Perfectionism... Often the bane of my existence! In fact, I've probably edited this post far too many times in light of this tendency! And I'm sure I'm not completely alone in this, the constant drive for perfect...The perfectly kept house (is there such a thing!)... The healthy, yet tasty meals on the table... The right fitness regime... The right balance of quality time with everyone I love... The list could go on forever, and although I actually enjoy sensibly aspiring to these pursuits, there is one area of my life that 'perfectionism' will not serve me well... Parenting.
Time after time, I've found myself internally frustrated. If I'm doing A, B & C, then why are my children still facing these challenges? I've felt like a failure when my children have issues that I don't seem to be able to 'fix'. You see the perfectionist in me, says "I should be able to fix this, change this, make this right. There must be a way for me to solve this on my own"... Thankfully, God in his rich mercy, freely gives wisdom to all who ask for it & about 3 months ago, in a moment of desperation & feeling like I had run out of steam to guide one of my boys through a challenge, I felt God reassure me, as a parent Himself... "I am the perfect parent, and even my children make mistakes"...
Hello! Here's little old 29 year old me... Thinking that through my best parenting efforts, my children will avoid bad choices & sail through life's challenges (hello... I should re read my robots blog post!).
Don't get me wrong I 100% believe that the way we parent has a huge impact on our children's lives & has the potential to set them up well in life, the difference is, taking the pressure off ourselves to be the perfect parent & from feeling like there will always be a right or wrong way to fix every problem... And perhaps even reminding ourselves, that sometimes the problem is not ours to fix.
Now, fast forward three months on from then to now, from changing the expectations I had placed on myself as a parent... My husband recently commented to me that I'm the happiest he's ever seen me. And truly, I am. Reflecting on this made me realise how much pressure I had put on myself & how much responsibility I would take for my children's choices.
If you too have perfectionism tendencies in parenting, let's learn to take a step back from being in "Can we fix it? Yes we can!" mode, remembering that our children's battles are an opportunity for us to come along side them, and not always for us to take the reigns.