The Perfect Parent

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I visited with my aunt today and the subject invariably landed on parenting. I told her, “I’m certainly not a perfect parent; I have yet a lot to learn and I do plenty of things I’m not okay with: I’ve yelled. I’ve stormed off. I’ve rolled my eyes.” And she said, “You don’t need to be a perfect parent. Bunkers doesn’t want a perfect parent – he wants you. If he grew up thinking you were a perfect parent and a perfect person he would feel bad about himself when he couldn’t be perfect, too. And no one is perfect. When you do those things you’re not okay with, do you come to him and say you’re sorry and that you’ll you might do it again, but you’re trying not to?”

Honestly, not always. I so often get stuck in the “But what about ME? Who cares about ME? What about MY feelings?” The truth of the matter is that *I* need to be the one taking care of that. *I* can care about me. *I* can care about my feelings. As a mother I need to model the behaviors I wish to see in Bunkers. And while I am fine with him seeing me upset, crying, frustrated, etc – I want to be able to model appropriate reactions to those feelings. And yelling, storming off and rolling my eyes are not things I want to do. They are not desirable traits in a toddler and certainly not in an adult.

It’s something I have been working on for … well, since Bunkers was born, really, and I feel like right now is just the most critical time for modeling behavior. Really, from 1 year old on…

I am going to give myself some grace and try to allow myself to not be  a perfect parent. I’ll never be perfect in any area of my life and that’s really okay. No one likes a perfect person, really.

Another thing my aunt said that I really liked was, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” Essentially, don’t compare how you feel to how you perceive others to be. You don’t know how they feel inside. Powerful!

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