Considering the parenting books I’ve read, parenting advice I’ve received, and countless google searches on various topics, one might think that leads to a perfect parent. But despite my best efforts, I’m still and always will be the imperfect parent. And truthfully, I’m ok with that. I realize that if I keep moving forward and doing my best with loving intentions, then my kids will continue to thrive despite my imperfections.
Parenting is a messy business. Now, trust me… my perfectionism self, doesn’t always want to accept this imperfect business. But it’s one thing to set high standards for success and another to be highly disappointed when failures occur. Attempting to look at a situation in a positive light with acceptance and humor definitely puts this imperfect parenting in perspective.
The other day I was preparing chicken in hopes of a mommy win. I mean this was a healthy + homemade dinner when my son yelled, “Mommy. C-o-m-e!”
My response, “I can’t come RIGHT now, I have chicken on my hands.”
Once again, he yelled, “You have to come RIGHT NOW!”
As I hurried down the hall, following the wet footprints, I discover my youngest splashing a toy in and out of the toilet. Now, I find myself debating between my gross raw chicken hands and a toilet water toddler. Seriously, though, what’s the perfect parent suppose to do? Hence, the not-so-perfect parent of the not-so-perfect children!
The frantic, less than ideal positive parent came lashing out! “EVERYONE JUST STOP. FREEZE!” Now that I had the attention of the two of them, I worked in a frustrated overdrive to clean my hands, scrub my two toddlers, and then, proceed to sanitize the bathroom.
Playing in the toilet is completely unacceptable but one could rightfully argue that mommy yelling is also unacceptable (although it felt unavoidable). As I tried to explain playing in the toilet is absolutely off limits but mommy yelling is also off limits. My 4-year-old only interrupts to ask what’s for dinner.
The point is that even when everything seems to be going wrong you have to realize it doesn’t mean that you are a terrible parent. It’s even important for kids to realize that everyone has limits, even parents. Being human means that we will have successes and failures. And even through our limitations, we can be a model for our kids. We can model confidence and self-doubt for them without it being a negative trait. And, isn’t it when you try to be the most perfect that the most imperfect parent comes out.
Our kids don’t expect us to be perfect parents. If they know we are doing our best to care for them, emotionally and physically, then they will love us on our good days and on our bad days. Just like we do for them. Let’s put perfect out of our minds and realize that perfect and parenting should never be in the same sentence together! Imperfect parenting is perfect enough!