Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes
I remember growing up with two very loving parents.
My innocence was kept throughout my childhood and continued on into my early teenage years. (I was a really sheltered child.)
Although sometimes I would get mad at my mom and dad, most of the time I thought the world of them, and wondered how they could do so great at life. My dad worked full time, my mom worked part-time, and I don’t remember ever going to a babysitter. They spent a lot of time with us. (I had three siblings.) My mom would do everything she could to help us with school, she would make us good meals, she was a great homemaker. Our dad did things like sports and taught us many life skills. He would make it to every school event alongside of our mom. During off-season he was our coach.
As I got older, I started noticing what I thought of as a change in the world.
In reality I was just growing up and becoming more aware of the world around me. During that time my innocence escaped me. I discovered the imperfection of human nature, and I learned some things that shocked me not just about myself, but about the world around me. Additionally, I realized that my parents weren’t perfect either. For awhile, I became bitter about life and family.
Then I became a mom. Things changed and I realized just how special my mom and dad were. I had more respect for them then I ever had my entire life.
Someday, my son will look at me the same way. He will know that I’m not perfect, and that mommy can’t fix everything. He will also see the world for the way it actually is, and that part scares me. He will grow up and become an imperfect person himself. His innocence will be lost. My son will be tempted in the same ways that all of us are today, and all I can do right now for him is my best.
I know that I can only do so much.
I am simply one person. A person that is flawed, a person that has too many things to do today and not enough time to do them. I cannot do everything I set my mind to and I fail constantly. I can’t be an amazing cook, have my house spotless, work five days a week, and be a perfect parent and wife. I can’t set the best example with every aspect in life. I’m going to make mistakes and be dumb. I’m human.
I’ve come to terms that allowing myself to make mistakes and not to have everything be perfect.
I’m tired of trying so hard. My kid seems happy. My husband seems happy. Why am I so hard on myself? Why do things that really don’t matter make such a huge impact on my life? At the end of the day I still receive unconditional love from my family. Isn’t that what matters?
My house will be messy. My son will sometimes have to pick his outfit out of the pile of clean clothes have have yet been folded. Occasionally I let a swear word in front of my child, or sometimes I need more me time than normal. I’d rather be healthy and really cherish the moments spent with my child then stressed and strained to the point that I can’t enjoy life with my kid.
Knowing my limitations allows me to live in the moment.
I can focus when it’s time to play with Izaak. Focus during work, during laundry time, during my designated me time, and even time with my spouse. (Yes you can make time, even if it’s at home dates.)
God and my family will always be my number one priority. But there are other things in life that are important as well. Physical and emotional health, friends, and my living space as well as creative time for me is important to my sanity and well-being.
Someday it will happen. Izaak will lose his innocence, and during that time he will realize that I’m not perfect. Trying to shelter my child and make the perfect home is pointless. Stressing myself out over something so small in the scheme of things is harmful.
As mothers we all need to calm down. We are all so stressed about perfection that we are actually harming our children. We all need to stop and breathe, and be OK with not being so perfect so that other moms follow suit.
My parents were imperfect, but even knowing that I still chose to love them deeply.
I’d also like to add that not only were my parents not perfect, they did imperfect things in front of me as a child. Things that were forgotten, that I only remembered as I got older but were never a big deal. I admire my parents more now that I know how much work parenthood is.
My point is, your child won’t beat you up for the little mistakes that you make.
They will forget about them when you are young and as they get older and more mature, they will look back at their younger years and realize just how well you did with what you had. They will look past your quirks because not only do they love you for who you are, but they probably have some of those quirks themselves. (And that’s ok, because who wants a perfect child? That would be boring.)
What do you think about this article? Do you agree, disagree? What are some challenges you face as a mother?
-Holly, the imperfect momma.