I remember calling my own mother when dear son was only a few months old. I cried and complained and mostly moaned about the exhausting and the crying and the crying and the crying. But one distinct thing I remember telling her was “you taught me that I could be and do anything! You lied to me!!!!” You see my mom did it with grace. With 5 children she had nothing but grace. She practiced self-care, at least I think she did, I didn’t notice that she looked miserable all the time. She certainly didn’t ever look as miserable as I felt in that moment and so so many moments following.
My mom was created to be a mom. The messy house didn’t bother her, the loud obnoxious potty noises coming from the mouths of my 4 brothers were met with and eye roll and sometimes a smile. I never remember her yelling, or losing her temper, or getting frustrated. I remember her letting me bake, though I’m sure it was a messy situation. I remember her watching movies with us, and going hiking. I remember picnics, and soccer games, and having Thanksgiving in a hotel room out of a crock-pot. But I NEVER remember her being miserable.
I suppose that’s the moment when I felt like a failure. Because I was miserable all the time. Every single minute I was trusted with that colicky baby, I was miserable. I didn’t like this total abandonment of self, not one bit! I was to selfish to be a mom. It wasn’t going to work for me, and in someways… it doesn’t. I lose my patience at least 5 times a minute. I yell frequently, I ignore them when they are driving me crazy, and I pray that they go to bed on time because I don’t want to see the sweet faces for one more minute.
I’m not a failure, I am a good mom but I’m not a perfect mom for sure! My house is messy and it bugs me, my kids are loud and it makes me hide in the garage, bathroom, whatever. We eat from a drive-thru window too often, and they bath too infrequently. They watch too much TV, play too many video games and today my toddler hasn’t worn pants for the entire day.
Guess what!?! WE don’t have to be perfect!
Guess what else!?! It’s exhausting and miserable to try. Take it from me, a recovering perfectionist. Striving for perfection especially in a world where the little people you are trying to change have their own moods and desires and struggles and strengths will get you nowhere. Well except miserable and really who wants that.
So I’m here to tell you – STOP TRYING!
Let’s stop expecting perfection from ourselves, from our kids and especially from one another. We mommas deserve better. I choose to be a good mom, not a perfect one. If you find me pretending perfection – call me on it, because that will only end up in failure.
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Welcome to Monday, you made it! Each Monday you can find me here at Making it to Monday on AlmaBlog talking about all things family. You can also catch my blog anytime at fiveforflying.com –Kristen