Thursday, December 20, 2007

This could be material for a Hallmark commercial.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about how we all try to measure up, how we compare ourselves to other women, other friends, other people we never even met. We do this as women, and most of the time we make ourselves miserable in the process.

Christmas is the time we do this the most. It is the Big One. The Mother of All Holidays.

We look back at Christmas Past and compare it to Christmas Present. We see ourselves under the tree, in our Scooby Doo pajamas, eating a candy cane and playing with our new Malibu Barbie. All we remember, for the most part, is that Christmas was great. To us, it was perfect. Mama had her act together, or so we thought.

Then there was Grandma. The woman embodied hospitality and homemaking. Hey, she invented it. Truth be told, Grandma was probably just as stressed as you are right now, thinking, "I should be baking cookies instead of reading blogs."

OK. Maybe not.

But I am convinced that Grandma did not get run over by a reindeer. Grandma jumped.

Instead of pretending to be perfect, maybe we should just come clean with our own daughters. Maybe we should tell them that we really wish we could be blogging instead of baking cookies. Just for a little while. Just for a mental break. Maybe they should see us eat the cookie dough straight from the bowl. And then from the spoon, too.

They'll see us as imperfect, but trying our best. Isn't that what we want them to see? It won't matter to them that we didn't evenly distribute the sprinkles on the cookies. What matters is that we have sprinkles. (Wow! Was that profound or what?)

So when you start to stress this Christmas, let your daughter see you twitch a little. Let her see that Mom isn't perfect- just a little. One day, in Christmas Future, your daughter will burn the rolls and break an heirloom ornament. Then she'll look back and remember how well you handled not being perfect. Or not. Either way, she will know that it is perfectly fine not to be perfect.

She'll thank you for it. You taught her a valuable lesson.

And you saved her thousands in therapy.


Linda said...

While they are not placed strategically, I do indeed have some sprinkles. All is not lost. All kidding aside, this is helpful. We need to hear it often.

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Oh ho ho ho! My girls get more than a healthy share of opportunities to see their mom being...ahem...imperfect.

Such is the life of a homeschooler. They see everything--the good, the bad and the ugly. ugh.

Roxanne said...

Wonderful post.

anno said...

"break an ornament"...yep. Got that one covered. Broke my husband's most treasured worldly possession yesterday morning. Wept on the floor intoning "No" over and over again. Swept up the bits, got onto eBay, found a replacement in the US (I live in Australia) and ordered it. My daughter saw me do it, saw my distress and wept with me; she's four. Then when I had finihsed telling Daddy about his precious plate, he spoke to her on the phone and told her that her mama is much more precious than any plate. Can't buy that on eBay...or anywhere else.

FabTheMayor said...

What at awesome concept...perhaps that's why my girls see me taking a nap more afternoons than not; mom's get tired, too, and when they do, they need to lie down and rest - who'da thunk??

Missy said...

I posted on this very topic yesterday!

Unfortunately, at my house, seeing momma being un-perfect happens a lot more often than it should :-{

Lynne said...

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

Susanne said...

Definitely showing cracks of imperfection on a regular basis here. But like you said, we all just try to do our best.