Wednesday, January 30, 2013

accepting imperfection

Today, Ben and I stirred a pot together. Brownies for my sister's birthday (this time topped with coconut, not peanut butter).

 And I am being stirred.

It's that old momma guilt churning up again. My desires and duties mixed with questions of priorities and the reality that Ben will not be this size forever and probably will be off to school in a year-and-a-half.

Today the pot bubbled vigorously. 

I wanted it to be a morning focused solely on birthday lunch preparations to celebrate my sister. But the reality of Ben needing, deserving my attention at least some of those hours bit hard. And here's where the guilt comes in.

Shouldn't I want to lay down my work and sit down with him? Enjoying life at knee-high level, oblivious to the relentless tick, tick, tick of the clock, clock, clock? Especially when I read stories of parents, like Daisy's, who are in the trenches battling for their daughter's life

I do...

And yet, I also delight in doing things for others, beyond my four wee arrows. And I like tidying up the house somewhat because life feels lighter when I'm not tripping over shoes, toys, books, large boxes from a new sink, and sloshing through crumbs and dust bunnies. And there's the reality that if I don't cook, we don't eat.

And I think this guilt comes from expectations I put on myself for what I think a good mother looks like. And other people's idea of what a good mother looks like.

And I wonder if the women of yore ever felt this struggle. But perhaps they were just focused on surviving and dealing with the reality that survival and the most basic of chores took hours. Days even.

So could these modern inventions designed to make our lives easier, make them harder in other ways? Because now that we have more time for other things, we mothers open ourselves to guilt if we place our to do lists above spending time with our children?

I don't know.

What I do know is that God placed me in this specific time, place and location for a specific purpose. And I am constantly going to fail at living out that purpose perfectly. 

I need to let false idol of achieving perfection in my own strength go. Some idols are harder to fall than others.

So for today I face imperfect me and decided to accept her warts and all. And chose to have Ben help make the brownies. And let him play by himself for a while. And cooked some more. And accepted God's grace at having my mom stay for the afternoon which freed me up to read to Ben and play at knee-high level. 

And it feels pretty good. This acceptance of God's grace and the warts. This acceptance of imperfect me.

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