My girls would have been better off being raised by someone else. Someone like an old friend of mine that has four beautiful daughters who seem to have life altogether. Or perhaps a friend from college who always seems to say just the right thing to everyone, including her children.
We've all seen them, those "Supermoms". They are the ones that all of the youngsters want to go to their house. We've heard our kids say that such and such's mom is so cool; I just love Miss Perfect.
For those of us who are less perfect, who try too hard in some areas and don't try hard enough in others, we are inferior to those perfect mothers. Oh, we have the best of intentions. But intentions and actions just don't equate.
When your kids are little, you vow to create the utopian life for them. You overextend yourself making sure that they get to participate in every little thing their hearts' desire, from music, dance, little league, boy or girl scouts, martial arts, and whatever else they could think about doing.
You also beat yourself up if it is your lot in life to not be able to be that perfect stay-at-home mom who wakes in the morning to dress to perfection not just her children but herself also. She has that perfectly kept home, can cook gourmet meals, entertain children, friends or dignitaries while thriving to coordinate the big charity gala event and all her kids' practices.
If you're like me, you vow to do better the next time, or the time after that, and certainly by the time after that. You may even feel that your own children dislike you or worse, hate you. Maybe you think they "tolerate" you because it would look bad to their friends if they didn't.
Do you often embarrass your children? Maybe its something you said or did in public or maybe you feel that you embarrass them by just your very existance.
Being a mother is a tricky calling. There seems to be this very fine line that on one side, you are the greatest, most wonderful, special mother in the world. But heaven forbid you cross that line, even just a smidgen. You would be "labeled" among the worst of the worst. I've never heard anyone talk about their "mediocre" mother.
Someday in a land far away in your fairy tale world, you think things will be different. Maybe they will, but more than likely, they won't. But maybe the real change won't be on the outside or the things you can change.
I suspect that as time goes by, we "non" Supermoms will be able to extend grace to ourselves like we do others around us. Although we may not be perfect, we did the best we knew how to do and we loved our children with every fiber of our being.
But most importantly, we hope our children will always recognize that our love for them is unconditional. Oh yes, just as they may be disappointed in us, we may be disappointed from time to time in something they've said or done. That does not diminish the love, it simply means that you always want what's best for your child and from your child.
I know, for me, I'm not the perfect mom nor are my kids perfect. But, I will trust God who put us together as family, to believe that we are a perfect family together with some possible imperfections along the way.
All my love to both of my girls!
Your Imperfect Mother