I’m not perfect. Just ask my children. Moms aren’t meant to be. We try- Lord knows we do. I burn dinners, I forget things, I cause us to be late, and, I will let you in a little known secret- (shhh… don’t tell) at bedtime, when reading a story, I might even fart. Yep. Totally beautiful and fartytale (I mean fairytale- worthy).
BUT, if we were absolutely perfect, how would our children react? Would they expect perfection from themselves or always feel inferior? Would they be healthier with this perfect model, or begin to believe that the human experience is meant to be effortless, therefore any challenge they experience or they witness in others is wrong, bad, judgement worthy? Would our children learn to grow from challenges or would they shy away, because it might reveal a flaw?
So, why do we beat ourselves up for our smaller mistakes? Why do we romanticize our role?
Let’s take a typical day in my household as an example. My oldest (who will one day be a leader in some format with his love of control and organization) might yell at his friends while gaming- or he might yell at us and we say, “Please apologize” (on our best days). We shape his behavior by setting the expectation that he make amends, change, or-lose that gaming privilege.
On a not so perfect day, I yell at him. I apologize... Which situation do you think he learned more from… me asking him not to yell or me showing him that when we slip up (as humans do), that we take space, then apologize and reconnect? I’m thinking the less than pretty, uncomfortable option is MORE powerful.
When my youngest sees my failings at bedtime… I’m so tired at this point that my ADD is no longer a superpower, but it is what causes 10 extra trips up and down the stairs as I forget this or that, leave the light on, stub my toe, drop something, etc… he SEES himself. Mama started out just like him- bright and creative, but in serious need of grounding. I crashed, like he does, I danced and squealed with excitement, I had a million interests and started but didn’t finish many. These moments when my “little self” sneaks back out and he can see I struggle, STILL, might just be what gives him hope that he will one day figure out a way to spend 90% of his day accomplishing the goals he’s passionate about instead of what my dad calls “pinging” from one thing to the next. Right now, his ratio might be a lot lower, but he’s 8, and it’s ok. We just have a different spirit and a different way. Our SELF talk and our inner critic teach them how to have positive self talk- or not.
You see, while I post about positive ways to approach my life, it might seem like I am trying to portray perfection, but rather, I share my story, my truth in order to uplift and help others learn what I am learning- almost in lock step. It is my mistakes, my failures, my challenges, my pain that causes me to reach for something more. Our flaws maybe the very BEST teachers, not the WORST for our children. How do you embrace your flaws with grace?
Love yourSELF... Flaws and all.