As a mother I am very aware of the effect of my words and parenting skills, most of the time, but like any other stressed parent trying to do her best, I don’t manage perfection. When I started out on my mothering journey perfection was my ultimate goal. Now, my goal is to get through the day knowing that I did the best I could, that I showed the children the love I have for them is rock solid, and that even if I lose my temper on finding dirty socks stuffed down the recliner cushion, it doesn’t diminish my love for them, not one iota.
There are times when I do despair, when I truly wonder if I am doing right by my children. I am sure that happens to most parents some of the time. We always second guess ourselves. It’s probably better that way than constantly patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves what a great job we are doing, put your feet up and go eat some bonbons.
A while back one of the kids mentioned to me that he was glad I didn’t work outside the home. When I asked him why, he told me he loved knowing that I sat at home all day waiting for school to be over so my kids would come home. To him it was logical, and comforting. To me, while I found it highly amusing, I did feel a little satisfaction too. My son knew that even while he was at school I was thinking about him, that I loved him even when he was gone, that I had not forgotten about him. He looked forward to the end of his school day because he knew a hug from his Ima would be waiting on his return.
I allowed myself a small victorious pat on the back. While the “always honest” part of me had wanted to disabuse my kindergartner’s notion of what I did (or didn’t do) all day, the sensible part of me kicked in, and took it for what it was worth. He knows he is loved, no matter what. That unconditional love that I feel for all my children, he feels it. He knows it. It is real for him. Even though I am far from the perfect mother, in that moment, I felt it.
So when I get down on myself, and question my parenting skills, I try to remember what that moment felt like, and I give myself a little boost. I am sure there have been other similar “yay me” moments for me, and for others. It’s just a question of allowing ourselves to remember them at the opportune times. It’s not being smug if it happens occasionally. It’s being real. It’s giving ourselves the emotional bonbons we need to give us a boost.
I am going back to sit (with my feet up) by the front door until school is over…….with my magazines and my bonbons!