Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

My Parenting Truths!

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

Like most women, I had visions of the type of mother I would be. I envisioned myself like June Cleaver. Perfect in every way. My house would always be super clean. I would cherish the time I spent making lunches and cooking dinners. I would always be happy and full of energy. I would have the perfect children; who never got in trouble and excelled at everything they did. I knew they would be little geniuses. I thought school would be easy for them, and homework a breeze! They would have impeccable manners. When in public, the other parents would envy me, because they were so well behaved.

Every day we would have amazing adventures, like Mary Poppins. I would enjoy every joke and story they told me, even if I had heard them a million times. My love for them would be so strong that they would never annoy me. I swore that if by some crazy chance they needed to be corrected, that I would never raise my voice at them. I thought I would miss them every second that they were away from me.

Most importantly I had a superhero complex. I knew I could protect them from all the awful things in the world. I would shield them from everything wrong with humanity. They would never know pain, fear, or heartache. Mostly, I swore I would never let them down.

Then there is my reality. I’m so far from perfect, that if you google imperfect mother; you will see my picture. I’ll be wearing yoga pants and a messy bun. Our house is lived in. It won’t be on an episode of hoarders, but it won’t be featured in any magazine either. There is cat hair everywhere! You’ll even find a pile of laundry in the living room since my kids have deemed it the best place to change clothes. Then there are the toys. Legos, fire engines, and fire gear are strewn from one end of the house to the other. We pick up every night before bed, but some nights I can’t be bothered. My wee boy will just bring it all out the next morning, anyway. I also realized I do not enjoy making lunches and dinners every day. I don’t cherish the time spent in the kitchen cooking meals that the smallest food critics turn their noses up at. No one told me that kids would want to eat twenty times a day. That’s a lot of love poured into food that most likely will end up in the trash!

Then there is school. I never realized how difficult choosing the right school would be. Finding a school that would help make them functional, well-rounded people who won’t live in my basement forever. After finding the right choice for us; I realized that my children are not geniuses . Don’t get me wrong they don’t eat glue, but school is not the breeze I dreamed it would be. Fortunately, they love school, but it isn’t without challenges. I have intelligent kids, but the struggle is real. Thanks to wonderful teachers, it was discovered that I have a child who learns differently. She gets services and thrives in school, but it’s a struggle I never wanted for her. On a positive note; because of this, she takes pride in everything she does. She’s developed a positive attitude and great work ethic because she realized nothing will be handed to her.

I listen to them talk about the same things over and over, while smiling and pretending to care. I mean who doesn’t love an episode of Chicago Fire, but no one wants a recap of every episode several times a day. A voice in my head screams “WHO CARES!”, but the excitement on his sweet face keeps it at bay. His passion for all things Fire department is endearing.

Now we come to where you judge me as a parent. Believe me, no one judges me as much as I judge myself. I will not lie; I don’t always miss them when we’re apart. When they’re at school, I think about them and I worry about them, but I do not miss them. Not even a little bit! I used to feel guilty about it, but then I realized they need a break from me as much as I need one from them. I know they’re in a place they love, with people who love them. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. They are right. I appreciate them more when I have had a break from them.

Overall, I have great kids, but there is no chance into sainthood. They talk back, they yell, they beat the crap out of each other, and sometimes they just lose their minds! Here is a shocker, I yell at them. I yell a lot! Sometimes they cry, and sometimes I cry. When all is said and done we still love each other. Some days they are big old jerks to me, but when they are with other people, they are kind, respectful, and well behaved. At the end of the day, that’s all I want.

The hardest realization is that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to protect them from this awful world. I can kiss their ouchies and hold them when they cry. Since I cannot be with them every day, I can’t protect them from bullies and hurtful words. They will lose friends, and feel betrayed. They will suffer from broken hearts and losing loved ones. I pray every day that I am never a source of their pain. I want them to grow up and always have good memories of me and our relationship.

My goal as a parent is to raise independent, empathetic people who will have coping mechanisms to navigate this insane world. I also just hope that they have felt enough love and support to always be true to themselves.


This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.