Yesterday a friend of mine was in a serious car accident with her family.
Although everyone was safe, she was frustrated and upset about physical conditions beyond her control that made it impossible for her to support her child through this trauma in the way she wanted to.
This made me think of all the things that stand in the way of my ideal self.
There are many struggles, both internal and external that prevent me from being the Mother I wish I could be all the time. At first I didn’t recognize this as perfectionism. Because I am not comparing myself to anyone else, not aspiring for someone else’s ideal.
I just want to be my best self.
All the time.
I don’t want to cope with health issues and life conditions that prevent me from giving my daughter every single thing she needs and deserves.
But of course this is the very definition of perfectionism. Because those causes and conditions that thwart me, as much as I don’t want to accept it, are a part of me. I can’t make them go away (though I’ve certainly tried). All I can do is integrate them, and be the best version of myself that I can be, knowing my best will look differently day to day.
There are times when I can’t fully meet my daughter’s needs, when I am flawed and limited, either physically or emotionally, due to conditions that are out of my power to change. Instead of pretending to be perfect, instead of trying to be someone without challenges, I can choose to be transparent. I can explain to my daughter that sometimes I am not able to do and be everything.
It’s a powerful thing to model acceptance of our limitations to our children, to give them the gift of knowing it’s okay not to be perfect. By example we can show them that challenges are a part of life, that we can’t control everything and we shouldn’t try.
All we can do is our best, moment to moment. And that’s enough. We are enough. And our children are too. No matter what.