I look and I see a clean, stylish home, an adorably happy toddler, a thriving creative business, and a put together momma and I could easily try to imagine that her life must be somehow perfect and unattainable. The truth of the matter is that no human's life is perfect or simple, and that those who are living the most authentically are honestly not striving for perfection.
Robin has built this life deliberately, with wholehearted love. The career that she has chosen was built around the family life that she knew she wanted to create. She chooses to savour and embrace these fleeting moments in little Charlie's life. Even as a first time mom, she seems to have an innate sense that this time will be gone so quickly, and so she schedules her work deliberately, she doesn't overextend her obligations, and she is committed to separating work time from mom time. She is confident and comfortable enjoying being so completely needed. She does not allow herself to be weighed down or guilted by expectations, developmental milestone races, or pressures imposed by unsolicited family planners (you know, the wise folks that tell me how many babies I ought to have and when).
When I casually made a joke about wanting to be sure we hadn’t ‘ruined’ our first child before we had a second, Robin said something that truly resonated with what this life has taught me as well.
If you have already come through a less than perfect childhood, and are standing here in one piece, functioning and thriving, there is no longer any reason to fear that you are going to ruin your own children.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to watch us struggle, for they will see what it looks like to overcome our challenges.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to watch us work hard in our marriages, for they will know that love does not mean that things are easy or effortless. That real love means working harder.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to see us weak, for they will know that having weakness is human.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to see overgrown lawns, for they will know that setting priorities means that we can’t always do everything.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to do without every want, for they will learn that consumerism comes at a cost.
I don’t think that it will hurt our children to be coddled, for they will have the confidence to take bold chances, with us standing by to kiss the boo boos.
Our children don’t need perfect role models, for they will never live to be perfect. What they need are real people who love enough to keep trying. That is who we want them to become.