The Incredible Lightness of Imperfect Parenting
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|   Aug 07, 2017
The Incredible Lightness of Imperfect Parenting

We are not perfect parents.  Not even great ones.  How do we know?  Well, life lets us know in not so subtle ways! 

But, our every imperfection is what makes us perfect parents for our kids.  How do we know?  The kids let us know, in extremely subtle ways.

I was in a hurry that morning making and packing lunches for all of us.  Trying to be the perfect mom, making fresh rotis.  The perfect home-maker who had recently invested in a load of stainless steel and glass and gotten rid of all the supposedly harmful plastic storage containers.  The gleaming steel and sparkling glass seducing me in a way that only perfectly new kitchenware can, throwing me off my stride just a little bit. Yet, the perfect lunches were packed and ready right on time!  Kids were hugged and gently shoved through the door to catch a few minutes of peace before leaving to seize my perfect day!

Alas, I am not a perfect mom!  

Because one kid came home from school with a grumpy face.  

"Couldn't finish my lunch today, Ma," he declared with much finality and no guilt!  

"Come on! You know you are not..." I began only to be interrupted by the other one.  "Ma, not his fault."

"No excuse is going to be good enough," I declared as I went to empty out the lunch boxes, my hand reaching for the one distinctly un-empty box.

I had to swallow my words as soon as I opened it.  Instead of the love-laced rejected rotis, what I found sitting proudly in the shiny stainless steel container, staring mockingly back at me was a blob of....dough.  Leftover dough from my perfect rotis of morning. Obviously, originally destined for the refrigerator.

The kids were laughing at me, and soon, with me.  We pulled out the miscreant rotis from the glass container in the fridge and made wraps together for snack.  We had to throw away the dough.

I became the not-so-perfect-mom, the mom who sent the kids to school with uncooked aata. Everyone knew! I fielded some sympathetic phone calls laced with disbelief. The episode even came up when I ran into the Principal at the PTM! 

I was about to go down as a legend of mortifying imperfection.

But, not in a way you might imagine. 

Somehow, the kids had managed to make my 'epic fail' into a cool story.   About a mom who still packed them lunches with fresh rotis, every morning, whether they wanted it or not, even when they would have much preferred sandwiches!  A mom with such crazy wit that she probably did it on purpose to teach them some so-far-unlearnt life lesson.  Which they roped in other kids to try and decipher.  

Somehow, in their story, I became a character with a bit of wacky and whimsy.   

Nowhere near perfect. 

Which was just perfect!

Striving for perfection can take all the fun out of parenting.  And who wants that.

So moms, do what you need to do, however you need to do it.  Rejoice in your imperfections! At best, your kids will learn a thing or two from watching you handle your mis-steps.  At worst, you will create legendary tales that will be told and retold at family gatherings for years to come. So what? In the long run, those are the memories that will matter!

Don't let anyone make you feel judged.   

Trust me, no one else has this stuff figured out either!  

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