Growing Together: And it is Love

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I am thrilled today to introduce you to Christine from And It Is Love. I’ve been following her and her words about her life with her two girls, complete with all of the joy and struggle that comes with motherhood. And I hope that after today, you are following her too! Christine writes with an honesty that reaches out and grabs me every time until I find myself nodding and saying, yes, I know that feeling too.

Today she is here talking about two things that you know play starring roles in my own life – growing into imperfection and setting an example for her children. Read on and be sure to visit her at And It Is Love.

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girl sitting on ground

I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I’m not good at it.

She flops herself onto the ground, pools of tears gathering in her eyes. I crouch next to her and we talk about trying and having fun and practice. Her words are echoes from my childhood, words I said, if not aloud than in my head, millions of times.

The self-consciousness of youth, the perfectionism of adolescence, they are wisps of negative self-talk that floated with me into adulthood. Somehow, somewhere, being good at anything I tried became a necessity, an impossible standard I set for myself. One that guaranteed me to fail. That guaranteed me not to want to even try.

I see this in my daughter. Or at least, I’m afraid that I do. And I wonder how much is biology, and how much she just picked up from me. From things I unknowingly said or did, or things left unsaid and undone.

When I berate myself for not being a “perfect” mother I am not only doing a disservice to myself, but also to my daughters. What kind of message am I sending them, if I expect to be perfect? That they should be perfect as well? Of course this is the furthest thing I want for them. To feel the burden of perfection on their shoulders. We are all human. We are all perfectly imperfect. Yet somehow I do not manage to cut myself the same slack. To give myself the same credit.

Being their mother is a constant state of growth. Stretching and learning and making mistakes.

Of course talking about challenges and learning and growth are important parts of helping my daughters develop and cope. But I am reminded, again and again, that I can also help them by being a good example. By letting myself make my own mistakes. By talking about and being okay with my own imperfection. By accepting my gift as their number one role model. After all, if I want my daughters to feel good, mistakes and all, I should be the first to show them how.

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Christine is first and foremost an imperfect human. She is also a stay-at-home mother to two young girls, wife to a working husband, a daughter, sister, and friend. Her blog And It Is Love is where she tells stories about the randomness that is her life. When she isn’t reading Berenstain Bear books or playing Littlest Pet Shop, she might be taking photos or reading, or perhaps just reheating her cold coffee. She is learning to embrace the imperfection.

12 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing Christine’s blog. Another great inspiration for moms and moms-to-be ;)
    jamie recently posted..I can and I willMy Profile

  2. {Melinda} Oh, boy, as a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, can I relate to this! And you really see the damage this does (if it’s not reversed) when they hit the middle school years. At least I did. I’ve come a long way and have tried to bring my children into that journey and give a different message now. It’s so difficult to break old patterns. Love your honest post.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..learning the ropes family styleMy Profile

  3. Great blog post! Nice to “meet” you Christine :)
    Paloma recently posted..ThuRsday – Reminder, gReatfulness and Recipe!My Profile

  4. Tricia, thanks so much for having me here!
    christine recently posted..Growing Together at Raising HumansMy Profile

  5. Wait, have you been eavesdropping on me this week, Christine!? I’m going through this with The Boy … noticing how quickly he wants to rush through things he doesn’t understand or throw his hands up in frustration. And how I see in him the little person I used to be.

    I truly hope I can get him to understand that perfection is not required in this household, just a good solid effort.
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..Whatchoo-Wish-You-Were-Wearin’ Wednesday: Garage SaleMy Profile

  6. Oh I’m so happy to see Christine here! This really resonates with me and I am very similar. The expectations that I place on myself are so ridiculously high sometimes that it’s impossible to succeed. And I do see if in my son – how he doesn’t want to do or try anything that he thinks he won’t be good at/ But oftentimes, he won’t even give it a go because of that fear and I wonder how much comes from me. We’re working on being ok with making mistakes and learning from those – both of us :-)
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Hotel Room WorkoutMy Profile

    • Yes Christine, the working on being okay with making mistakes! I need to be way better at that myself, and obviously want to encourage my daughters as well. But the older one too, doesn’t even seem to want to try sometimes, I think because she’s afraid of not being good (or someone laughing). She is a mini-me.
      christine recently posted..Growing Together at Raising HumansMy Profile

  7. Excellent post, Christine. I hate to start thinking about how important being a father is, because that’s like the pressure of 17 World Series, 13 Super Bowls and probably a pro bowling championship, all rolled into one.

    A tough balance is to keep that level of high expectation in our kids, to have them *want* to strive for the best, but still be OK when they fall short. Or have a setback. Or their confidence takes a hit.

    It’s tough but important to show them that no, we as parents aren’t perfect, and when we fail, we’re disappointed, but not despondent. We’ll still pick up and go, and keep learning. And trying.

    “I’m still learning,” I sometimes tell my kids. I think we all are.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy about microwave politics, spider webs and how that chicken got to the dinner table without the luxury of a head.My Profile

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