Today’s guest post is brought to you by Sue. I love how she shares about being imperfect. I am sure we all can relate.
“The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly – indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.”
~ Arianna Huffington
I am not a perfect mother – big surprise. If you are, then you can stop reading right now. I do not juggle a full-time job while caring for children, keeping a neat and tidy home or always cooking healthy, gourmet meals. I’m not the president of the parent/teacher organization, an executive at a large company, or a marathon-running mom. Instead, I am a stay at home mom living with a complicated chronic illness. Letting go of perfection has been frustrating for me at times, and often it overwhelms me with feelings of sadness. This is one of my greatest parenting challenges, what is yours?
As an imperfect mom, I have good days and bad, and I do my best with what I’ve got – be it time, energy, motivation, or money. It’s a difficult journey at times, but I’m learning to embrace my not-so-perfect life with my loving husband and two children. I’ve come to realize that the world will not come crashing down if everything is not just so. Life is not picture perfect. It’s not the fairy tale many of us moms dreamed about as young girls – there is no fancy castle or a dashing prince. In reality, life is messy, chaotic, and much harder than I ever expected. I do attempt to be a fearless mother like Ms. Huffington suggests by trying to let go of perfection and control, but sometimes I fail. But it’s OK, because my life with my family is ‘just right” at this moment in time. Simply put, it is what it is. Here’s why:
We have a just right house. It is a lived-in home. Sometimes there is clutter, socks on the floor, laundry to put away, piles of paperwork, or a bunch of toys scattered about. We have a mix of old and new furniture, just one TV, one computer, some handprints on the walls, and a few unfinished home improvement projects. Although it’s not the perfect home, we have a roof over our heads, warm beds for sleeping, working utilities, and a large backyard for playing and gardening. Even better, we have a place to spend time together as a family – a home filled with laughter, singing, dancing, and fun. It is our place to make and keep special memories to last a lifetime.
We have just right kids – one girl and one boy. They are cute and creative, funny and athletic. They both play musical instruments and do well in school. However, they are by no means perfect children. Sometimes they whine, sometimes they fight. They make crumbs at the table and they do not always use good manners. They have lots of stuff that takes up space. They don’t like to eat this or that, and they do not always listen or follow directions. They need to be taken here, there, and everywhere. In my eyes, all those little things do not matter because they are precious gifts from God. They bring us a tremendous amount of joy, love, and hope for the future. They make us laugh.
We are just right parents. We are not young or hip. We don’t have fancy smart phones, flashy cars, or pockets full of cash. Sometimes we lose our patience, our tempers, or both. Sometimes we yell. Sometimes we feed our children cereal for dinner. We don’t claim to know all the answers, but we never stop trying to be good parents. We do what we can to help our kids learn and grow. My husband keeps them fit and active. I guide them with homework and school projects. We take them to church weekly, and lead them toward a faith-filled life. We tell them we love them every day without fail. We are their biggest fans.
It’s our perfectly imperfect life, and it’s OK.
Sue is a stay at home mom who lives with her husband, two children, and a den of dust bunnies in a far western suburb of Chicago. A former elementary school teacher, newspaper reporter, and healthy mother, she loves to write, cuddle up with a good book, and spend quality time with her family and friends. Sue sometimes drives her kids to school in her PJs and slippers. She enjoys eating guacamole and chocolate, but not in the same bite. She is living with, and trying to live beyond, a complicated autoimmune disease called Scleroderma. Despite her daily challenges, she tries to look at the positive side of life.
She collaborates with a good friend at the blog http://2friends3things1blog.blogspot.com