Sunday, January 22, 2017

Imperfections are Perfection

Our day was spent celebrating Kadence's 9th birthday. 
(...and doing basketball, gymnastics, church and dishes...just keepin' it real)

I still cannot write it any better than I did when she was 3...Here

A day turns into a week. 
A week into a year...
and before you realize it you're nine years in. 

This year I have committed myself to completing a parenting course of sorts. 
It is called The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting by Brene Brown. 
It is phenomenal and challenging. 

I have completed 2 of the 4 lessons.
However in the process, I have watched the first two lessons two or three times now.  
There is just so much to think about. 

Every year I get further into this parenting journey I realize how much I have yet to learn.
The one thing I know for certain is: 
There is no such thing as a perfect parent all you can do is keep learning and trying. 

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on something she talks about.

When we bring a new baby into this world,
 what we say ourselves and what others say to us is "She's perfect." 
The problem with thinking that this perfectly beautiful newborn is ....well perfect, is that everything that goes wrong from that day forward....
That's on us. 
That's on me. 
And that's just not true. 

Our kids are genetically and neurobiologically wired for struggles. 
Our kids are wired with strengths and weakness. 
That beautiful newborn is not perfect.
That is just neurobiologically not true. 
Many of us walk out those hospital doors, 
destined to carry a burden of failure purely based on that one belief.
That we started with a perfect newborn.

I am not a new parent by any means. Cohen is about to turn 12. 
However the realization that I am not solely responsible for their deficits. 
Their weaknesses. 
Their struggles, 
was really a new place for me. 

It has allowed me to shift how I am seeing my children evolve 
and it has shifted how I see my role as their mom. 

How do I help them see they are imperfect and amazing and worthy of love and belonging?

                                                                                                                                  ~Brene Brown

This is not (and never has been)about keeping kids perfect because they don't come to us that way.
Its our job to help them learn how to turn their struggles into something beautiful. 

I am not sure I have been cognizant of that in the past and find myself struggling to find my way because I'm not sure I've done that well for myself. I fear failure. I always have. 

...and right on cue from that self reflection 
I started lesson two in the course which centers around the belief that:

We can't love our kids more than we love ourselves. 

                                                                                                    ~from the Gifts of Imperfect Parenting

Every year that we celebrate another year of life
there's a piece of me that lingers...
not ready to take another step forward. 
However it won't help either of us if we stay where we are,
so we continue growing together. 

That's all we can do.
That's all I can ask of her 
because that is all I can ask of myself. 

My wish for her this year and into the next is that
she is able to see her imperfections not as weaknesses to be avoided but as opportunities. 

That she can embrace her gifts and her imperfections.

That all of those, yes those gifts and those imperfections 
are both needed to be who she is:


...and maybe she can teach me a lesson or two in that process. 

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