worse than cuss in front of my kids too. I have yelled at my kids. Nanny McPhee would be so ashamed. But after repeating the same thing 600 times over and over again, I have reverted to yelling at my kids to get their attention off of Max and Ruby. Which brings me to another confession. I allow my kids to watch TV whenever they want. And despite all the hype that says my kids will be socially thwarted and score low on IQ tests because of the boob-tube, none of those things are true. All four of my kids are very, very intelligent creatures. In fact, they are SO SMART that they have even learned how to restrict and balance their own TV viewing time with more fun activities such as swimming or playing outside WITHOUT me having to be a nag.
I could bore you to death with stories of all the mistakes I have made in my 15 years of being a mom. Today, I made a big one and said something all wrong to my hormonal teenager and ended up hurting her feelings. Yes, I felt horrible and wanted to cry. Instead, I apologized for my blunder, explained myself and then – let it go.
Let it go!
You will have good days and bad days. I believe that when you show your kids that stress and worry and imperfection exists in this world (even within their own mother), you lift a huge burden off their shoulders that they too can be perfectly imperfect. It's ok to get angry. It's okay to be frustrated, or to have a bad day. It's acceptable to be sad. Disagreements will arise. Everybody overreacts from time to time. There is no one among us who doesn't make mistakes. Moms included.
More important than being a perfect mother is our intentions to be the BEST mom that we can be in each and every moment. Some days, our best will even be subpar. Other days, our kids will feel like we actually have hung the moon. At the end of this long journey, they will know that we have done our best.
It is my humble opinion that our children don't want perfect mothers. Half the time they probably don't even care (or notice) whether their clothes are clean, or their meals are hot – and would likely happily eat cereal or potato chips for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In other words, they love us just the way we are. So do yourself (and your kids) a favor and cut yourself some slack. Hop off that unicorn, stop chasing that pot of gold, and BE YOU – flaws and all. I bet if you were to do the math, you do far more things well when it comes to mothering than you do otherwise.
In the end, you will have your ‘Happily ever after!”
Image via Flickr