I am a perfectionist. Always have been. My kids are perfectly imperfect. And I love them. But oh the struggles we face, together and against one another, because of this very thing.
We are a colorful family. A husband who, bless his heart, is always looking for bigger and better, more space, greater experiences…Three children ranging in age from 2 to 8 and all so very different. So very…..like kids should be. Loud and messy, creative and stubborn and pouty, snuggly and restless and so very active. And all different. So very different. And me – as I said before, the perfectionist, the obsessive compulsive mom. Makes for crazy days right?
Well, I have begun to read No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage, author of No More Perfect Moms, with Dr. Kathy Koch, PhD. (love them both!!) I am only a couple pages in, but I admit, there have been moments of “ouch” and “argh” for me already. So much truth. So simply put. So many things that I know I say, some that my hubby says too, without a thought of what is really being said. Or what is being heard. Too often I know they heard my husband…wishing for a bigger house, a nicer vehicle. They hear me telling them to “be better” and “do more” and it not once occurs to me (or my husband I am sure) the messages we are sending. Without meaning to, we count our blessings each day but then issue complaints about those very “blessings”.
I am a recovering perfectionist. My husband is recovering from the “grass is greener syndrome”. It’s a process. Slow and steady. I say that a lot. I live that, not nearly as much as I should. What little I have read, already, has shown me that there is so much more for me. And for my family. How can we see our kids through the eyes of our Creator? This is the question that is used in closing of the very first chapter. What good words. What important words for us all. Not just to read but to truly take in, to breath and pray and seek Him for our kids. bigger and bette
I remember reading a blog (I don’t remember whose or when exactly) when I was a new babe in Christ, raising two boys (one that to this day I still do not understand haha). It spoke of the value that came to both us and our children, in training them to seek His will. I think they said something to the effect of “train them not that they can do anything they set their minds to in life, but they can do all things in His will, through His strength” Wise words. Ones that I quickly nodded enthusiastically to in agreement….And then filed away and forgot. Until now. I am so very guilty of seeking more from them; as they succeed at one thing, rather than offering praise and congratulations I am guilty of raising the bar. How can you do better? What can we excel at next? An ongoing merry go round endlessly lacking a feeling of true contentment and satisfaction. And that cannot be. There is no blessing in always looking for better grades, more ribbons in competition…None of this really matters.
Children (adults too) who are content, they do not battle the “what if’s” and the “grass is greener” as so many others do. They are comfortable and at ease; as they grow into the gifts and talents they are so blessed with, they use them without hesitation. Without doubt or question. And that is what I want for my children. As they get older, as things and people come against them for whatever reason, it is so much more important for them to be comfortable in who they are. No amount of ribbons or trophies can protect them or give them the strength and confidence they need. But if we love them, unconditionally, with all that we have got, and embrace them as they are…Truly they can be blessed with contentment. As they say “Contentment doesn’t make parents or their children settle for less. The opposite is true! Contentment actually allows us to risk more.”
I would say they are worth the risk. Wouldn’t you?