I told a dear friend the other day that I don’t want to be perfect; I want to be ME! There really is no perfection in parenting, in life, in homemaking; there is only the journey. I am so tired of seeing wonderful mothers beat themselves up day in and day out over not being perfect. Not only do we not have to be perfect, but why do we WANT to be perfect and pass this striving for “perfection only” onto our children, especially onto our daughters?
Yes, there are certain truths in parenting and in life to work with. I believe that. Some of you have asked if I am perfect! Hah! No! The people who know me in real life can only attest to my utter lack of perfection! And, if you look at the “About” section you will see I started this blog because there were so many things I needed to learn regarding parenting that I didn’t want anyone else to also feel like they had to re-create the parenting wheel. So I share what I have learned, what I think, what I value here and you can decide if it resonates with you or not. Decide if it fits with your family or not. Be mindful and make your choices wisely, but please do not punish yourself for the learning process that the journey holds.
This blog entails the journeys of so many different families. I have said this before, that honestly this blog is about less than my own personal parenting journey; it is about the journeys of the thousands of families I have worked with , observed, counseled, assisted and loved. I love children. All of them. I have worked with so many as a neonatal physical therapist, as a pediatric physical therapist, as a lactation consultant, as a homeschooling consultant, as a worker in church programs, as a friend, a neighbor. I have worked in the inner city, I have worked in the suburbs. Those difficult children no one else likes? Those are the ones I like. The ones no one wants to deal with because of their special needs, their challenges, their attitudes? I love those children the best. I can tell you what I have seen work for so many different families with so many different types of children from birth through age twenty-one. And yes, those teenagers were also some of my favorites! I see the precious gift that all of them are.
So why, as parents, as mothers, as the people who set the tone in our homes, do we waste precious time with these beautiful children feeling guilty, feeling inadequate and stewing about things gone? I have literally seen wonderful mothers who have taken the one “wrong” thing they think they did and let it color their past parenting history, ruin the present moment and tarnish the future that has not even arrived. One bad moment does not a terrible mother make!
I am not suggesting you throw peaceful parenting out the window – not at all! I am suggesting you have ideals, I am suggesting you continually strive and work to be the best parent you can be! But most of all, I am suggesting that you accept yourself as human. I am suggesting that you have more fun in your family and worry a whole lot less.
Sometimes I feel as if I am running; so much to do and not enough time here on earth to do it all…… If I could do one thing in my life outside of my own journey with my husband and children, it would be to change on a major scale across this country HOW families view their children. I want to help mothers especially. I want to help mothers create a mindful family life, to convince them to have realistic expectations for their children and to help them understand what those might be, to help them in their striving to be gentle parents, to help them understand the preciousness of this time and how to really connect with their children. I want them to understand how to set the tone in their own homes, how to hold the space for these tiny beings who are learning, and how to do it with joy!
Hold an image of yourself in your mind’s eye as being the mother you want to be; imperfections, flaws and all! Those things, all of it, is what makes us who we are! Hold your children close! Tell them you are glad the storm of anger passed and let’s all get our hands busy and nurture each other and our homes! Let’s show compassion for one another when we are just human! Let’s laugh and have joy and have fun together! No wallowing in the weaknesses, just do better next time! Life is so short, it is so fleeting, just love one another!
Many blessings on you all tonight,