Being a mother is something I take very seriously. I put thought into how I want to raise my children, the values I want them to have, the things I want to inspire and encourage in them. I care about them deeply and I want to be the best possible example of a woman I can be, because I want them to grow into good women.
The problem is, I’m flawed. I’m deeply flawed. I’m tired, I’m exasperated, I’m struggling. I find motherhood incredibly hard sometimes. And, despite my best efforts, I’m not always the best example of a woman I can be.
Today I got angry. And I’m disappointed.
Trying To Be Perfect
I want my children to know that, no matter what, they are loved. And, hopefully, they have that. But I also want to be an example of a cool head, able to take on their challenges, and not lose my shit. They definitely don’t have that. I try to be perfect and I just cannot do it.
I don’t want them to grow up with memories of mummy screaming or shouting. I don’t want them to see me cry. I want to be that Mum in the movies who is laughing and baking cookies, building a mud kitchen or making glittery craft projects. I want them to be filled with feelings of warmth and love when they look back on their childhood. I don’t want them to carry any sadness or pain in their hearts.
I want to be the perfect mum. But I’m not. They have seen me screaming and shouting. They have seen me cry. And it upsets them. I don’t make cookies, I haven’t built a mud kitchen, and I am continually exasperated by the ongoing craft projects that get scattered across my living room floor. I’m not the mum I wanted to be. I’m just me. I’m the same old me, but with children.
Consequences To Behaviour
An important lesson in life is that there are consequences to our actions. If I was always a perfectly calm angel of a woman, and no matter how hard they pushed me or tested me, I never lost my shit, that’s not a realistic example for life. Part of my job as a mother is raising them to exist as human beings in a world full of imperfect people. And when you push people to breaking point, you can’t be surprised when they break.
My children are learning boundaries because they are learning that when you push people there are consequences. In real life, outside of the home, those consequences could be losing your job, your friends, your home. In the safety of their nest those consequences are being shouted at or seeing mummy cry. They are always safe, and always loved, but they’re not taught that they can get away with anything without negativity ever following. And perhaps that’s a healthy lesson.
Mummy isn’t unbreakable. Human beings can break.
Accepting That I’m Human
I comfort myself with the knowledge that being human is okay. Nobody is actually perfect. And even though I truly believe my children deserve it, I know that perfection isn’t actually a reasonable demand of myself. I also tell myself that they cannot live up to it either. They’re flawed too. And that’s okay. Sometimes they’re demanding, sometimes they’re over tired and cranky, sometimes they’re mean to each other. They make mistakes, they make bad choices. They’re children. They’re human. They’re flawed. And it’s okay.
If they can love me as a flawed person, and I can love them as flawed people, perhaps that is a healthier message than creating an image of perfection that they cannot ever live up to. We love each other regardless. Flaws and all.
Just Being Me
I am me. Judith. I’m a mother. I’m a woman. I’m a human. I’m trying my best, but I’m not perfect. My flaws and mistakes are as much a part of me as my positive qualities. And my family love me. Even when I think I’m unlovable. Even when I think I’m too flawed to deserve their love. They love me. And I love them.
I have to learn to forgive myself for my mistakes as easily and quickly as I forgive the people I love. I’m only human. And it’s okay. I’m trying my best.