My daughters have wild, baby-fine hair that’s always messy and flying. They have their own sense of style that involves many different mismatched colors and often choose to wear two different shoes on their feet. They live by the moto that more color is more beautiful. I don’t try to tame their wild hair or their wild style. I don’t force my youngest to wear a coat when she says she’s hot. I get comments. Sometimes judgmental comments (like this time). But mostly smiles. I wonder if I should make my kids look more put together…more appropriate…more styled to the times. But there are many battles to choose as a mom and it’s easy to look at those precious faces and feel like I’m not good enough.
I wrote about feeling not good enough before and when I break down these little details of my day and ask myself if I used my time most effectively, I usually feel the answer is no. I didn’t go as far with the time as I wanted. I didn’t tame the girls hair or even get them in the bathtub to wash it. I didn’t find a way to get them to eat the food on their plates. I didn’t get them to clean their rooms. My oldest probably didn’t practice her sight words. My youngest didn’t practice her A,B,C’s. I didn’t take the time to read the Bible to them. I didn’t read anything to them. They took an armful of toys to the car and left them there along with crumbs from whatever snack I let them eat in the car. They also enjoyed too much screen-time because I was folding laundry or cooking dinner or doing my Bible study, or working on this blog. Their clean socks are still mismatched in a laundry basket instead of in their room for them in the morning. Oh, let me count all the ways I wasn’t good enough today. But here’s what I have to remind myself:
Don’t Forget the Context
Sometimes there’s just so much to do, that it’s impossible to do it all to any high standard. How am I spending my time? What am I trying to accomplish? Are they worthy causes? Are they good examples for my children? I want to make sure that I spend time with my children each day. Quality time, where we talk, we listen, we laugh and sometimes cry together and encourage each other. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time to accomplish. I want to pray with them or at least pray over them each day. Those are just MY priorities that I can accomplish each days. Yours are very possibly different and that’s okay.
Good Enough for Who?
The expectations that I place on myself are more intense that what my husband or children place on me. My children are often quite content with things in general. While I’m busy beating myself up over things, my husband probably has no idea and isn’t pressuring me at all. I’m the one putting this pressure on myself and I’m using what other people tell me is appropriate to guide my thoughts. Who am I really trying to please?
My Girls Aren’t Perfect But They Are Good Enough
By forcing my daughters to conform their sense of style into what is the social norm, I’m stifling their creativity. My 6-year-old loves color. She values it over order. She makes her room pretty by draping different colored objects all over the place. It makes me cringe inside because I prefer order and keeping color to an organized minimum. But colors make her happy. And when she beams with pride over her “pretty” room, I can’t help but smile.
My girls have their own uniqueness about them. The things that make them special are the things I want them to notice and to celebrate. So I told my daughter that I love her appreciation of color. So when my kids show off their own sense of style, I love it. Even if I’m stressing inside over their fearless individuality, I try to let them be who they are. I avoid forcing them into the box that I seem to trap myself in.
I’m Not Perfect, But I’m Good Enough
God chose me for these girls because I have my own uniqueness about me too. I’m as uniquely made for them as they were uniquely made for me. We shape each other and I don’t want my girls to see me getting caught up in my weaknesses. I want them to see me celebrating my strengths and I want to mother them through my talents. Giving up those impossible standards of “good” will help me (and them) to…