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Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm Not Perfect

I'm not perfect. As previously stated, I can be selfish. Oh, and I can be prideful, too.

I think it's hard as parents not to fall into the "facade" temptation. We're tempted to create a disguise, a fake exterior, a mask, a veneer...we don't want people to know that we struggle, right? We don't want people to see our kids arguing, fighting, disobeying, or eating their boogers. We don't want people to hear questionable words come from our little cherubs' mouths or see them licking that sticky gunk off the end of the tube of toothpaste. Not that my kids would do that.

I especially feel pressure, having adopted kids, to keep that appearance up. For some reason, I feel like it's my responsibility to prove to the world that having adopted kids is just as rewarding as having biological kids, and that they are equally important. Now, I truly do believe that, but why I feel like I need to prove that to others is beyond me. I worry when my kids do something wrong that it will be assumed that it must be due to their background. They have, after all, gone through tough times. As much as I hate to admit it, there are stereotypes that are placed smack-dab in the middle of foster kids foreheads. As much as I'd like to deny it, I have seen it over and over. It hasn't always been vocalized, but people's body language and responses can say a lot.

I try to keep it real with people. But to be quite honest, I think I'm like many moms in that I enjoy sharing the good things...who wants to share that they almost imploded that morning, or they yelled at their kids, or let their barely-2-year-old wipe themselves after pottying, or they *gasp* watched a t.v. show instead of doing laundry? I mean, don't we all have everything perfectly organized, the laundry put away, the floors vacuumed, and the mirrors wiped clean of those spit-spots that come from the kids brushing their teeth? Of course not. But why don't we share our imperfections more?

I really do have many imperfections, both in parenting and in my existence as a wife, friend and woman.

I've left laundry sitting on my bed, moved it off my bed so I could go to sleep, and then put it back on the bed in the morning, only to move it off again that night. Really.
I've broken my vacuum and then gone a month without vacuuming because it was too overwhelming to find a new one.
I've let our 10-month-old eat ice cream. And cookies.
I've told myself to write a note to a dear friend who needed a pick-me-up only to have weeks go by and then realize it was too late for the note to be applicable.
I've written thank-you notes right after Christmas, and then had them sit for TWO MONTHS on our desk because I was too lazy to get out the address book to address them.
I've watched the Food Network instead of doing...just about anything.
My kids bicker. Endlessly.
They disobey me and then lie about it.
They lick the gunk off the end of the toothpaste tube. I've SEEN them!

I've failed in many ways. Heck, I'm still failing as we speak. But, I'm OK with it. I have no need to be perfect. I'm saved by Grace. There's nothing I can do to earn my salvation. God knows my shortcomings and He loves me anyway.

Now, if I could just remind myself that when a friend asks how I'm doing, instead of saying, "Good!" (which is my canned response), I actually tell her that I spilled milk on myself, yelled at my kids, and haven't bathed them in 3 days. Then, I think I'd be getting somewhere.

So what about you? What are some of YOUR imperfections???


:)De said...

You are a very talented writer.

Are you telling me that moving luandry off the bed, to the floor and back onto the bed for 4 days straight is not how every does it? LOL! I was just laughing about this yesterday while cropping pictures for my blog... I crop to focus on the subject, but also to not show the piles of books, papers and down-right dirty floors in the background.

Shannon K. said...

We had a woman speak on this topic at my mom's group and it was eye opening. I don't so much look at myself as failing but I carry a lot of guilt or I find myself compairing myself to everyone else. I yell at my kids...a lot. I feel guilty if we spend a day at home watching cartoons. I feel guilty if we are out all day on the run because maybe I'm having my kids do too much. I'm constantly disgusted by my house and wonder why others seem to have it so together (this is a big one). It's like a constant bombardment of feeling inadequate. But then something comes along to remind me how incredibly blessed I am to have this life and a trudge on. :)

Anonymous said...

You are so funny! I agree, we as women don't share our shortcomings with each other enough. To Shannon (the commenter above), it was like reading my own words! Don't be too hard on yourself! I've felt everything you wrote.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Once again, you amaze me with your straightforwardness and openness. I so appreciate hearing an adoptive mom share how she truly feels. I know what you mean, too, about feeling like you need to "prove" your adopted kids to the world. I have struggled with this myself.

Ohilda said...


WOW! I could have written this post. Literally. This could be me.

Thank you for sharing. I may just write my own little "confessional" post about how imperfect I am.



(Like being on the computer now instead of making dinner and it's 7 pm)

AmberLee said...

okay, you've convinced me to come out. ME TOO ON THE LAUNDRY! and 100 other things. as a mom, I started to realize this is why I need other women, talking through it is such therapy. though my secret desire would be to get the minute-by-minute report of how other women actually get it all done.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Just say "no" to Supermoms. Generally Adequate Moms rule!

Sally- That Girl! said...

Great post. I struggle with the perception of intentionally having a large family and adopting kids that I must be superwoman. I hate that label as it sets us up only to fail. It is only through God's grace and the hearts he gave both my husband and I for orphans that we can do what we do. It is far from perfect, but it is our life!

Corneann said...

I know it seems like I am just adding to the bandwagon about the laundry thing, but I do it too (I cried I was laughing so hard because it is so true for me). . . but feeling a bit sheephish that I am not married, I do not have kids and I STILL do it. But, I choose to not feel shame because I am saved by grace. As to my other imperfections, I have to 'bribe' myself to fold laundry or a myrade of chores by doing them in front of the TV. If I don't start off my day with devotions and quite time, then the rest of my day is shot and I barely get anything constructive accomplished. My ceiling fan has generations of 'dust bunnies' as does my TV screen and, horror of horrors, my tub sometimes has black 'creases' at the wall line. I have had Easter Day cards for several years, vowing to use them the next year and then not being able to find them in time to send them off. People have asked if I got a new car when all I did was FINALLY wash it. NOTE TO SELF: never get a black car ever again!
Shanti - thank you again for your honesty and vulnerability especially about being a mom in which most of your kids grew in your heart and not your tummy. As I consider adoption as a possibility for my future, I am learning so much through you.

Shanti said...

Thanks, gals! You all rock. =)

Rachael said...

Well, for starters, I am sitting at my laptop with a cup of coffee when I have to leave for work in 45 minutes and I haven't showered yet! But, the kids have just left for school, and I have to recover from the chaos that just left in their wake. Oh, and my oldest daughter is mad at me because she's been asking me for a month to order her a school sweatshirt and I just pulled out the order form this morning and realized that the deadline was last Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Kudos for your honesty. But pleeeeease , dont get me started.....I laid awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night last night listing all my weaknesses and shortcomings. Counting all that I am cheating my newly adopted boys of what I was able to provide to my first 4 bio kids. Time, Time and Time. Uggg.
At the very least your post allowed me a simple sigh of accomplishment since I have been doing laundry since 6:30 am (must of woke up guilty) and have every hamper empty and every stitch of clothes in its drawer and closet. Ahhh At least till the kids wake up from nap and roll in from school and the hampers begin to fill once again. Thanks for my simple sigh for the day.

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