Hey Mama. I know you want to be the best parent in the world for your babies. I know you know that perfect isn’t attainable, but I’m here to pose the question, “Is it even desirable?” I make mistakes—daily—and I used to feel all of the mom guilt for them until I realized that there is an upside of imperfection. Here to ease your mom guilt and encourage your mama heart, I present to you:
10 Things Your Kids Can’t Learn from a Perfect Parent
1. The Art of an Apology
Mistakes provide mamas with the perfect opportunity to model a sincere apology. When I snap and talk to my kids unkindly, I get the chance to talk to them about self control, apologies, forgiveness, and even how my words or behavior made them feel.
2. The Blessing of Dry Shampoo
The daughter of a perfect mother will someday find herself late for school and in desperate need of a shower. She won’t know what to do. My daughter? She’s probably already sitting in class with her day three hair thanks to a little spritz of the magic stuff.
3. Permission to Fail
My daughter is a bit of a perfectionist. She gets frustrated and stressed when things don’t go as she planned. (I have NO idea where she could have picked it up. It’s one of those recessive genes, I’m sure!) When she sees me struggling or even failing to do what I’ve set out to do, it shows her that we don’t have to get it right the first time. She sees that not everything is easy for me, and when she experiences the same feeling, she knows she can keep trying or come up with a new plan!
4. How to Make a Meal of Peanut Butter and Goldfish
I mean, that’s a stretch, but not really. I have totally realized I needed to go grocery shopping way too late in the morning on a school day! But, hey, we made it work and no one has gone hungry. It’s called improvisation; people go to school for that!
5. The Need for Help
I don’t know about you, but I can’t shoulder everything that motherhood—or life in general—requires on my own. I need help in the form of faith, friendship, and community. I don’t believe we were designed for self sufficiency, but our culture is all about it. When our kids see us asking for help, they know it’s okay for them, too!
6. How to Smell Check
I’ve heard of some moms who get behind on their laundry. I mean, it’s never happened to me personally, but….. if it had, I would have taught my kids how to take a little sniff to see if an article of clothing was wearable. But that’s, like, totally hypothetical.
7. How to Grow
Started at the bottom, now I’m here! Perfection leaves no room for improvement, but anything less gives us the chance to grow in an area of life with our kids along for the ride. I’m all about showing them that we never have to stop learning and growing!
8. How to Clean a Whole House in 5 Minutes or Less
Try as I might, my house isn’t always clean because we, you know, live here. However, give me one hour of notice that company is coming, and I will knock out a week’s worth of chores in a snap! That’s a skill worth passing down!
9. How to Laugh at Yourself
Imperfectionists can’t take themselves too seriously, or at least we shouldn’t! Motherhood is funny, and so are some of our biggest blunders. Sometimes the best way to handle a mistake is by finding the humor in it. A little laughter makes everyone feel better and can help us bounce back even more quickly!
10. Empathy for Imperfection and Shortcomings in Others
It’s easy to point fingers when you never make a mistake, but there’s a softness to imperfection and the realization that it’s something we all share.
My kids see my flaws, for sure, but their main takeaway is the good they see in my intentions and the crazy unconditional love they know I have for each of them. We are all doing our best, but when our best isn’t quite what we hope it would be, I hope we can take a step back and see the upside of our imperfection. It’s what makes us human!
While it’s so important to extend forgiveness and grace to the little people in your life, make sure to save a little for yourself! You’re not perfect, Mama, but maybe that’s a good thing. (And also, I promise that my kids are clean people…most of the time.)