Monday, January 27, 2014

Ode to the Imperfect Mum

Right. This post is going to be very revealing. Be warned. You may not like it. But I want to be honest. And open. That's why I started blogging. So here goes...

Do you believe in the perfect Mum? Do you believe she's out there and she out bests you in just about everything? Can you see her clearly in your mind or is she kinda vague?

"My Perfect Mum", in no particular order,

  • always wears the latest fashion with grace,
  • has perfectly cut and styled hair,
  • always has clean shaven legs, underarms and bikini,
  • does heaps of crafts with her kids,
  • wears high heals and still manages to run after her kids with style,
  • is an amazing cook and baker,
  • always wears sexy underwear,
  • is always willing to have sex because she's never dead tired at the end of the day,
  • is super organized, but also manages to be super laid-back and spontaneous,
  • her house is always tidy and clean,
  • exercises 4 times a week,
  • lets her kids paint at home,
  • wears makeup every day,
  • loves being a full time Stay At Home Mum, 
  • her kids never have public melt downs,
  • never yells at her kids.
  • (feel free to add to this list)

Enter Ann, the Imperfect Mum. She

  • cannot afford the latest fashion or many clothes at all, but does her best with what she has,
  • occasionally gets a haircut,
  • usually has clean shaven legs and underarms but you can never be sure, 
  • sometimes does very average crafts with her kids,
  • now hates wearing high heals, even on date nights (oh the nightmare walking from the car to the restaurant or the movies and back!),
  • is an amazing cook and baker (well I got that the same as her),
  • occasionally wears sexy underwear if she can locate them,
  • often has to dig very deep to find the energy to have sex at the end of the day,
  • is kinda organized (but probably appears super organized to some), and rather tense,
  • her house is mostly tidy and clean,
  • hardly ever exercises,
  • hardly ever lets the kids paint at home (oh my goodness imagine the mess!!)
  • wears makeup on date nights or to go to work, but usually ends up rubbing her eyes and smudging it all up,
  • can't stand being a full time Stay At Home Mum,
  • her kids sometimes have embarrassing public melt downs,
  • regularly loses the plot and yells at the kids (especially between 4pm and 7pm).
Dear male readers who've read this far (I bow to thee!), do you think maybe some of you have the same or a similar image of the perfect Mum as me? Please do prove me wrong - I would love to be wrong tonight!

As I sit here at a cafe table, looking chilled and busy, no one can see the toy police car in my handbag. Or the chewing gum I use to bribe my daughter into obeying me when I'm desperate. I don't have kids with me, so I don't feel observed and defined as a "perfect" or "imperfect" Mum. I just am. It's very liberating. And yet, shouldn't I be able to just be when my kids are with me?

I guess I want to believe that the perfect Mum exists as I see her (I'd love to be her - who wouldn't?). But if I'm perfectly honest, I hate the idea of her.

I hate that some Mums make me believe she exists and that I'm such a failure.

I hate that some Mums I see or meet don't talk openly about their struggles and failures. I hate that a lot of Mums compete with and compare each other.

Why can't we just be? Why can't we show our weaknesses and encourage each other on this extremely hard yet beautiful road that is motherhood?

Today I encourage you, the "imperfect Mum", to lift up your chin and be proud of who you are and what you are doing as a parent. Because despite your possibly visible "imperfections",

I know that you love your child(ren) perfectly. 
Even if sometimes you don't particularly like them.

And at the end of the day, what you did or didn't feed them, what you did or didn't do, whether you have sex or not and whatever your shape or size is, it doesn't matter.

What does matter is that you are doing your best and love your children. What matters is that God says to you, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Kia Kaha- Be Strong!