When you have that first child and you try to be the best mom ever, suffer from postpartum depression, cry a lot and put the diaper on wrong a few times, Don’t beat yourself up. Your kid will need to see you are NOT perfect. And it will benefit them in a positive way.
How many moms do you know that had the perfectly decorated birthday parties, the best gifts for their kids, put money away for their college educations way before they are even conceived? Or they have the perfect nursery, the “right” play groups and all the fanciest brand new clothes to wear. Their every milestone and firsts are documented so neatly on Facebook and Instagram.
Then that child eventually sets fire to the neighbors bushes or steals a piece of candy from the lowest rack in the grocery store line check out. Or smacks the cute little neighbor girl right in the nose because she took your kids toy right out of his tiny little hands. What does that perfect parent do now? Do you apologize for your kid and say he was over tired, had a bad day, cutting more teeth or feeling a little sick?
I would simply say, sorry my kid is being a little shit. No excuses. Take him home and deal with it. Oh, you wouldn’t say that? Why, because you’re the perfect parent? lol I might just turn around to walk my kid home and whisper to that cute little neighbor girl, “take something from my kid again and you’re next.” And keep walking.
My kids have seen me lose my temper, swear like a sailor, make mistakes (and own them). They know mom isn’t always right even though she says she is. They know they can tell me anything. I may flip out but I will always support them. They also know no adult is perfect either. Adults should be respected but all bets are off if the adult is a bad actor. (I have so wanted to use that phrase somewhere!) My kids also know no marriage is perfect, no relationship is perfect and everyone messes up. When we mess up we own it, then we learn from it.
If your child sees you as perfect and can do no wrong, you are setting them up for a life of hell. Their anxiety will go up and they won’t know how to cope with failure. And the stress of trying to be perfect may just end up killing them.
I have made plenty of mistakes. Made bad choices, held grudges, buried the bodies…etc. But I’m still here. I hope my kids can do that too. They aren’t perfect but they are much better people than I was growing up. I just hope they will always be each other’s best friends and be able to raise their own kids some day knowing they won’t be perfect parents either. And that’s ok.