Parents have this belief that we have to be perfect. I’m not sure if it’s because we remember our own childhood and think it was so great that we have to replicate that for our children, or because we believe a social myth that parents have to be perfect for their children. Either way, there is an ingrained belief that perfection has to be obtained. But that is false.
Perfect parents aren’t good parents.
Yes, that is what I said.
Imperfect parents are those who mess up, fail, and just keep going. Those are the parents that impact their children the most. Am I an expert in parenting–no. All I have is my own experiences, my own parents, my observations, my children. But they are enough to let me know that parenting has to be full of failures. That is what I’m sure about. That is what I know.
When it all falls apart that is when good parents shine. That is when they react and teach their kids what life is about. When the laundry is thrown everywhere, the dishes are dirty and the kids are covered in dirt and the parent is still smiling. The kids are happy and healthy then it is when a good parent is good. That is when they are at their best.
Unfortunately, I’m not always a good parent. Most of the time, I’m a mediocre parents at best. When the world is stacked against me, I have a tendency to lose my cool. This is not how I want to raise my kids. But I’m still buying into the idea of perfect. I feel like I need to have the perfect house: clean, in order, stylish, put together. I feel that my kids have to be prim and proper. That they need to be clean. Not have crumbs at the edge of their mouths. And have matching clothes. I feel like I need to be a size two and not eating chocolate by the hand full when I’m feeling stressed.
And when that falls apart that makes me feel so badly. That I react. THIS IS BAD. Reactions that are unbridled is not good. I feel that is when I hurt my kids the most. When this mommy fails. This mommy messes up all the time. I miss out on all the good moments because I’m too busy trying to find that perfection. That layer that makes it all look so good.
I’m writing this not to push my thoughts on others. I’m writing this for me. The more I let go of that idea of perfection the easier it will be for me to let go of those ideas of perfection. I want to let it go. I want to be the ideal parent. But that is not who I am. I’m the parent who wants to play with my kids and do fun projects. However the parent I am is too afraid of the mess. That has to change. I have to let go of the idea of perfection, ideal, social norms of a parent. I want to be the parent that my kids adore. That my kids brag about to their friends.
I have no Idea of how to achieve that. But it’s a journey. It’s a way of life. I need to just keep working on it.
That is what I need to do. I want to be the parent who inspires my kids. SO that is the parent I’m going to be. That is my goal.
Yet, as I type out this mommy-blog. My two-year old is throwing remotes. I’m having to shout between periods and commas. I’m having to call for the eight years old to get the plastic bag back into the kitchen. So the one year old doesn’t play with it. I have the dishwasher running in the back ground. Bread being made in the bread maker. It’s a mess. Life is a mess. I hope that I can let go of the perfection idea and embrace the mess.
Less reactions and more interaction.