01 July 2011

Exit Perfection.

I am not and will not never be the perfect mom. 

I know.  It's hard to believe.  I, too, have been in denial about this until now.

Despite my very greatest efforts, I am not going to be wonder mom - the perfect mom I have dreamed I would be.

Once I dreamed of my non-TV watching babes playing with nothing more than wholesome natural wooden learning toys.  I dreamed of my eldest soaking up a love of books while sitting with the family after a wonderfully peaceful evening meal together.  I dreamed of homeschooling my children under the nurture of their mother-teacher's guidance, a decision to protect my chicks as long as possible from the cynical and corrupt outside world. 

But, these days, I'm over that. 

Exit Perfection.

Enter My Best.

Since having a child with special needs, I've learned that what it means that to be a good mom is to stop trying to be a perfect one.

My life's circumstances are getting in the way of my efforts to obtain perfection.  I simply don't have as much time, or as many resources or as much energy to focus on being perfect.  These days, my time, resources and energy are being spent worrying about more basic things such as keeping one son physically healthy, one son emotionally healthy and our marriage strong.

With special needs to consider, I have lost some of the control that I have spent years working to gain, through conversations and books and dreaming of all ways I can be the perfect mom. 

What once were worries like, "what school will my children go to?" and "will my kid grow up to be successful?" are now distant memories.  Now, I am more concerned about "did I reorder Bennett's acid reflux medication" and "is Oliver's meltdown because of overstimulation or a need for my attention?"

I've landed in Holland, remember?  So, my dreams are a bit different now.  No longer am I pining to be the "perfect" mom.  I want merely to be the best mom, I can be... 
...given the circumstances. 
...given my children's needs. 
...given my ability.

Life has changed on me.  No matter how much I thought about this, prayed about this, read books about this or pondered what I wanted parenthood to be like, I realize now that I am simply not in control.

These days, instead of sheltering my children from TV (as I've always tried to do), I gladly sit my 1 year old in front of the TV in hopes it will entice him to complete his twice daily chest therapy treatments and four-a-day feedings.

Now, instead of choosing to buy only those open-ended wooden toys, I'm buying up like pancakes, the brightly colored annoying plastic toys - anything to entice my youngest to "take his bites."

Now, instead of reading Deceptively Delicious with ways to stealthfully engineer my child to eat his broccoli, I'm conjuring up inventive ways to get my CF kid to down tubs of Haagen Dazs ice cream and bags of Cheetos.

My previous dreams of perfection were not necessarily wrong.  Perfection is good.  God is perfect and our desire for God is good.  But our desire to be prefect is not.  And it's not realistic, either.  For myself or anyone else. 

So, in a twist of fate - as though God knew this all along and might even find this worth chuckling over, I am reveling in all of the things I once judged "less than perfect."  And I am willing to admit that perfect may not be all that perfect after all.

But, my kids don't need a perfect mom.  They just need their mom...
...the best one she can be.


  1. Amen, sister! Isn't parenthood the most humbling experience of your entire life? It is for me and I haven't had to face nearly the level of challenges that you have! Lick Bennett's little cheeto fingers and know that I think you're doing an awesome job, and you are the PERFECT mom for Oliver and Bennett-just how God intended! HIS strength is perfect when ours is gone!

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I have a friend who home-schools her more than 4 children. They limit TV, and they do everything "perfect" as I'd say. And I just try to keep my son as entertained as possible during those countless treatments, or being stuck to an IV, or a tube. I have realized that perfect is not possible, no matter the situation. Maybe it sounds a bit negative, but treating CF comes first before anything else. Then, I try to fit in "normalcy" around it. It can be frustrating not keeping up with other "normal" families, but keeping our son's bodies running the best that they possibility can, ensures that they can continue to do the things they love!

    Anyway ... you are SO the perfect mom, movie star/model, plastic toys, TV and all! Lol!

  3. I love your thoughts and words!I think every mom needs to know that the pressure to be prefect comes from themselves first. What a lifted weight to let that go and just enjoy being the best mom's we can be!

    You are totally a rockin awesome mom Breck!!


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