You Say it Best

I'm so far from perfect, I even smell. Sometimes. Not constantly. But a lot of the time. When I forgo showering for more important things like parenting or blogging.

Why am I saying this?

Oh. Well. You know that little project where I listed things I'm doing well as a mother? I get a yucky feeling in my stomach when I read it. Because it sounds too good to be true. Because the fact is, I don't do those fancy things well all the time. Or even most of the time. I'm not superhuman. I fail at my good list a whole lot of the time.

But I don't want to focus on the failing anymore.

I want to see myself failing and not make a big deal out of it. I have a history of ruminating on the negative and I'm simply realizing that doesn't help me improve. It just makes me more anxious, which makes me act like a freak, which makes me feel guilty, which makes me more anxious, which makes me act like even more of a freak....you get the idea. Nasty cycle.

So please don't look at my fancy list and feel bad and think, "Wow that Heather is so perfect, I could never do all those things. Even though she has a really big mouth(see yesterday's post), I'm still intimidated by that list."

Please don't think that. Because I smell. And I also wish I was more of a laid back, easy-going mother who believes in her heart that even if I'm not perfect my kids are going to be okay, that they're going to turn out just fine. I'm working on it. I'm pretty sure it's a lifetime process, this acceptance thing.

I hope that what you're getting out of this little discussion on motherhood is what I intended:

A realization that none of us is perfect, we need not compare. An acceptance of your own unique qualities, the good and the bad. And the belief that you are exactly who your particular kids need, just as you are.

You guys have said what I'm trying to say here much better than I can say it:

Kristina P., who I love for more than just this comment (like for her sense of humor to name just one) said,
I think that moms need to be a bit more selfish at times, and shouldn't feel guilty when they are. Everyone needs healthy coping skills.

The lovely and wise Carolyn said,
I loved what you said about accepting yourself, freeing yourself from guilt about the things you do. We try a little better every day but that does not mean that everything we did yesterday was meaningless and wrong.

The wit-filled wordsmith (she's good-like, published book good) Heidi Ashworth said,
It is really just a process and as much as we want to be the best mom we could possibly be for our children, most of us are truly just doing the best that we can. It's all we can do and all anyone can expect...

And this lovely glimmer of hope from the Little Grumpy Angel herself (who is definitely not grumpy and extremely kind),
The work on improving one's self never ends, but I find it gets more fun the older I get.

And finally, one last thing that Carolyn said,
Complementing myself on those things made me even more prone to be that way.
This is funny, people. While I was finishing up this post the phone rang. I knew as soon as I heard it ring what the call was about. It was my husband saying, "Is there no school today?" (Silence from me) "Heather, what's going on? Why am I here with Miles if there is no school today?"
"Um, Sorry?" (Yup, I totally sent them to school even though I knew there was no school. At least yesterday I remembered, but this morning...I forgot.) But I'm not going to beat myself up over it....My husband on the other hand....No, I'm kidding. Of course he's not going to beat me up...he's just going to give me a dirty look and shake his head and then I'm going to point at him and yell, "HEY, I'm not PERFECT and that's OKAY!!!"

P.S. Asher has his 15 month Doc appt. today. If you've been reading this crazy blog, you're aware of Asher's history at the Doctor. Torture for Asher...every time. Last time, when the Doc wanted him to have a catscan because of his large noggin' I tried to make an appt for that like three times and Children's never had the order. So I gave up. I don't think there's anything wrong with his head, but the Doc might not be that impressed with my mothering skills...to be continued.

20 clicked right here to comment:

Erin said...

Thanks again for this. It helps to remember that I am doing the best I can, and that's all that is really asked of me anyway. And my kids love me, and I love them! That's the most important (and best) part!

LisAway said...

Thanks for this. (Oops. I just saw that Erin said that. Probably most of your readers will say it) You do have some great readers, if I do say so myself. And I do. Because even though I'm not perfect, I'm okay with it, and I know that your other readers aren't perfect either. Even if they seem like it.

