The mom I want to be is so much better than the mom I am.
Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever failed at—not in its entirety but in bits and pieces throughout my children's lives, often in subtle ways. My day-to-day is filled with micro failures that prevent me from achieving any semblance of "best mom ever" status.
My kids will tell you I am inordinately cranky after 8 pm and my husband would admit that my Type-A personality emerges and borders on neurotic in the face of stress and/or overcrowding.
I let my kids leave for school looking a little rough around the edges, with mismatched socks and bedhead hair. I short-order cook for dinner because I really want a sautéed onion, mushroom and spinach quesadilla and everyone else gags at the mere mention of it.
Inevitably it happens that I raise my voice, lower the boom, and then regret the paragon of maternal awesomeness that I am not.
It's easy to look at my maternal imperfections with self-condemnation. Why can't I just be better? What's wrong with me? The majority of other moms seem to have their stuff together and neatly organized in fashionable designer handbags while most days I am just lucky to have not forgotten my phone on the counter and my keys in the ignition.
With maturity (I've been doing this mom thing for a decade now) comes perspective and an eye for calling things by their name.Those designer bag-toting moms may look good on the surface but we all have weaknesses and insecurities that drive us to our knees.
For better or worse, imperfection is our reality. And maybe that awareness and the resolve to keep trying is what my kids really need to see from me.
I don't want to delude my kids into believing perfection is the end goal. I don't want them thinking they have to hold it all together because that is what their mama tried to do. We all need a little grit and a lot of grace to live the abundant, messy, joyful life that we are all capable of living.
Seeing me fail and own up to my imperfections is powerful, a vivid example of the humility and grace that I want my kids to know and practice in their own lives.
Excellence in anything doesn't just happen; it is the result of perseverance through repeated failure, believing that what you love is more important than your own bruised ego or any disparaging word anyone else has to say.
The mom I want to be, she gets it.