Our house is quiet now, with the kiddos off to bed. It’s peaceful, and I can hear the purr of the wood stove’s fan….a most comforting sound in the winter. It reminds me that I’m warm and safe.
I’m left to reflect on the bits of energy and thought left swirling in my mind after a chat with a lovely friend. Here’s what I’ve discovered…I remember when I was new at this game and the whole world warned me to soak it all up because it would go by so quickly. This phrase, although well-intended, felt as though it was on repeat in my life, and I lived in fear of missing a moment. It suffocated me. I had truly given into the fear that if I was not there for the little things, if I didn’t hear all of the things the kids said all of the time, they would shut me out. I would have lost the parenting game….
I am relieved to see that I took these ideas too literally. There is room for ebb and flow in everything. As long as I am connected to our children, there is room for me to be imperfect; in fact, it’s a valuable lesson.
Packing away my egotistical perspective of being the perfect parent creates room for being a purposeful parent, and I’m so thankful to have reached this phase in the game. And you know what? I was there for all of the moments….but they still passed. Time slipped through my fingers despite my tightened grasp.Children grow. They develop their own ideas and eventually, they flee the nest. It’s inevitable…It’s beautiful.
I may as well let go and enjoy the ride, after all, I’m still growing too……..
This post began as a quaint account of our day, until I realized there was something else nagging at me to be shared….
You see, I’ve been reading a lot about being imperfect, which is fitting, since we are all created this way, so you may be able to relate.
I’ve realized how many things I avoid tackling, for fear of what they may not become, and I can’t help but wonder how many of us stopped creating, around the time we began to grow breasts or speak with a crackle in our voice? If you didn’t stop, perhaps you became increasingly self-critical.
I’ve wondered how many times I’ve confused striving to be better with being perfect enough to avoid pain and hardship, and I’ve wondered how many times I’ve missed out on a truly joyful experience or an opportunity for growth because of it.
I’ve thought about all of the times that I found myself lashing out, or perhaps weeping alone because I simply wasn’t good enough.
Until I began to question what enough might look like.
And so I began the quest of seeking out role models. If I wasn’t good enough, then I must be able to find someone else who was. Only then, I found myself to be incredibly lonely, since it seems that no one met the very specific criteria I had chiselled out for myself.
Could it be that this person does not exist?
This is a question I honestly asked myself, and I have to admit that this step took me about four years of self-discovery to answer.
And then I thought long and hard about all of the people I have put up on pedestals, only to be hurt and disappointed upon realizing that they, too, are not perfect.
Where am I now you ask?
I’ve made the discovery that most of my successes are modelled after traits of people I admire. I’ve realized that mentors have been the most valuable teaching tool for me, a most wonderful treatment. Let’s be clear that no mentor will possess all of the skills or traits I’m looking for, and I’ve reached a point where I am okay with this.
Because there are so many lessons to be learned from so many people, I’ve taken to looking at myself as the end result of a recipe, with each trait I admire as one of the ingredients. Sometimes, I add the baking soda at the wrong time, or I stir too much, and my recipe falls flat, but I’m working on the ingredient of self-love , and that’s the jar that’s always the most difficult to locate.