I'm glad to know that you'll feel safe when your husband comes home. Good thing looks can't kill...

Lara said...

There's a book (more like a pamphlet) out there called "The Best Mom" (I think...I'm not home to check.) Anyway, one of the points the author makes is that we are all vastly different as mothers, but we are probably exactly perfect for the children we have. It changed my viewpoint a little bit, and I do a lot less comparing now. Because honestly? I see a lot of moms doing things way differently than I do, and it's nice not to get caught up in different must be better. Because it's not. Different is just different. :)

Kazzy said...

And just because we are older than a ten year-old and have had more experience doesn't always mean we are brilliant at anything. My oldest son used to tease me and say that his spirit might have been much older than mine. Maybe he was right. Who knows?

Brooke said...

I saw a sign the other day that I thought summed it up perfectly. "there is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one." Thanks for your insight.

Sara@ Butterville said...

Ok, first I'm not liking that Dr. Ours is Dr. Davis, She is awesome. Second, you will be showering for Sat right? ;)

Becky said...

I thought that, too! I mean, when I went back and read my list, I thought, what?! That can't be ME I'm talking about! Because I don't do them all the time either.

But I do them some of the time, and I'm always trying harder. Therefore, I rock!

Jenna said...

we are all a work in progress. and sometimes don't you feel like "i'm pretty dang good at this mother job" and other days its like "what the hay am i doing?" this is life. this is life. do you ever remember seeing that inspiration poster with a kitten hanging on a rope and it said "be patient, god isn't finished with me yet." i need a shirt that says that.

Kristina P. said...

Thanks for quoting me. I hope people don't stone me when they realize I'm not a mom.

But I see what moms go through everyday, and these comments have helped me to understand how I want to live my life when I am a mom.

Anonymous said...

I am working on my assignment. Thanks for you inspiration!

Melanie J said...

Don't feel bad about the school thing. I'm screwed twice a year with the Daylight Savings Switch and I'm either an hour early or an hour late for church and feel like an idiot either way. Like clockwork. (Ha!)

Not the Norm said...

More than anything, I love that I have started blogging because it shows me that we all parent different and we each thing one thing is important where another might disagree. Your list is your list and it's not a list of things you do good EVERYDAY but a way to give yourself a pat on the back and to tell yourself that you are being a great mom. Guess what? You are.

*MARY* said...

I'm nervous for my kids to go to school. I, on several occasions, got ready for school and walked down to the bus stop on a saturday morning!

Kimberly said...

A beautiful compilation of wisdom! We need these reminders. Desperately some days.

Carolyn Duede said...

I am also glad we have "met" here in the blogging world. Reading your thoughts really uplifts me and gets my noggin' working.

In addition to that, I think you are a fabulous writer. This is kind-of off topic and out of the blue, but I love your really short sentences. They have punch and add a lot of color to your writing.

T and T Livesay said...

one day i am awesome ... the next i suck ... thank goodness my kids are forgiving and my god is even MORE forgiving ... parenting is hard ... being a mom is exhausting ... being real about that is freeing.

with love from haiti!


hey, am I gonna get to meet you later this month?????!!!??

That Girl in Brazil said...

Hey - just found you from a comment on another blog ... I'm currently lurking in desperation to forget the pile of dishes on the table. Anywho.

I like you already, girl. Consider yourself followed.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Hey, Heather, I am touched that you quoted me (and adored being called a witty word-smith!) but I hope you aren't worried that people think one single thing bad about you because of your list of positive mother virtues or anything else. Except that you smell. But we can't prove it, so you're safe!

Kristin said...

haha You Rock! Seriously you do!

mom of boys said...

Hey it's your list and you should put anything on it that you have ever done well, even once, I think. At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself as I attempt my list.
Thanks for your comment on my blog, it's good to receive encouragement.

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