I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. All the things that run through our heads as we are raising little people. I hear many of the comments yet I’m sure the ones that aren’t shared with other people are downright nasty. Like if we talked to our best friend the way we talk to ourselves about parenting success or failure, we wouldn’t have friends.
So, I ask – why do we expect perfection with parenting? What are we afraid of messing them up (that’s what people tell me)? What is perfection anyway? Well, this is what good ‘ol Google says:
the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
My gosh, how boring. Mundane. Gray. No flaws? No defects? That means no lessons and no learning. And what’s a life if there isn’t perspective, awareness and continuous improvement?
It’s not our job to be a perfect mom. Your kids are on a journey, too, so it’s not all about us ‘failing’ (out of the mouth of many). Are there days that we have a ‘mom fail’? Sure. But get over it, you are human. You have feelings, situations, people that sometimes change how we act, respond and talk. We go from responding to reacting – from the teapot’s slow boil to a sudden whistling in a millisecond. From an easy conversation to a temper tantrum in 10 seconds. All of these deserve a mom time-out. But it’s ok. You are human. It isn’t a judge of your character and you were not screwing them up; stop the negative talk.
This mom thing is hard so let’s try shifting perspective, cleaning of the lens you’re looking through. See things as they happen FOR you, not TO you. FOR your kids, not TO your kids. Not all things go as planned and neither does life so when we begin to see things as lessons and life teachings, we are granted a new perspective.
Let them fail and fall on their nose. They will learn persistence.
Put them in situations that make them feel uncomfortable. They will expand and grow.
If they hurt something or someone, require them to apologize. They will learn empathy and communication.
When they oversleep, have them take the unexcused absence and explain to the school lady. They will learn responsibility.
We aren’t supposed to be helicopter mom and definitely not lawnmower moms, so take the pressure off. We aren’t flawless and we surely don’t want to create that stigma for our kids because when life gets messy, they need tools to get through those times.
We are raising respectable children who contribute to the world, not entitled. We are there to give them experiences so they can see what they like and dislike themselves, through their own lessons (and they will NOT learn by our mistakes, that’s silly). We are there to support and love them unconditionally, not save them. We are there to share perspective, the bird’s eye view into their life but not responsible for doing their work. We are there to create opportunities to learn and grow, not to make is easy.
Our heart may hurt when they hurt. Our eyes may cry when they cry. Our guts may twist and turn when they are sad, hurt, left out. Stay connected but detached so that you can see what they cannot; you can say what they cannot; you can help them grow, from the inside out.
Help them see that being the victim is not the best answer. That following the tribe is not where leaders are born. And that pleasing others is for the birds.
Some say that we’re supposed to be their mom, not their friend. I disagree. I believe we can be both as long as the boundary is clear and communicated. And when they love, respect, admire and honor you, you will have a lifelong relationship of trust.
How will YOU show up differently as a mom now? (I want to hear!)
PS – YOU alone can change the path of your kids when you are self-less (taking care of yourself first). When you don’t and you instead focus on them as your #1 priority, when they start to experience life, you take it personal as it’s a reflection of you. It’s their journey, too. Take care of you, your marriage and watch how the relationship with your kids change.
PS – Callyn painted this…pretty sure she didn’t expect it to be attached to a “Bad Mom” topic.