Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The P-Word

Have you ever wondered why I refer to one-third of my mommy persona in quotation marks?

"Perfect" Mommy?

It is simple, really. I do not believe that perfect exists. Perfect is what you are "supposed" to be if you religiously follow all the baby books and doctor advice. Perfect is something that know-it-all mamas would like you to believe is attainable (These mamas are simply not sharing all the times they themselves faltered. Don't be fooled!).

If I do something "perfect" for a total of 1 hour out of my day, even if it's four separate 15-minute events, then I call it a success.

When I met (virtually, thanks to Twitter) the mama behind
Holly's House (Not a perfect mom's blog), I knew she would make a "perfect" guest poster. Thank you, Holly! Non-perfect moms are always welcome here.

- - - - -
A guest post by Holly

The Perfect Mother. Do you know her? Do you think you are her? Do you strive to be her?

Or are you like me? Have you pretty much given up on the notion of the Perfect Mother? Yup, that's right, I have given up my quest to be the Perfect Mother.

I tried to be perfect. I really did. I made my own baby food, but I didn't take the peas out the pods after I steamed them and the baby choked on the stringy puree. I bought the most expensive baby wipes that would ensure my little angel's bum smelled fresh as a daisy and he broke out in a rash from the fragrance. I tried to cut those little itty bitty fingernails with the special nail clippers the hospital sent me home with and I cut too low, causing my precious bundle of joy's finger to bleed.

I tried to be perfect.
I tried and I failed.
So now I am me.

I'm not a perfect mother. But that doesn't mean I'm not a good mother. Sure, I may accidentally have given Hope Fiber One cereal, causing her to have explosive diarrhea when she was desperate to be in big girl underwear. And then there was the time I lost her at Sea World. Um, and I also accidentally dropped Brooke in front of her physical therapist once. Oh, and I recently reduced my oldest son to tears when I was teasing him about a girl in his class he has a crush on...

But all of that doesn't make me a bad mother. Those points definitely don't highlight my stellar mothering, but we all make mistakes. I don't think that there really is that Perfect Mother anywhere. A mother that never makes mistakes, that always does the right thing.

Mothering is a process. We all learn as we go. I don't think we'll ever stop learning, especially since every child is different. Just when I think I have this whole mothering lark figured out, one of my kids changes the game on me. But I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying this journey of motherhood, the lows that make me want to try harder and be a better mother, and the highs that I'm rewarded with in hugs and kisses.

I'm most definitely not a Perfect Mother...but my own kids think I'm pretty fantastic.

And that's good enough for me.
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