Before I had my boys, I never gave a second thought to the idea of being a perfect “anything”. I’ve always been the ‘girl next door’, a regular student, a reluctant cook, a decent wife…you get the drift. In fact, I am rather gifted in the mediocrity department. One could say, I even excel at it. 🙂
When I was pregnant with my first child, somehow, I conceived this notion that I had to step up my game and become the ideal parent. I devoured books, articles, blogs. Any content that was tagged with ‘parenting’ ideas/ideals, I gobbled up with a zealousness that often left me confused and wary. It didn’t help that many of the mommy websites had cover pictures of women with model-like figures, million dollar homes in the background and images of the perfect family. I’d never been the perfect daughter or the perfect wife. How could I be the perfect mom?
When Ved (my first-born) arrived, I felt like I’d conquered the universe. Here was this little human, completely my own (sorry hubby!) to love and cherish for all eternity. I made so many parenting gaffe’s that first year, I could have devoted an entire blog to them! But lo and behold! My transgressions never seemed to bother the little one. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled at the sound of my voice and he didn’t seem to care that I smelt like someone who’d recently been pee’d and puked upon. I would be in my jammies with bed hair and raccoon eyes, and he’d watch me with those big button eyes as though I was the most adorable creature in the whole world.
When Varun (my second born) arrived a couple of years later, I was better prepared as only second time parents can be. Granted there was much more to do – cleaning, diaper changes, cooking etc. But there were two little beings to love! As the house grew messier, our love grew stronger. I would watch my two year old play his imaginary games and my two month old sleep peacefully next to his brother and an inexplicable calm would fill my being. Kids do not need perfection. They need Love. A good home. Hugs. Dreams. Someone to kiss them goodnight and watch over them.
My boys are 10 and 8 years old now. They still give the best hugs and early morning cuddles. They lament over my disastrous cooking skills and laugh at my attempts to add cool hashtags. I’m accused at times, of favoring one sibling over the other, admonished for delaying them from a movie while trying to wear something other than my pajamas and constantly ridiculed for my awful bathroom singing skills. I call these my ‘perfect imperfections’.
My epiphany: My children do not love me because I am the perfect mom. My children think I am the perfect mom (for them) because they love me.