Mom’s viral Facebook post reminds us that it’s OK to be an imperfect parent
As parents, we try hard to get it all right. We pack nice lunches, help with homework, read bedtime stories and make sure everyone’s clothed and bathed. It’s a lot of work and even though we do our best, there are still times where we mess up.
A mom’s recent Facebook post about her short-comings reminds us why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over the little things, because we don’t need to be “perfect” to be a perfect parent.
Kara Lewis Newton’s recent Facebook post about the things she sometimes forgets as a parent was shared on the Love What Matters page where it quickly went viral. It’s easy to see why — it’s as relatable as it gets.
She writes, “Chopped celery. That’s what I’m driving to my son’s school today. Why? Because I don’t look in his folder. I missed that he needed to bring chopped celery to school today, and I have no idea why he needs it, but he does. So I’m driving it to him praying that he gets it on time.”
In the accompanying photo, the mom is holding up the container of celery, which if we had to guess, might have been needed for a class Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever the reason, she was rushing it to school because her son needed it. It’s just what us parents do.
Newton then lists out the various things she slips up on. “My kids don’t always have clean socks. We ate at Wendy’s last night. I forget to RSVP to parties. We never have cash when we need it. My kid doesn’t always have his coat. There might be Halloween candy in their lunches. I sign without reading sometimes. And I don’t always check my kids folders.”
Um, check. Check, check, check, checks all over the place, because we’re pretty sure we did most of those things just in the last week. And a lot of you probably did too. Because we’re freaking busy and exhausted. The good news is, in the end, none of it will matter, as Newton totally nails at the end of her post.
“But…..I love them. And I work dang hard for them. And I’m banking on the fact that 20 years from now, they won’t remember that their mom forgot the chopped celery. I am praying they remember how hard I fought for them everyday to have a good life…one where they know they are fiercely loved no matter what.”
Boom. As a fellow flaky (but fiercely loving) mom, this really hit home. I’ve rushed forgotten folders and projects to school more than once. We get fast food at least once a week. I forget to check their folders about that often and I can’t find my son’s winter coat four days out of seven, but you know what? I spent a good hour this weekend talking him out of hysteria, as he panicked that the Hamburger Helper glove was real and might sneak into our house during the night (don’t ask). I might not have touched his backpack since the start of Thanksgiving break, but I’m here for him always. If I miss a permission slip? Oh well. I’m not perfect, and that’s OK.
Are there cuddles on the couch? Are there bedtime stories? Are there full bellies? Awesome. You’re nailing it. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because at the end of the day, you love your kids.
And they know it.