I’ve decided that I’m going to turn my back on the “A” word.
No, not that one. I actually like that one. In certain situations, it just plain fits J
The “A” word I’m rejecting is absolute. Dictionary.com provides this as its first definition of absolute: free from imperfection, complete, perfect.
I’ve read a lot of blog posts, magazine articles, internet articles, etc. on parenting. I’m a full-time mom after all, so reading up on ways to improve my game seemed like a good idea. Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m pretty sure that I need to be a lot more selective about what voices and what messages I let in.
If I look at my mothering in terms of absolutes, I lose. Every time. Never yell at your kids. NEVER. Fail. Always respond in a calm tone and in an age-appropriate manner. ALWAYS. Again, fail. Breastfeeding your baby is the only way to truly nourish and bond with your baby. ONLY. Yet again, fail.
I found myself feeling a little beaten down by all of these messages last week. Then, in what I can only call a moment of pure serendipity, I went to meet my running group. And I didn’t run. Instead, I spent more than an hour walking - and talking - with two wonderful women. Women who, without knowing it, said just the right things to me. The things I needed to hear to give me that smidge of validation I needed and the courage to reject the absolutes in all of those messages.
See, I have a roadmap of sorts as a mom. A plan guided by a compass. The points of my compass include love, faith, fun and learning. I’m focusing on helping my beans figure out who they are and how to be their own bests. Not THE best, but their own bests. Big difference.
Will there be yelling sometimes? As I’ve covered in a previous post – yep! Is my tone always calm and measured? Um, no. Are my responses always well thought out and age-appropriate? Not exactly. Did I struggle with and ultimately not succeed at nursing two out of three times? You betcha.
If I evaluate my performance as a mother in absolute terms, I’m not doing so hot. So I’m going to choose to see myself through eyes that are realistic. Eyes that are kind as well as challenging. Eyes that will see the good at the same time they recognize the ways in which I can improve. And I can. I will. Every day.
Because there is one absolute in my life as a mommy.
I love my beans.