But, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.
We make mistakes, we often say and do the wrong things. We worry. We embarrass. We celebrate. We support. We expect too much. We are often disappointed. We demand the truth. We do not accept excuses. We yell. We cry. We laugh. We sigh. We get angry. We talk too much. We talk too loud. We make sense. We exert control.
And yet underneath it all, our goal is really to protect.
Mothers often find themselves overwhelmed, a little stressed and a lot behind the eight ball. As a result, some days we forget to show how much we care. How much we love. How proud we are. And we fail to communicate how much we just want the best for our children.
We are after all, just human. We are not perfect.
When my children fail, I take it personally. As if it is somehow a result of something I did (or did not do) as a mother. As if it is a reflection of my parenting skills. Was it something I never taught my children? Or something I failed to show them by example? Or something I didn’t explain correctly?
I find myself wondering if things would have turned out differently if I had been more patient, or kinder, or stronger, or if I had been a stay at home mom, like my mom was?
Don’t think you are alone if you second guess yourself and the way you have raised your kids, because I do. A lot of people do. Especially when it seems that our children have not heard us. Or when we think that they should know better.
I think that between us, my husband and I have gone through every … what happens when/if, scenario we could think of. Hoping that it could prevent our kids from making mistakes we had already made, or prevent the regrets we’ve come to know.
But in the end, it isn’t about us. It’s about letting our kids make their own choices and their own mistakes. The consequences are theirs to own. It isn’t a reflection of how I have parented. It isn’t about me at all. And if at the end of the day we have given it our best effort and offered our most honest attempt to show them the way, and yet they still choose a path different from what we would have chosen for them; it is not our fault.
There I said it. It is not my fault.
In my heart I know I have done my best and parented as I have, for all the right reasons; and with love in my heart. In my head, I still have a hard time not taking it personally.
We help our children grow wings, and when it is time, they either fly away or fall. If they choose not to listen, there is little we can do, except be there to help them get back on their feet.
As I learn to accept my grown up children and the choices they make, I sometimes think to myself, it’d be so much easier if they’d just listen to me. (Maybe I even voice that thought aloud to those who I know will understand.) It’d be a heck of a lot easier for me anyway, if my kids would just do it my way….
But it is not up to me, and parenting is not meant to be easy. Think: hardest job ever. And then think: most rewarding job ever.
So as this Mother’s Day approaches, remember to celebrate your mother, and others who have acted as “moms” in your life. Acknowledge their love, and their efforts to guide and support you. And remember, the hardest thing they may have ever faced, was to let you go.
What’s been the hardest thing for you in your life so far?