Perfectly Imperfect

motherhood / Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Some days I look around at the end of the day and the house is in order, the laundry cleaned and nicely tucked away. I successfully laid out a nice dinner, cleaned the dishes, and spent quality time with my darling spouse and each of my precious and adorable little children. Then there are the days when nothing seems to get done, the house is total chaos, and my dear little offspring are now only his children. By the end of ‘those’ days, my children are not the only ones having severe meltdowns. I am exhausted and drowning in feelings of self-inflicted guilt and inadequacy as a wife and mother.

Like most parents, the idea of any of our children experiencing hurt and pain breaks my heart. Yet if I attempt to give them perfection, I will steal away any chance of them discovering true perfection on their own. Every single one of us, including those we love most, has to experience life’s struggles and challenges. We have to let God break us, only then can He begin to build us back up. Like St. John of the cross, we have to live through the ‘dark night of the soul’ to reach the peaceful hope of the morning sunrise.

I hope to pass onto my children my passion for beauty and discovery. I hope they will grow up and have a generally good memory of me and the time we spent together. Nevertheless I really need to stop daydreaming about the day they present me with the “Best Mom of the Universe” award. There’s already a beautiful woman sitting on that God-given throne in the clouds. God did create me to be “very good” and I aim to keep it at just that.

On that note, here is a wonderful except from Kathleen Finley’s, The Liturgy of Motherhood (pg. 77):

She quotes from Motherhood: a Spiritual Journey by Ellyn Sanna about realizing one is not a perfect mother: “When we experience failure in our motherhood, then we are not being torn from our children but from our own egos, from the self-centered identities we have clung to all our lives…We’d like to be immune from the wheel of pain. We’d like to think we know more than our own mothers did or that we love our children more or that our level of understanding is somehow greater, that for whatever reason we won’t make the same mistakes our mothers did. But we will. In one way or another…” She explains that “unless we do fail…there would be no reason for them to separate from us and become independent individuals…and realize their own need for God if we supplied all their needs.”

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