There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. ~ Jill Churchill
What a statement of truth. Sitting in a room full of women, my friend said something to our new friends that took me aback. She referred to me as a perfect mother, the queen mother, the mother of all mothers. Well ok, maybe she didn’t take it that far but she did say perfect and that, my dears, is so far from the truth. I do not want to fool anybody and if that is written on my person then I need to make a correction…quickly. Let’s face it. I don’t have time for the magazine articles, TV shows, and book tours that come with being The Perfect Mother.
After nudging her slightly hard in the shoulder from her mishap of a word, I let it go…until I got home. My mind took off like a race car at the start line. Perfect. What does that look like? Wanting to run away after 5:00 each night? Dreading coming up with a dinner they are going to eat? Yelling, yelling, and yelling some more (still working on it)? Or is it correcting them when they talk back? Giving them a hug after they just called me stupid? Taking them to their favorite restaurant? Planning the best birthday party? Trying hard to teach them the ways of God?
Perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
Hmmm, let’s stew over the as good as it is possible to be part of that. How many times have you heard someone say, when speaking of parenting, I/we did the best I could? Maybe you have even said it. Pretty sure I have. Does that qualify as perfect? I can only answer that for myself….
When we first started our family, our lives were far from perfect. Our marriage was tumultuous at best with lots of baggage floating in streams behind us, probably stacked 2×2. I’m pretty sure between the two of us the kids have enough junk to write a novel or spend years in therapy working through. Honestly, it’s life. We’ve had 10 years to get something right and I will confess, with happy emotion, that recently things have turned around. The novel is ending. This parenting thing is hard though. There is no handbook, no class, only life experience to hurdle through and at the end, and hopefully, somewhere along the way we hope to be “good” parents. We long to do the best we can, not being perfect, but to train our children in His ways so that they will do the same with theirs and mimic what they learn.
So, we really are doing the best we can – most of the time- and this is how I would like to be known by my children:
A wise mother knows: It is her state of consciousness that matters. Her gentleness and clarity command respect. Her love creates security.
~Vimala McClure, The Tao of Motherhood
Perfect, I am not. I hope I am not deceiving anyone because I strive to be honest and transparent. I am no Mother Teresa. I have many faults for which I cry out to Him to help me surrender daily. I took my friends comment to heart because I know she loves me and she thinks I am a good mom. That’s what friends do, encourage each other. However, I also took it as a sounding board because this stuff is rough, hard, and sticky as all get out. I can’t do it alone. I NEED help and I need my friends. On those days when I am not perfect, I’m gratefully honored to have someone to turn to…who is perfect.