And my response was this: "I try not to. Today is done and tomorrow is another opportunity to get it right. I just do what I can and pray it's enough."
Moms, we all know the truth. No one is perfect. And the one pretending to be is lying. Our babies bring us problems we can't solve, we yell at them when we had a bad day, we criticize them without realizing what we do to their fragile egos. We are given the awesome responsibility of helping this child navigate through an unfair, cruel world. We are the ones making decisions about how much extra-curricular activity is too much.
I live by a few philosophies to keep me sane. These do not work for everyone, but here are my thoughts:
1. I am raising future thinkers, not little order takers. As a result, I expect that my children will take responsibility for their homework, their clothes and their rooms. I'm not expecting perfection, I expect that they will do what they can and ask for help when they need it or at least consider taking it when offered.
2. A child can never get enough hugs, kisses and tickles. I don't care what s/he says.
3. My children will know that no matter how mad, frustrated, or disappointed I am, that I always love them.
4. We do our best and keep on trying.
5. If I mess up, I apologize. "I could have handled that better, I'm sorry I yelled, I'm sorry I didn't do what was right in that situation." My kids will know that I'm not perfect and I'll apologize when I make a mistake.
6. I admit that I need regular breaks from my kids and they need them from me. I am a better parent for it.
7. I try to answer questions open and honestly, even on difficult or uncomfortable issues. It's not always easy; I won't always get it right; but I will do my best to provide factual information.
8. I can help them through processing decisions, but I can't make decisions for them.
9. As much as it pains me, I can't prevent cuts, boo-boos or them getting hurt. But I can pray for them continuously. And try not to worry.
10. I have to rely on my support group of family, friends and church.
What are your philosophies? How do you get through without the guilt?
Reace Alvarenga-Smith is a Mom of two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.