When Nic was a newborn I had an incredible conversation that absolutely changed me.
A woman I knew, but only casually, asked me how ‘it’ was going…meaning life as a mama to my first child.
I think I mumbled something or another non-commital.
Then I looked in her eyes. This woman was battling for her life. She had cancer & was showing the ravages of chemo & fighting for everyday with her own family, husband & young adult children…
Her eyes were full of compassion, and knowing, and a fierce will to live. And she said to me, “It took me a long time to really understand that in trying to give my children the perfect mother, I was robbing them of having a REAL mother.”
Someone interrupted our conversation and I never got to get back to her and ask what she meant.
Over the years it has crept into my awareness many, many times and I’ve pondered what she meant.
It wasn’t until about two years later that it started making sense to me. And I am so deeply grateful that she took time to talk with me.
I do believe it is incredibly important that I not chase after some image of ‘perfect;’ perfect mama, perfect home, perfect childhood, perfect marriage.
Partly because perfection, like so many things is both fleeting and just an illusion. Mostly because in the attempt to create perfection, I’m not really living, and I’m missing little moments with my children.
Life & living creatures provide us with infinite variables. We can’t possibly control it all and perfection is all about control. I had to come to a place within myself, where I realized the arrogance & folly of believing I was that powerful.
Now I try to enjoy my children, help them get what they need to thrive, and not let myself get eaten up by the cultural obssesion with producing perfect children.
I do my very best with and for them, and then I let it go. I have to give them what I believe we all need, and then respect that their path is their own and they don’t need to be saddled with my expectations.
I hope every single one of them does something that I just don’t ‘get’ as long as in doing so they are following their bliss….