How do/did you learn to accept your imperfections as a parent? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-19-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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How do/did you learn to accept your imperfections as a parent?

Hello everyone!

After a long hiatus I don't know if I'm "back"... but I'll try not to be such a stranger.

How have you come to accept your imperfections as a parent?

Back when I was first starting this parenting journey (seven years ago!!) my head was in the clouds. I was so naïve. I held expectations too high. My house was supposed to be spotless, my child cloth diapered and in a sling, and my food all organic.

Upholding some of the expectations we set for ourselves is extremely taxing and right near impossible.

My children on occasion will eat fast food. They will never have a "cookie cutter" family. My children have come to own some plastic toys and I have accepted that I'll probably never get the tiniest of their pieces out from the cracks in the woodwork. My kids will never be Waldorf kids and sometimes they're gonna drive me up the wall.

I think I've got the "realization" stage down pat. It's the acceptance that I still struggle with. I almost feel guilty. Could I be doing more? The answer is probably no - I am doing the best that I can within my means, and I think that's important.

As a parent there are so many societal pressures that we are expected to follow through on. It is a lot to take in sometimes.

How do you all deal with this? If you have come to accept, please do share your feelings. If you are still riding the strugglebus with me, you can share too.
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rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#2 of 5 Old 08-19-2014, 02:24 PM
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I see you have girls. And I assume you are a mom. That's how I do it. I think of what sort of mom I would want my DC to be and what I would say to her if she were struggling to find balance. I KNOW I wouldn't say "Oh, honey, you just need to try harder." For all my short comings I am the mom I would want my DC to be. And I am not perfect - not by a long stretch but I'm not into perfect and I don't want my DC to be either - I want her (them) to be real, to live hard, take risks, be flawed. Hope that helps!
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#3 of 5 Old 08-20-2014, 07:58 AM
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Look at your adult friends. If you know anything about their childhoods, try to find any correlation between the upbringing and the outcome. Among myffriends at least, there is none! Some of the nicest people I know have totally dysfunctional backgrounds. Some real losers come from every advantage.

Of course we try our best, and we believe it matters. I certainly will never give up. But I look at my grown and nearly grown children, and I see they have become their own people in spite of me. I am a hippie, pacifist product of the 60s. Somehow, ElderSon just retired from 15 years in the army. He feeds his kids all manner of junk. And yet he is the most loyal responsible man I know. What part of this did I cause? I dunno.

Oops late for work. I will be back!
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#4 of 5 Old 08-21-2014, 09:00 PM
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I am back!

My kids are turning out to be pretty amazing people. I have completely skirted all the usual teenage angst. They have strong and well thought out opinions, ethics, and dreams.

My children have somehow survived my sometimes less than stellar parenting, cranky moods, moving more than many people, and all the other aspects of this imperfect life. In some cases, I think they may have even benefited. They know me as a real person, complete with strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I think this will prepare them for life in the real world. I hope they have learned to accept imperfection in themselves as well. At least they won't be shocked if they marry a real person with cranky moods and lousy housekeeping!

Kids don't need perfect. They need love.
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#5 of 5 Old 08-24-2014, 05:43 PM
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Children don't need perfect parents. They need to see our imperfections to know that they don't have to be perfect. Modeling how and when to admit mistakes and say "I'm sorry" is what they need in a parent. Along with lots of hugs, love, and enjoyment of them being themselves. And a parent who can laugh at him/herself. In the long run, the externals of cloth diapers, natural/organic food, etc. don't mean as much as a family who loves each other, accepts each other, treats each other with respect, and enjoys each other. Meet each of your children where and who they are. Accept who you are. Do what you are comfortable doing and don't worry about the rest.

I have never wanted to be a perfect parent. It's way too much work, worry, stress, and exhausting. It's also not who "I" am. I'm a "good enough" parent. And my kids have happy, fond memories of their childhood. So much so that the 2 who are parents themselves are carrying on the tradition of being good enough parents themselves.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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