A few months ago, I left my house in such a hurry, I forgot to say goodbye to my youngest. He was upstairs getting dressed, and I was doing my usual manic Monday routine. It hit me on my way into the office. I pictured him at his tiny table in Kindergarten class, tearful, sullen, declining his tiny chocolate milk carton . Perhaps the teacher would ask “What’s wrong, sweetie?” And he would recount the morning when I had failed as a mother by neglecting our good-byes. Boy, did I beat myself up…all…day…long.
I called my mother, who often serves as a confessional, and admitted my misdeed. “He’ll live,” she stated dismissively. You know what? She was right. I came home that evening, and he bounded down the stairs and wrapped his arms around me, like every other day.
Today’s mom obsesses over perfection. Over doing everything and being everything. I often fall into this trap. I cannot bake very well, and I am not great at crafts. When it comes to sports…also, not so good. Sometimes I let a curse slip. Sometimes I forget to sign a paper. And I’m not checking every piece of homework that leaves the house. After much research and debate, I believe this all to be normal. We are all imperfectly perfect.
Let’s do an exercise. Instead of focusing on all of the things you neglect to do, or “weaknesses,” think of all of the gifts you bring to your children. You know, the things that make you Mom and not an automaton. I am a killer library partner and skilled bedtime story reader. No matter what your interests are I can scope you out the best of the bunch. Got a report? Editor-in-chief, here. Let’s talk about your syntax. I am a great nighttime cuddler, and I’ll watch movies with you all rainy day long. I have a limitless imagination, and I come up with all types of “Let’s pretend” games.
The next time you’re beating yourself up over some minor misdeed, or how you feel you are less than perfect, think about all of the intangible gifts you provide to your kids. Stumped? Ask your kids. I bet they know.