My youngest daughter, whom I sit next to right now in a hospital room, has much to complain about when it comes to my mothering skills.
I more often than not set a bad example when it comes to housekeeping. Procrastination is my middle name, unless company is coming over and then it’s “Haul ASS and GET TO WORK, EVERYBODY… NOW!”
My children have seen my worst sides of my being a daughter in the clashes I’ve had with my own mother. I always feel I’ve let them down and wonder what happened to all my self-control and noble promises of being a perfect example of motherhood. It’s humiliating to admit my faults and flaws to them, especially since I grew up believing my mother to be the saint of self-control and perfection.
I can be grumpy and short with my children. I always apologize and ask them to forgive my shortcomings and my selfishness.
The only time I don’t feel like the poster child for horrible and inadequate mothers is when I don’t sweat the small stuff, the stuff that many adults consider mountains, I consider molehills.
The spills, messes, broken glass/dishes/windows, lost jewelry, ruined shirts, boots, dresses, brand new cameras not meant to be put in ziploc bags & take underwater pictures in swimming pools, the holes in walls, the wet beds, the needing to vent without being told how to feel, not feel or ‘fix’ it… all things that make us human.
The latest one, my daughter stepping on my closed laptop as she leaned over to kiss me the other morning. My prized laptop went “CRACK” and we both went “Oh NOOO!”. I wanted to cry when I saw the screen, but all I said was, “Oh no, Chloe, I think it’s cracked, but it’s ok it wasn’t your fault. No worries.” And that was that. That’s my one redeeming quality as a mother, to not sweat the small stuff. My children’s dignity and self-esteem is more important to me than my own disappointment and angst.
There is never any shame in making mistakes and there never should be. That’s part of life. My mother never made me feel less than when I messed up as a child, my father did. I NEVER went to my father for ANYTHING, I never wanted to feel like an imposition. I went to my mother instead. That was the greatest lesson I learned about being a parent. I always want my children to know that they are loved, just because.
*image from Pinterest