Motherhood

I’m an Imperfect Mother; What if That Makes Me Perfect For My Kids?

I'm an Imperfect Mother; What if That Makes Me Perfect For My Kids? www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Mary Ann Blair

It happened on a completely normal morning about three months after my second son was born. As I laid him down in his crib for a nap, I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. My heart started racing and wouldn’t slow down. I started to shake. I had never felt anything like this before, and I honestly wondered if I was having a heart attack.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I was having pretty classic symptoms of a panic attack. My stress level had been creeping up for weeks, and that, mixed with lingering postpartum hormones was enough to throw me completely off-kilter.

Over the next month, I experienced more of these episodes, though never as severe as the first. It was the first time in my life when I couldn’t just positively think my way out of what I was experiencing. I didn’t really want to admit that I needed help, but after talking with a friend, she convinced me to reach out to my doctor. I hated how out of control I felt.

A significant source of my stress originated from being overwhelmed with a toddler and a young baby and feeling like I was failing as a mother. My doctor recommended going to a group counseling class as part of my treatment. At the end of the final session, the counselor said something about how none of us make it through childhood without some kind of emotional injury. Her intent (I think) was to make us all feel better, but this sent my brain into a whirlwind of thoughts about how much I might have already unintentionally messed up my kids.  

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Although this period of stress and anxiety was almost four years ago, I still struggle with feelings of not being a good enough mom. I still worry about the choices I am making every day as a parent, and how they are affecting my sons.

But the other night, a thought popped into my head. Perhaps God placed it there, because it felt like it came out of nowhere.

Is it possible that all I am doing and all that I am is actually, in fact, enough?

It was such a freeing thought, so I pondered it for a while. And then I let other thoughts gather.

Is it possible that I actually am telling my kids “I love you” enough?

Is it possible that even though I make mistakes, the steps I take to right my wrongs are enough?

Is it possible that I might not have this on my own, but God has my back every step of the way? 

Is it possible that I’m being a little too hard on myself?

Is it possible that even though I lose my temper and yell, my kids still know deep in their souls how fiercely I love them?

Is it possible that my boys will one day be able to reminisce about how happy their childhood was?   

Is it possible that the hugs and kisses and smiles and laughs are plentiful enough to fill up their cups on a daily basis?

Is it possible that my kids are not keeping a tally of my mistakes, but rather, are forgetting about them almost instantly?

It is possible that I am the perfect mom for them, despite my imperfections?

How freeing would it be to believe that I am actually not even close to failing my kids?

How freeing would it be to let go of some of the fear? How freeing would it be to say “I’m a dang good mom” and truly believe it?

Maybe the pressure I have been putting on myself is a weight I was never meant to carry.  

Is it possible that all I am doing and all that I am is actually, in fact, enough?

Maybe just maybe, I can start to believe that not only is this possible, it is probable.  

How freeing that would be.

About the author

Mary Ann Blair

I am a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with my two little gentlemen, an entrepreneur with an at home business, an aspiring writer who never stops dreaming, and a lover of all things crafty.  Other mothers being “real” is what saved me those first few months of motherhood, and I decided to start my own motherhood blog where I try to be as authentic as possible. I love connecting with other moms who want to keep it real! Find me on Facebook at Miracles in the Mess