Seems to be a running theme in my life right now. Maybe not even perfection, but reality. Am I being real? Am I giving an impression of my life... the life I wish I had? The life I think I *should* have?
The other day in my news feed I saw a comment from one mother to another. Mother 1 was thanking the Mother 2 for posting a status that showed her family had it's ups and downs like everybody else because Mother 1 was starting to think she was doing something wrong. I'm sure we all know somebody that we think has a perfect life... odds are, they don't.
I know as a mother I like to look like I have everything put together, I'm in control... my hair is done... I'm dressed... the kids are dressed, we make cookies, sing kumbaya around the campfire every night and my sh*t don't stink. But it does. Some days it reeks to high heaven!
I know plenty of women (including myself) who are terrified about living up to this perceived perfection and blissful existence that seems to be 'the way it should be when you're a mom'. This notion that as soon as the baby pops out you'll fall madly in love, house payments will magically be made without a thought, a healthy dinner will shoot out of the tips of your fingers while you blissfully hold a contented child in one hand and a beer for your loving husband in the other, all the while looking as put together as June Cleaver... and if you're doing it any other way, or without a smile on your face, well then, you're just a disgrace to women everywhere!
Let me tell you, it is not so! Right now I am standing at my kitchen counter with Demi's curls hanging annoyingly over my laptop as I try to type. The sloppy Joe mix that I made last night is probably burning on the stove for lack of stirring. Instead of doing the dishes in the sink, I quickly threw them in the dishwasher so that K wouldn't think I did nothing with my day. Jordyn is not so happily sitting (read shrieking) in her high chair because she is overly tired from my very selfish lunch out with the girls today. And this morning I spent the few quiet moments I had when the baby was sleeping to go over my back to work budget and figure out if/how we were going to afford anything else after paying the mortgage and child care.
It took long overdue lunch with a bunch of awesome ladies to get me grounded again. Sitting around laughing about all of our parenting faux pas. Children falling down the stairs/furniture, back talking, sleeping issues, money issues, work issues, intimacy issues etc. etc. etc. We are all the same. These moms I look up to. These moms I aspire to emulate. They're just like me. They have problems. They have good days. They have bad days, and they have all the days in between.
So don't worry about living up to some imaginary expectation of perfection because it doesn't exist. There is no such thing as 'the right' way to parent. The only thing you need to worry about is Love. If you're parenting with love, then you will always be doing the right thing for your family.
Not so perfect, for reals