Is there such a thing as A Perfect Mother? Perfect, by definition is “free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless.” Are any of us ‘free from any flaw” or “faultless”? I think not. Can a mother be free of flaws? Nope.
We aren’t given an instruction manual when we have our first child. We can read every single book ever written about parenting and still fuck up. Things don’t always work in our favor. What works for one mother, may not work for another. What works with one child, may not work with another. All children are different. All mothers are different.
Was I A Perfect Mother? Hell to the no. But I did my best. I screwed up several times. It happens. My mother wasn’t the best role model. My ‘motherly’ role models were teachers. My mother learned how to be a mother from her mother, my grandmother. My grandmother had to work because she was a single mom, and my mom and brother ran around and did whatever the hell they wanted. Granny did what she had to do BUT she didn’t have to sit on a barstool for hours after work, either. I loved my grandmother and my mother, and I know they did the best they could with the knowledge they had. I know I did a better job of raising my children than my mother did with my sisters and me. The point is that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. There’s no such thing as A Perfect Mother. All we can do is the best we can.
I was never the ‘perfect’ mom and I never claimed to be but these things I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt:
- I love my children more than life and would gladly give my life to save theirs.
- I protected them from the “icky stuff” between their father and me.
- My children, now grown, would probably argue to this day that I was OVER protective. I was not. I knew where my kids were, who their friends were, and communicated with their friends’ parents regarding sleepovers and parties. That was part of my job!
- We had rules but I wasn’t strict. I can only think of twice (once each) that I had to resort to spanking. They were pretty good kids!
- They grew up in a safe environment, knowing they were loved.
- They didn’t have everything they wanted but they had what they needed.
- I always tried to let my kids know how special they were; that they were good at x, y, or z.
- I told them how much I loved them all the time.
- I read to them most nights before bed. They often saw me reading books. Still, neither of them like to read, to my dismay.
- My kids ate junk food, but they also ate veggies and protein! Balance!
- When my kids were upset, I let them be alone for a bit and then offered my help if they wanted it. I instilled in them that they could always talk to me, no matter what, but to this day neither of them talks to me about the hard stuff.
- There were several times when they were growing up that I got strange vibes from certain people. I always trusted my gut and steered clear of those people to protect my kids.
- I allowed my kids to make age-appropriate decisions as they were growing up. They screwed up sometimes but I was there for support and guidance.
- I always told them that they had the right to defend themselves if need be, but they had better not take the first punch.
- I cherished the things my kids made for me in school or during other activities. In fact, I have an entire storage trunk full of mementos and sentimental things. Some things are still hanging on my walls!
- I taught my children to love and appreciate nature and animals; to watch and learn from things instead of killing it or destroying its habitat.
- My kids were clean when they went to school or anywhere else. They bathed every night. They had clean clothes, shoes that fit and I wore sweat pants for many years just so they had what they needed.
- My kids always came first; when we were still with their father and after we left. They were my priority, my pride, and joy. They were my heart.
They are still my heart. No matter how old they are, or how old I become…they will always be my heart!