No doubt, I will fail as a parent. And I know I have already failed many times over.
Every one of us will fail at some aspect of parenting. It’s impossible to be a perfect person let alone a perfect parent. And I know I will never be everything my children need to be whole nor be able to teach them everything they need to know in life.
One day, probably not too far in the future, my son and daughter will look back and ponder over my misgivings as a mother, my countless mistakes and weaknesses. They’ll linger over the times I responded or acted poorly in selfish or weak moments.
My children will never fully recognize the bar I’ve set for myself because they’ll always use it as their own launching pad. And they’ll no sooner see the good I’ve done on their behalf than they’ll see all the cracks in my foundation.
But I’m OK with this.
Despite having a lovely childhood, my parents displayed habits I disliked and still do. This is completely normal. No one believes his or her parents were perfect. Therefore, I’m 100% sure my children will too find my faults and focus on them as they grow into adulthood, purposefully working to never carry over what they view as their parent’s shortcomings.
But I hope I fail in the best ways possible showing my children we are all human and it’s OK to be imperfect. I hope I show them my weaknesses are simply due to being a person with inconsistencies and weaknesses natural to mankind.
Let’s not impart fake perfection to our children. Let’s not let them witness inauthenticity for their future sanity’s sake.
I challenge us young parents to unveil our imperfections so our kids never blame themselves for not being perfect.
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31
I’ll never be a perfect person nor a perfect mother. None of us will be. But I hope one day my children understand my goal was never to be perfect in the first place but to instead be open to receiving God’s grace, which is perfect, on a daily basis.
One day I’m harsh with my words of correction instead of modelling empathy and understanding. The next day I sit passively as my two children bicker instead of guiding them through calm and reasonable communication methods to help repair their relationship. Or in a moment of exhaustion, I go back on my word and rely on some lame excuse as to why we can’t do something I’ve promised to do with one of my kids.
Am I a bad parent? I don’t believe so. Do I need refining? Do I need grace? Do I need something bigger than myself to get through life?
Part of the joy of home-educating our littles is having the opportunity to improve upon my character traits on a daily basis: honesty, patience, forgiveness, humility, integrity, dedication, grit, creativity, compassion, generosity, faith and authenticity.
Authenticity in who I am as a woman. A person. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A friend.
With homeschooling, I also have the opportunity to show my kids what our personal and family values are multiple times throughout each day. Not just at bedtime when I have zero energy left to model it myself.
In that, I pray each child of mine sees how I valued:
• relationships over obedience
• character over curriculum
• their soul over conformity
• their wellbeing over trends and fads
• joyful moments over a spotless home
• forgiveness over compliance
• their uniqueness over others’ opinions
• experiences together over material items
• And LOVE over all else
We’re never complete human beings without God – I’ll never be a whole person without my Creator.
For if were we perfect people, we wouldn’t need him.
And I’m totally OK being an imperfect person knowing hopefully, in the end, my children too know they need God daily and hopefully go on to teach their children the same.