I sometimes get really frustrated when the Tupperware cupboard is a mess and I can't find a container for my kids' school lunches. And when I make cupcakes and they turn out more like rocks with frosting slathered on the top rather than fluffy cakes with a puffy, swirl of icing and perfectly placed sprinkles, I can get down on myself.
And when I can't hold back tears, or I lose it, or I forget the steak at the grocery store on steak night, I feel like a scattered-brained woman who can't keep anything straight.
But then, my son will say something like, "Mom, remember when we made cupcakes together for my class and you let me do the sprinkles?" or, "Mom, I loved that night when you forgot the steak for dinner and you made yummy scrambled eggs and toast instead? Can we have that again?" and I realize our kids see something very different when they look at us than what we see.
They don't see someone who is forgetful. They see someone who makes do with what's available.
They don't see us as someone who isn't capable of holding their emotions in as a fault. They see us as human beings who have feelings—the very feelings we encourage them to share.
They see us as someone who knows everything, someone who will protect them.
We are their heroes and they love us unconditionally. That is all they are looking for in return.
On the days when we feel like we are failing because we forgot to get their favorite cereal or we are late to pick them up from practice or we are in a horrible mood that we can't shake, they see a lot of goodness.
Our kids don't need us to be showered. They don't notice if we wear the same outfit every day or skip combing our hair.
We are their heroes and they love us unconditionally. That is all they are looking for in return. They don't need perfectly shaped cookies or an organized mother. They need a parent who is present, doing their best and is accepting of themselves.
Remember how you used to look at your parents when you were young? They were beautiful and knew everything, and you felt safe and protected. Our kids view us in the same light and we need to remember that when we get down on ourselves.
Your kids don't need perfection, they need you just as you are: a parent who is doing their very best, is laced with faults, and has good and bad days.
That will always be good enough.