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.
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.
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.