We all have images in our heads of how life will enroll as parents. We picture our kids playing, laughing, looking adorable for the first day of school, dribbling along in a basketball uniform and perhaps even scoring a basket, or even sound asleep in cozy pajamas come the end of the day. The stark disconnect between what we might imagine and how things actually unroll can be disappointing.
Our mornings, for example, are sheer chaos right now: with my boys discovering a new commute to their relocated school and my girls boarding their bus at 7:20 a.m., we find ourselves scurrying around in a frenzy looking for lost sneakers and school iPad chargers. “No matter how hard I try” … chaos rules. The perfect is the enemy of the good, my sweet Marc told me when we first met, and how right he was!
Annaliese turned nine last month and a few weeks back we held a gymnastics party for her at a local gym with girls from her class. Getting ready to leave for the party, we realized we had lost her gymnastics leotard! We had to buy one at the gym right five minutes before the guests began walking through the doors.
Then arrived snag number two: the cake. For years, we have ordered cakes from one reliable and delicious bakery. We opened up the cake to take a look and lo and behold, the top layer had slid off the side. Frosting was spewed all over the box, and one side of the cake had no frosting at all.
Finding Peace as a Parent
In years past, this lop-sided cake would have bothered me. I would have felt annoyed that we paid money and ordered the cake, only to find that it hadn’t been transported properly. Well, that was then and this is now. I took one look at my beautiful girl happily jumping left and right with her friends and realized that the cake didn’t matter at all – no one would notice and it would be just as delicious — and that it wasn’t worth spending another second thinking about.
Embracing Imperfection in Parenting
Part of accepting imperfections is accepting them in oneself. How often have I felt disappointed that I didn’t do the right thing as a mom, that I’m not enough of what I should be. When I let go and forgive myself, remembering that I am trying to do my best, I find myself calmer and ready for the new challenges of the day. Try to do the same.
So with all that being said, here is the cake of note. What do you think?Here is one precious, wonderful, kind, loving, curious and smart little girl. So taken by the moment was she that she didn’t even notice a little missing frostingAnd here’s one lucky mama with her prince and little girl (and a helper at the party who inadvertently photobombed).So, my fellow mom and dads. Embrace your parenting imperfections! Give yourself a break, be kind to yourself, allow for some mistakes. That alone will make your house a calmer place.
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