“The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly – indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.”
Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post
I sometimes catch myself feeling that I am the only person, the only parent, who just never seems to ‘get it right.’ That is, of course, a ridiculous, self-indulgent idea. Just like it’s pretty silly to imagine I’m the only parent who has ever been too cross or too busy or too tired to be as good a parent as I aspire to be. It would make better sense to wonder where that parent is who doesn’t second guess every other action, reaction, decision; who doesn’t beat herself (or himself) up for every screw-up because she doesn’t screw up. In being the parent of a child with special needs, I think we tend to ramp the pressure up on ourselves even more. After all, our kids have a hard enough time without us adding to the challenge. Yet, I don’t recall receiving a Perfect Parent Handbook when Gus was born or when he was diagnosed. Perfection is unattainable, and it’s important to learn to move on, because mistakes are inevitable. Not only are they inevitable, but they are an essential aspect of the discovery process. As the cinematographer Conrad Hall said, “There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.”
How ironic is it that I’d be the first person to advocate for acceptance of my autistic child
with all his imperfections – he is who he is – but it’s damn near impossible for me to automatically extend that same concession to myself? Now there’s an interesting nugget to chew on.
Do you find it hard to move past a mistake you’ve made with your child?
*image by Tony Wills used under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0