Imperfect Parenting

I’m reading the best book/memoir by Melanie Shankle, author of the “Big Mama” blog, called “Sparkly Green Earrings.”

This book about her life as a mom, with ALL the ups and downs, truly has me laughing aloud, as she writes about miscarriage, birth (Get. Me. An. Epidural. Now!!), sleepless nights, juggling a baby and a full-time career, then being a part-time-stay-at-home-mom, and on and on.

I can’t put the book down!! Her style is so FUNNY! I’d love to be friends with her… She’s that lovable and messy and real.

Anyway– I just finished chapter 17, and I must quote her a bit as she discusses – horrors- lice. Yep, lice. Most moms have been there/done that at least once… at least, if they are REAL enough to admit it. Ugh!!!! (My head itches anytime I even think of that word.)

In that same chapter, Melanie tells another embarrassing incident.  Her family is at church, when her sweet preschool-aged daughter announces to a friend’s dad: “I ask my mom to play with me, but all she does is sit on the couch. She’s real lazy.”

Gasp! Totally thrown under the bus, she was.

(This reminds me of a “lovely” Mother’s Day picture my son made for me at school when he was in first grade, which is still hanging on the wall, where he’s telling all the things he loves about his mama. He said, “She likes to rest!”   REST? Yep, sounds lazy to me. :/ I cringe to this day when I read that part…)

So back to chapter 17, it all works out and the daughter tells “big mama” (that’s a whole ‘nother story as to how she got her nickname) that she didn’t even know what the word ‘lazy’ meant, and says, “I just meant that sometimes you get tired from taking care of me and have to take a break.”

Cute story.

But here’s the main point of this entry that I had to write. It goes along with this theme of BEING REAL, and it spoke to my heart and maybe will speak to yours too if you struggle with wanting to be the “perfect mom/wife” etc…

“I think I’d been living under the illusion that I could give Caroline a perfect childhood. But perfect doesn’t exist in our world. I can give her love, I can give her laughter, I can instill values and morals in her, I can teach her about Jesus and how He loves her more than she knows, and I can hopefully give her more good memories than bad.

And I can pick the nits out of her hair, one little larva at a time.

But I can’t give her perfection, because I’m fresh out.

That’s where the grace of God enters, and I exit quietly through the back door, allowing HIM to fill in the gaps.”

Isn’t that such a relief?! Our Papa in heaven fills in the gaps of our human imperfection!!  I am so very thankful for that and it fills me with peace when I have doubts about my parenting, and my “liking to rest.” I’m not a perfect parent not will I ever be. But He is!

(PS – side note- God has a great sense of humor!  I am still learning this blogging thing, and so I typed my first draft last night on the iphone, and then saved it as a “draft” and used my laptop to edit/publish last night.  I came in today to look at it again… and it was FULL of typos from my first iphone draft?? What?  I am still not sure what happened… but it is a good lesson for me, AGAIN, that I am not, nor will I EVER be, PERFECT!  As a teacher once told my niece in preschool – and a quote I frequently use too  now – “PERFECT IS BORING!” Now, let’s see if this time I can hit “publish” and it saves all revisions… if not, OH WELL!)  🙂

3 thoughts on “Imperfect Parenting

  1. Guess this is one of those times when I have to practice what I preach, and remember, “I AM HUMAN!” 🙂 God has a great sense of humor, doesn’t He? Something kept messing up with my posting of this blog entry – I would edit – save (or so I thought) – and publish… then look at it, and the same mistakes were still there, unchanged by my edits?? Still not sure what was happening… I am still learning. And breathing. And saying to myself, “it’s okay to not be perfect! People understand!” 🙂

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