Friday, September 28, 2012
I am a type A, perfectionist, and super-mom wannabe. It's a problem. One that I try to keep in check.
I know I cannot do it all with a perfect house, perfect meals, perfect lessons, and perfectly behaved children. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. My children, most certainly, are not. I, desperately, wish to recover that part of myself before I do more harm than good. I don't need perfect. I need real.
I want to be a great mom. My heart longs to be great...to be perfect. There are days when I feel I've accomplished virtually nothing. My to-do list is struggling. Behavior issues abound. My patience runs raggedly thin.
Then, I begin comparing myself to others...bad, bad, bad idea. I think of so-and-so who works full-time, outside the home, who seems to have it all together with never-ending patience and perfect kids. And then, there's the homeschooling mom of seven, who has a business out of her home which she runs with impeccable time-management skills. She has super-talented and well-behaved kids and a perfectly clean house. Oh, and she has an extra special patience, of a "super power" proportion, and she's just perfect.
That snarky, evil, voice in my head screams at me. Why can't you get it together? They can do it all! They are just so perfect.
Then, my more sensible subconscious, prompts me with, No one is perfect. We are all unique. Each person you think is perfect isn't. They have to make choices and they've said "no" to plenty of things in order to do what God has put on their hearts to do for their family and in their home.
I have only been a mom for nine years, and I'm learning every. single. day. So while I don't know much, I do know that my children know when I'm being real. They know if I'm being authentic. They know the real me. That is a great thing! My children help me to be real, without even realizing it, instead of trying to be something I'm not. I have strengths and weaknesses that are unique to me. I try to help them be themselves.
One thing that helps me to do that is to think and do with their adulthood in mind. I ask myself, "What do I want them to remember from their childhood?"
- Baking cookies on Friday afternoons, in the fall
- Going to the park on a windy day
- Having our church family visit the house on a regular basis
- Traveling to visit family who isn't nearby
- Spending most weeknights at home, family time doesn't last long...don't like being too busy.
- Listening to mom read aloud during snacks
- Popping popcorn and stargazing
- Running with mom at the track
- Going to church meetings
- Knowing that mom and dad drink coffee every day on the front porch that they can, that they love one another very much
- That mom and dad work hard in different ways
- Knowing that while they were not perfect, they were home...
- That home was a place of solace, refuge, that God was/is honored and spoken of, often
- That they could be themselves. That they could relax, in their hearts, in spite of any circumstances.
- That, while it may not have been quiet, it was peaceful.
So if you want them to remember that they baked cookies and listened to stories, you actually have to bake the cookies and read the book. If you want them to remember popping popcorn and looking at the stars, you have to do it. If you want them to be themselves, you have to let them. If you want them to relax, you must set the tone.
So what's important to you, in your life, in your home? What works for you? I, likely, will struggle with perfectionism, but I purpose, daily, to remember that we are not perfect. To remember that, while we're not perfect, we serve a God who is. And I can rest in that truth.