No More Perfect Jen: Being an Imperfect Parent

No More Perfect Jen title slide

“Our longing to handle life ‘perfectly’ keeps us bound up trying. We’re trying to be the best mom we can be. We’re trying to put on a good game face so others will believe we are doing better than we actually are. We’re trying to convince ourselves that if we just work a little harder, we’ll become the moms we think we should be. In all that trying we’re really being dishonest with others and even more so with ourselves.”

So let me be honest…

I long ago accepted that I am a “B+”. Growing up I could work my butt off, and still just get B’s. Sometimes I could not work, and get’s B’s…then put in the work, and still get B’s. It was discouraging sometimes, but it wasn’t F’s so, it could be worse.

The fact was that I have never truly excelled at anything. Anything I was “good” at was because I put in the work. But I have never been the best, amazing, or “a natural”.

And most of the time, I’ve been okay with that.

I never had any delusions that I was or could achieve perfection, which is something I have watched others struggle with for their entire lives.

Now I never thought I was horrible or anything, I just never had the issues a type A personality struggles with. It didn’t make me lazy or give up, I still put in the work but I just didn’t have the perfectionist gene or the talent gene.

But here is the problem…

I am feeling constantly judged (and judging myself) by those I consider having “perfect” or A+ in certain qualities.They are better than this B+, so they are probably looking down on me for my lack of awesome talent or ability to do simple things like keep my car clean.

So you know what I do? “…put on a good game face so others will believe we are doing better than we actually are.”

Yep.. That’s me. Especially with parenting. I’m horribly insecure about my parenting ability and FAILS.

In a different chapter, Jill Savage says my favorite thing out of the entire book.

“Your kids are not perfect. Their imperfections are not a reflection of you. You can’t ‘control’ them into perfection…”

Wait for it…

“The most beautiful thing you can offer them is your imperfect self who does her best to handle their imperfections with love and grace.”

My imperfect self, being honest about my B+, is the best gift I could give my kids. They can see me not being perfect but still trying. So when they are not perfect, maybe instead of feeling judged or disappointed, they will not just to keep trying. They can see me embrace my B+ and not feel judged by it, just like I wouldn’t want them to feel judged by the fact that they are not perfect.

We can be all imperfect together.

And then I’ll probably blog about it…


2 thoughts on “No More Perfect Jen: Being an Imperfect Parent

  1. I recently arrived at this same conclusion , after people kept calling me SuperMom. The first time our two was AWESOME, but it got old pretty quickly because i am so aware of my daily failures. It actually made me put MORE pressure on myself to live up to the title. So I started telling people, “thanks, but I’m really not. ” It has inspired me to write an “Honest Mom” series, where I interview several other moms with young kids just to be upfront, honest, share fears, victories, and ideas.
    We’re all in this together (well….. kind of 😉 and we need that support from one another – especially now, with social media making it so easy for each of us to present whatever “good game face” we want by choosing to post only the positive.
    Anyway, I stumbled on your blog because my husband shared your Catholic school post with me, and I’m so glad I continued reading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a bit if your life with us !

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