Thursday, September 12, 2013

Silver Linings: When You're Not a Perfect Mom

I have a confession to make: I’m not perfect. I know that totally comes as a shock to some of you! Well, it’s true. I mess up! I’m not always consistent, I don’t always make my kids eat their vegetables, and I have buttons that they have learned to push (and apparently they take great delight in doing so!). Despite my shortcomings, I know that my kids are going to be okay.
The silver lining in not being perfect is that my kids don’t have to live up to an unrealistic standard. So, all you moms who can’t seem to stay on top of the laundry and the dishes and the dusting at the same time….rejoice! You’re doing your kids a favor. You are showing them that it is okay to make a mistake. They will be better rounded and more able to bounce back from their own mistakes if you show them how. 

Now, the important thing to remember is that when we do mess up that we ‘fess up and ask for them to forgive us (just like we expect them to do). For example:  

My son is in the 3rd grade this year, and he just can’t seem to remember to use capital letters for the start of a sentence and punctuation at the end. So, in an effort to “remind” him, I told him that for each capital letter or punctuation he left out in his homework, he would have two sentences to write. Inevitably, he ended up with some errors, and I gave him 6 sentences to write. His reaction, “Why don’t you just poison me?! That would be easier!”

I laughed. It was just such a melodramatic moment that I didn’t expect! I really shouldn’t have laughed, because that just made the situation worse, and he ran away, crying. 

I left him to calm down a bit, grabbed some marshmallows (they weren’t a bribe – they were apology marshmallows!) and visited him in his room. I sat down to talk to him and told him that I shouldn’t have laughed at him, and that I know that he was trying to express how he was feeling. I asked if he thought he could forgive me.

We were able to talk about how even Moms and Dads mess up sometimes, just like he does on his sentences, but that by working at things, we all are able to improve. It helped him to feel better about his own struggles and validated his feelings. 

The thing is, no matter what you see on Pinterest, Facebook, or anywhere else, no mom is perfect. We all have struggles, and that is okay! I think it is far healthier to share our struggles than to try and appear perfect on the outside, while we are slowly dying on the inside. Our children are watching us even when we don’t think they are. So if they see us able to turn around and admit a mistake, and then come back from that mistake, we are teaching them to do likewise.

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  1. I love this article - I recently posted something similar on my blog and it's really comforting to know that other moms feel the same way. We're not perfect, but we do the best we can and we love our children (and make sure they know it) - at the end of the day, that's what matters the most. Thanks again for the post!

    1. I'm glad you liked it, and it is good to know I'm not alone! ;)

  2. This is so true. I love the line, "The silver lining in not being perfect is that my kids don’t have to live up to an unrealistic standard." I want to print this and put it on my bathroom mirror!

    Erin K. (