There are two things that I have realized about myself:
1) I want to be a perfect parent
2) I am not a perfect parent
Trying to be the perfect parent can be a destructive process; since there is no such thing, it is a goal that can never be reached and as such I would either have to lie to myself, or I would have to beat up on myself for my inability to be perfect.
I have to wonder what my biological mother wanted when she was younger. Before she had children, what kind of parent did she want to be? I find it difficult (if not impossible) to believe that she wanted to be an abusive, tyrannical parent. Who grows up looking forward to parenting as being in total control of your own child so you can do whatever you want to them? No one, I would hope; and yet, how does one get to that point?
This past year, my son has come into the age that, were he my mother's child, would begin to get regular beatings and verbal abuse. I watch him grow, and learn, and I just can't imagine striking his face or pulling him by his hair. I have been frustrated with him to the point of putting him in his room so that I can have a time out, but I just can't fathom doing the things to him that our mom did to us.
I am so thankful that God blessed me with a child. Nearly daily I remember his birth and what a beautiful day in July it was when he came to be my son. That smooshed face with those big brown eyes were the most precious gift that I have ever received. I hope that I will be who and what he needs, and that God will, in the end, be as glad that he blessed me with my son as I am glad to have him.
Signs of a perfect parent:
Hmmm... I'll let you know if I ever see them.
Signs of an imperfect parent:
1) Too many toys
2) Too much tv
3) Ice cream before dinner
4) Jelly in the peanut butter jar
5) Happy, well-balanced children with great memories of childhood
The best thing I can remember when I try to be "just so," is that Grover thinks I'm pretty great! (At least for now, I may have to edit this when he is older!)
Happy Mother's Day!