Sunday, April 6, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

[sigh]. There is so much pressure on moms these days. I don't know if it's always been like this, or if the standards grow exponentially with each generation.  We are expected to keep the house in order (ha!), keep our children under control (double haha!), and keep our husbands satisfied (by now I'm rolling on the floor laughing)! There just isn't enough time or energy to successfully do all of these things in one day.  If you are like me, one day your house might be spic and span, but your kids have been at each other's throats all day. Or you and your hubby might have had a great date night, but at the expense of the house looking a little too lived in.  I can't fail to mention the days where it ALL goes to heck!  [I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type that!] All of this and more is enough to drive a girl crazy!  And you working moms - why not add that extra level of 'things to get done in a day' and try to keep your head on straight? Phew. That is a lot.

I have a love-hate relationship with the word 'perfect.' I am, by nature, a perfectionist.  I crave order. I take refuge in all things organized.  Hmm... maybe I like control?  So... why can't I control myself at times?"

These 'times' include (but are certainly not limited to):

1.  snapping at Thad for forgetting something on the grocery list
2.  grabbing the arm of one of my kids a little too hard because I'm frustrated with them
3.  dragging a kid into time-out
4.  yelling useless threats from the driver's seat knowing full well I can't follow through with any of them while the car is moving
5.  getting fired up about someone and venting to anyone else but the source

Why do I let these things happen?! Oh, it's because I AM NOT PERFECT!  And that is more than okay.  In fact, I don't want to be perfect, because then I am setting that standard for my children.  Instead, I want to set the example of how to respond to those imperfections.  Let's face it, these moments are inevitable.  It is up to us to make them teachable moments - not just for our kids, but for ourselves as well.

What does that look like?  It will be different for everyone, but here is how I plan to make beauty from my mess. For me, I think it starts with gratitude and ends in humility.  Here are some ways I will choose to respond to the examples numbered above:

1.  {the husband} Stop. Think. Be grateful. A husband who does the grocery shopping? Score! Kindly ask that he pay closer attention to what's on the list because missing a single ingredient can sabotage a meal.

2-3. {the kids} If I can keep this from happening, great! Take a deep breath. Again, be grateful.  I have adorable, healthy, spirited children.  What an incredible blessing! Let's say my emotions get the best of me. Apologize! "Ben, I am sorry I grabbed you so hard. That was not gentle, and that's not okay. I was frustrated and I'm sorry I acted that way, please forgive me."

4.  {in the car} Again, I will try to keep my cool in the car but boy, my blood can get boiling so fast I don't even need a seat heater! This is all mental - I just need to talk myself off that cliff! Maybe a 'breath prayer' would be appropriate... something like, "Father God, please help me be slow to anger and rich in kindness..."

5.  {relationships} I heard a sermon back in 2005 while church shopping for a place to get married in, and this single line has stuck with me:  Loose lips sink ships.  "Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity" Proverbs 21:23. 'Nough said.

In summary, mommas, I want to say THANK YOU.

THANK YOU for not being perfect with me. THANK YOU for losing your cool every once in a while. THANK YOU for being honest about it.

Because at the end of the day, you love your kids more than anything else in this world (maybe because at the end of the day, they are sleeping) hahahahaha

Seriously though - I always say this, but YOU are your kid's best mom.  Embrace your imperfections and outwardly work on them. Then, your kids will be equipped to work on theirs, too. :)

Blessings, friends!