I am not a perfect parent.
Some days I don’t even know if I am a good one! My guess is I hover around the mediocre range most of the time. My meals are eh, my Pinterest projects are nightmare inducing, I have a potty mouth and my husband and I squabble right here in the kitchen for all to see.
A few years back I was killing myself trying to live up to the parental image of perfection that I had created in my head, but since the twins have joined us and my husband has been practically living at work I have slid straight down into average. That bothered me for sometime, it felt like failure. That familiar feeling of fail only led to me trying harder and harder to achieve maternal perfection. I cooked more, I crafted my ass off, I read out loud to the kids even when no one was listening, did puzzles, took educational day trips with the kids, volunteered in the classrooms and kind of hated life.
So I did what I do best.
Years later I am here making peace with kind of crappy me. I couldn’t maintain perfect, but I can RULE average. The truth is I am probably better for it and so are my kids. Here are some ways that my “faults” might actually make me a BETTER mother:
You are welcome children.
Sometimes I swear in front of my kids. Look. I know this is a big old no-no. I don’t mean to swear in front of them, but I do it more than I care to admit. Here is the good news. They know the naughty words. They know not to use them and that they are for adults. Swear words don’t even really phase them and because we have not made them into a mortal sin they don’t get all jacked up over them when they slide right out of my mounth. In the event that they drop something on their toe and shout out, “dammit!” they apologize, and always uses swear words in context. Both skills kind of make me proud if I am being honest.
Fighting on the front lines. Truth: My husband and I argue in front of our children. We can not always hold it in until ten pm where we whisper-argue behind closed doors. Sorry, not sorry. Sometimes we yell and argue in the kitchen for all to see. Do you know what else we do in the kitchen in front of our girls? We make up. We apologize and we move forth as a united couple. It is my guess that our children will grow up knowing that sometimes couples fight and it doesn’t always signify that the end it near. Sometimes it is just an argument and that is part of life. I’m not proud of the fact that we fight in front of then kids, but I am DAMN proud that we are able to make up in front of them. Apologizing is hard as shit!
Sometimes mom cries. When I was younger my father referred to me as an emotional terrorist. Go ahead and process that for a second. He wasn’t wrong. I can whip a room up into a frenzy real fast with my passionate feelings about things. Sometimes this leads to crying. Would I like to cry in private? Sure! Do moms do that? Where are these unicorn mothers who plaster smiles on their faces and then melt down in solitude? Do you bitches even exists? Probably. Fact: I am not one of them. Sometimes I get sad, or mad or overwhelmed and I cry. I used to have some serious mom guilt over my lack of emotional reservation. Not anymore. Do you know what my crying in front of my kids created?
Empathy and compassion. The one they love most is bothered and is hurting and it is okay to console them. It doesn’t mean that I am an unstable mother. It just means that I am having natural human emotions, and they will have them too.
Not every meal is a Pinterest meal and mom makes crap crafts. No one gives a shit if I create some gourmet meal or spend three days crafting a bird house out of moss, burlap and my own tears. Somehow I thought that doing these things would earn me some kind of mom badge of honor. No badge came in the mail. The only thing that complex, gluten free, organic meals gave me was a giant ass grocery bill for food that no one ate. My crafting aspirations did the same with the bonus of now having no fingerprints thanks to my shitty hot glue gun skills.
And it is all okay.
I learn more about myself and motherhood every single day. It is ok to live in the land of mediocrity, because that is what works for me. At least I am truly and completely authentic in my parenting journey. I think the girls will end up better for it all. When they become parents and see how hard this shit is, there will be no living up to ridiculous and unattainable standards. They will do some great parenting some days, and other days they will downright suck.
And most importantly they will know that everyone will turn out great BECAUSE of it, not in spite of it.