Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not So Perfect

I'm not perfect, no I'm not
I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got
I do my very best, I do my very best
I do my very best each day
But I'm not perfect
And I hope you like me that way

Lyrics used courtesy of Laurie Berkner

Z likes the word perfect. How's dinner? Oh, it's perfect. How do I look? Perfect, Momma. Everything is perfect. I know that she has learned that from me, only I don't think she understood the sarcastic undertone of my perfection. Truth be told, very little about me or my life is, in fact, perfect. 

Following Z's birth, I felt immense pressure for perfection. Rather than enjoying my daughter's infancy, I felt this intense push to stifle my thoughts, my desires, my pursuits because I thought that is what mothers are supposed to do.

I was suppposed to adore the time off from work bonding with my daughter, right? Instead of yearning for adult conversation, I was supposed to delight in watching her spit up on me for the 18th time that day. Instead of expressing my opinions about how much this whole motherhood deal kind of sucks, I was supposed to love the additional 2 loads of laundry per day that came with it.

Mothers are supposed to adore their children, enjoy every coo and babble, be able to stay up for days at a time without any human contact other than that of their child, say only positive and uplifting things to their children, even when their behavior is at it's worst ("I love how you swung that shovel, Johnny, next time let's try not to hit Suzy in the head, okay"). Or at least that's what I thought.

I felt like I needed to be a G-rated version of myself.

I thought that I wasn't supposed to be Me anymore. 

What's more, I felt like I could not be authentic with my depictions of my experiences with other mothers or family. I could only imagine the thoughts of a well-intending Grandma if I had told her my simple truths of how spoiled or disgusting or aggravating my little piece of perfection was proving to be.

I lost my authenticity.

Authenticity is key to me being who I am. If you know me, you know that I am the same person everyday, all the time. At church, at the softball field, at work, wherever. I will not lie to you, I will not hold back information from you. I expect authenticity from those around me and can sniff out when I am being decieved.

I was frustrated that Motherhood was not what I had envisioned. I felt guilty that I didn't want to spend all day with my daughter. I was angry that I had been lied to by books, magazines, television and other parents. I was aggravated that I could not fit myself into the box of what I thought Motherhood was supposed to be.

Writing this is helping me cope with a lot of the frustration that I have been feeling over the last few years. Just to feel like I can finally string together an entire thought without having to stop mid-sentence to attend to someone else's needs is a huge attribute.

I love my daughter. I am a better person because I am her mother, but I refuse to feel guilty about having a job, wanting a date night, or needing to go out every now and then.

I will no longer apologize for being Me. I will no longer apologize for not being perfect. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this with me. It's nice to know people have all different reactions to their children and that not all are roses!


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