The Perfect Mother
"At some point in your life, if you're lucky, you throw practicality to the wind and start living." ~Erma Bombeck
I was completely entertained throughout my entire pregnancy by my never ending scenarios of what a perfect mother I was going to be. I was going to break the mold, spanning generations, and emerge as the sole winner of the Mother of the Century award. Needless to say, this was NOT what happened and no such award exists, not on this planet anyway.
Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, I was forced to admit to myself that my pre-birth Manual of Motherhood was utterly useless. This revelation came at the tail end of several sleepless nights while drowning in breast milk and sobbing uncontrollably from pure exhaustion and utter frustration. In fact, I was experiencing something that was not in my manual at all-my first epic breakdown as a new mom. It was all I could do to pull myself out of bed, look in the mirror and tell myself that the PERFECT mother does not exist! I had to scrap the June Cleaver fantasies and admit to myself that I was going to make mistakes, undoubtedly some big ones, and that mental breakdowns are a signal that I needed a time out. While taking these time outs, I continually reassured myself by repeating, "This does not mean you are a bad mom, it means you're a human. You are not perfect nor will you ever be!"
Wanting to be perfect, do it all, and be Supermom has robbed me of too many spontaneous tickle fests, water balloon fights, retro movie marathons, and random lazy days of watching the clouds go by. I must continually ask myself, "What is more important than lounging in love while filling my heart with laughter? Matter of fact, I must remember that taking time out to live in the moment is the most productive thing I can do for my girls and myself.
I did not have a perfect mother, actually very far from it, but I am grateful for my childhood experiences because I know, without a doubt, that LOVE is the ingredient that instinctively gives me the courage to continue to grow as a woman and a mom. I wanted to end the cycle of dysfunction so badly that I almost drove myself and my girls crazy, but the overwhelming desire to be a good mom also made me the kind of mom who has honestly earned the love and respect of my daughters, faults and all; imagine that. I am perfectly imperfect and that is perfectly fine!