How many of the parents, reading this post, are perfect parents? None? Well, how many of the imperfect parents, reading this post, have perfect children? None? How many agree that the imperfect parent is perfect enough?
What if instead of trying to be the perfect parent, we were satisfied with being the good-enough parent? Did you have a vision of what being a parent would be like when you had children? Have you ever felt judged or criticized since becoming a parent?
Many times, you will find these common threads amongst mothers. As parents, we always try to do the best we can for our kids. We want our children to be healthy and happy. We also want to set a good example. But we have to keep it all in perspective. When our goal of being a great parent turns into trying to be a perfect parent or our goal of raising great kids turns into trying to raise perfect kids, then the result can be feelings of shame and failure.
I am an 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 imperfectness. But it’s one thing to set high expectations but to stay realistic rather than to set high expectations and then feel guilty if all doesn’t go as planned. When I look at a situation with positivity and humor then it definitely keeps this parenthood journey in perspective.
The other day I was preparing chicken in hopes of having a healthy family dinner. I mean the plan was that our meal would be nutritious and homemade but that’s when I heard my oldest yelling for me. “M-O-M-M-Y! Come right now!”
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 soggy toddler. It’s always something, isn’t it?
The impatient mom voice came out of me, “OK, JUST FREEZE!” Now that I had these two sets of eyes looking up at me, I worked in a frustrated overdrive to clean my hands, scrub my two boys, and then, proceeded to sanitize the bathroom.
In the moment, my patience was shot and I was frustrated. I continued to remind myself that this is normal motherhood. Good mothers lose their patience. Good mothers get frustrated and good kids get into trouble. Being a parent is HARD work and we can still be a GOOD mom without perfection.
The pressure we face as mothers is real. And it’s hard. And we don’t need the extra stress of trying to get it all perfect.
The point is that even when everything seems to be going wrong you have to realize it doesn’t mean that you are the problem. Do we have shortcomings? Yes! Do we have room for improvement? Yes! But, think of the BIG messages we are teaching our kids with being ok with imperfect.
It’s important for kids to realize that everyone has limits, even parents. We are teaching them that we are human and that means we will have successes and failures. The important thing is that we can model confidence, growth, and resilience through imperfection! Have you ever noticed, it’s when you try to be the perfect parent that you fall the hardest?
Our kids don’t expect us to be perfect. 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, imperfect parenting is perfect enough!