He falls asleep cupping my cheek with his pudgy little hand, tiny contented snores escaping his nose, his lips fluttering and sucking in search of his long lost friends, my breasts.
Calmed by his warmth, I think about my latest round of parental introspection, my quest for maternal perfection.
I have no better chance of becoming a perfect parent in this life than I do of becoming a perfect human being. Motherhood is who I am, not some hobby I picked up to master and then move on from. I need to learn to somehow be happy with myself without settling or stopping my progress.
Is it possible to be comfortable in your own skin while still holding out hope for the ideal?
Is there really any other way?
I think once I became happy with who I am as an individual…accepting my strengths and my weaknesses…I then began to realize that I am the mother God intended me to be. I am not perfect, but I am the mother God felt was best for the children he gave me. Perfection isn’t something I will ever seek…but the happiness of my children is my eternal quest.
Lazy Organizer says
I think the ideal is us with all our weaknesses included. If we don’t give our kids plenty of trials to work on that just leaves them with what the world dishes out. I can’t have that! I feel like it’s my job to mess them up properly with my guidance and love to go with it.
The ongoing search is what keeps motherhood fun and challenging! If we were perfect, and our kids were perfect, our blogs would be so BOOORING! (okay, MY kids are perfect!)
I agree with Nan
Pam in Utah says
We had an interesting Sunday evening over dinner discussion that included the topic of learning from our mistakes. The jist was that we learn ever so much more from the things that go wrong than from the things that go right. I personally enjoy the successes, but we can definitely see the need to adjust from the “experiences” that don’t go so smooth. 🙂 Not to worry-“it will be OK”-to quote a really great man (P. G.B.H.). P.S. We love you!
I think there is a LOT to be said for knowing that we are trying our best. We’ll never be perfect but we’re TRYING.
Glad you’re back!
I’m currently trying to figure out how to get our Sleeping Beauty to sleep more than 5 minutes without my boob in her mouth. It makes me feel so guilty because I let The Biscuit wean himself when he was ready, yet I want some freedom to sleep on my back! Or just with my husband without a little one there with us. So while I’m struggling with ways to be a better wife and a better me, I’m also feeling guilty because it means being a “less better” mommy.
Frankly, I don’t know if it’s possible to be comfortable in your own skin period. But I hope!
Of course it is.
Yes. Those symptoms show that you’re already the perfect mother: loving, caring, yet still trying to do better.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get the manuals that came with either of my children. I’m winging it… and finding out that I’m still breathing and doing alright. (Note that the aforementioned was said while having pre-teen children. Do not bring it back up in a year and a half when my girl reaches said age and I’ll want nothing better but to lock her into a closet for the next 5 years.)
it definitely is possible. i really feel like i reached that point in the past year, which i consider to be a tender mercy and a blessing beyond compare from Heavenly Father. i don’t think that it’s that i suddenly became a better mother than i was before, it’s just that i got a glimpse of myself the way that He sees me, and a deeper understanding that motherhood is my destiny and my journey. i have felt so much peace and strength in that, and yet continue to be aware of my imperfections and desire to change them–i just don’t let them paralyze me anymore.
hang in there. you are already a wonderful mother. you just need to see yourself as the Lord does to realize that you are enough, flaws and all.
thanks for all you do to encourage the rest of us! this was a beautiful post, by the way.
this speaks to my heart so well, especially “motherhood is not a hobby I picked up to master…” It is an ongoing process to get more comfortable with motherhood, enjoying the growth I’ve seen in myself, and accepting the growing pains of this season.