Almost Saturday….and the mad dash to the mall for the perfect last minute Mother’s Day gift will soon commence. Limitless treasures to choose from….flowers, jewelry, spa days (all are fantastic ideas by the way.) But, there is a secret all us moms are keeping well hidden, even from ourselves…the elusive perfect gift.
I cherish the cards full of scribble, the paper flowers, the hugs and kisses…they are priceless. And the words from our little ones and partners, telling us that we are the greatest mommy in the entire mommy Universe. And the deepest of truths is, for me, as for most of you, the opportunity to be a mom has been the greatest gift I will ever receive…dreamed of for decades. Hundreds of prayers, thousands of tears shed, billions of dollars spent on fertility treatments…it is a quest. And when we reach the threshold and become moms at long last, our focus shifts. We migrate from the dreams of motherhood, to the world of comparing ourselves to every other mother we know and the imaginary ones we create in our minds. And usually, our parenting fails become our new focus. We compare our choice of diapers, the dinners we cook, the screen time we allow, the advice we give, the time we spend, the words we choose…it seems as though we measure ourselves with an invisible yard stick and compare ourselves to the ideal mom-a model of sheer perfection who does not even exist anywhere but our imaginations.
Living in her shadow, we will always pale in comparison. We stand small chance of enjoying our journey as a mom if we cheat ourselves out of being fully present. As we acknowledge our internal battles with “ideal mom”, we can give ourselves that perfect gift that I mentioned before. And before I tell you what it is, I have a little spoiler alert…this is a gift you can only give to yourself. It is small but mighty, free but priceless, a single decision made over and over again which, in a fraction of a second, can enrich a million moments that blend together to make up your life.
The gift: Permission
I, (fill in your name here), give myself permission to do this mom thing imperfectly. My decisions, my mistakes, my successes and my epic failures are all sacred. Perfectly imperfect. I give myself permission to be the perfect mom for my kids just as I am. In the bliss and the chaos, in the triumph and the tragedy, I give myself a thousand gold stars for the tiny, messy moments of perfection that we too often let pass by unnoticed. I give myself permission to take care of myself, to say no, to get it wrong, and to be absolutely and unapologetically ME. And I find at least one other perfectly imperfect person to share this gift with…to remind me when I forget.(and you will forget).
The greatest mommy in all the mommy Universe