Perfect is boring. I haven’t always felt this way though. In fact, I think I just twitched while penning those words. For the majority of my thirty-one years, I’ve fought for perfection—the kind of perfection that would keep me at the top of my class/peers and would push me to slay every goal I set. The type of perfection that would magically make everyone around me like me and want to be my friend. The perfect daughter. The perfect student. The perfect friend. The perfect wife. The perfect youth minister’s wife. The perfect mother. Yep. I think I literally felt your eye rolls just then, and I’m gagging at my PERFECTly insane self too. I worked so hard for so long to set this unattainable precedent of perfection that I didn’t even see it coming—the mother fall-out. There comes a time in most every mom’s life that she realizes perfect doesn’t exist in this life. Now more than ever, I realize I’ve become the mom who is as far from perfect as you can get—the mom who is always wrong, and perhaps you have found yourself in the same category. Everyone you know (and some you don’t) is a critic. If you have heard or overheard one or more of the following statements (or a variation of them) directed towards you, then congrats, you’re a mom who’s always wrong too. Welcome to the club. Insert super cool secret handshake here.
“Aw don’t be so hard on those babies. Kids will be kids, you know.”
“Somebody needs a good old-fashioned spanking.”
“They’re just tired/hungry…” insert unsolicited advice on how to fix the situation here.
“We shouldn’t make excuses for their behavior.” Why is it that people attempt to throw in the “we” when they are actually just referring to you?
Mouth gaping open, eyes widened, no words… all while you leave your buggy mid-shopping trip and drag your wailing and flailing toddler out of the store to discipline him with head held high…sort of.
Disapproving nod combined with judgy eyes… as you bribe your children with candy or toys to keep them and you sane during grocery shopping. Thank God for Publix and free cookies. Amiright?!
Side glance and whispers… as you continue shopping, pretending not to hear/see your crazed toddler howling in your shopping cart.
“Wow. Do your kids EVER do anything wrong?” Spoken with a hint of disgust…dare I say jealousy.
“Well, if my kid acted that way, I would…” Insert more unrequested advice.
“My child would never hit/kick/spit/___” you fill in the blank.
Any of these feel oddly familiar? I might not have heard them all directed towards me, but I have heard/seen them all! And you know what, my heart breaks for you, mama, my fellow mom who’s always wrong. No one is right all the time and no one parents perfectly…and let’s face it, someone will always disagree with your choices. I mean, let’s get real for a minute…people even criticized Jesus, and He was literally God in the FLESH! So the truth of the matter is, we will be criticized and we will be wrong A LOT. But that’s okay. Mistakes are a natural part of parenting… no way around it! The important part is learning from the hiccups we face and maneuvering around the negative words and haughty looks. It doesn’t matter what others think because opinions change. One minute you must sleep your child on his belly because that’s the safest position and the next, you better sleep him on his back or you are endangering his life! The pressure to keep up with the current parenting dos and don’ts is suffocating. In the midst of it all, here’s what I’ve concluded—it’s normal to be the mom who’s always wrong. It makes us human and perfectly flawed and reliant on a perfect Savior. Friend, embrace your imperfections and fall in love with your inner mom who’s always wrong! You’re not alone.