Live, Love, Blend:
In Search of the Perfect Mother
I am the perfect step-mom. I love each of our children so completely and so fairly that no onlooker could ever tell which ones I personally delivered from the ones my husband brought into our marriage. I know the exact balance of nurture versus tough love so that our children always feel empowered, confident, and yet humble and kind to their fellow man. I balance my full time job with parenting so effortlessly that the other mom’s in the PTA sit and marvel at how I’ve managed to find so many extra hours in each day.
And now I must stop writing all this nonsense before a bolt of lightning strikes my keyboard!
But would I be so far off base to suggest that these are the kinds of things you demand of yourself? Do you ever wonder why other moms, blended or not, seem to have it all together while you’re barely holding it together through toddler tantrums or adolescent attitudes? There is one reason and only one reason…. it’s your vision. Somehow you’ve put other moms on a pedestal and when you look at them from that angle, you don’t see their struggles or their flaws. No one has it ALL together. No one.
Every mother is made up of an infinite number of experiences, opinions, gifts, shortcomings, moods, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. We all make mistakes. We make mistakes with our kids, our step-kids, our husbands, and our ex-husbands (obviously). Think about the last run in your had with your own mother. Did she say/do/act perfectly? And she has had lots of practice raising you, right? Well if your mother ever said to you, “practice makes perfect,” she was wrong about that too.
I write all this in an effort to encourage you to let yourself off the hook. I recently heard a precious mom beating herself up for raising children that in her words “could end up becoming mass murderers.” Her children are struggling with learning to handle their emotions and they haven’t even reached puberty yet, so this mom is sure that she is failing them in some way. I don’t know why she is having such a tough time, but I do know that in the 30 hours we were together I saw her hug her child, bathe her child, read to her child, discipline her child, feed her child, buckle her child into his car seat, and actively play with her child at the park. So to this mom who believes she is not perfect enough, and all the others like her, I say “You ROCK!” Then I pray for strength and encouragement for each of you (and me too). Mothering is the most difficult and most important job you will ever have. You will never be perfect. But you were perfectly chosen to be exactly where you are.