Nothing points out your flaws more than being a parent. For a long time I have clung to the notion that we are the eternal example for our children. And in a perfect world we would always be that shining example we see in our heads. Unfortunately, sometimes the more you try to overlook or overpower a weakness the brighter it shines. This has been somewhat of a struggle for me to comes to terms with. I am very type A, and I want to figure out how to be the best parent I can be. But, I've realized that in putting more and more pressure on myself I'm accentuating some of the flaws that I could possibly be working on in a more realistic manner.
For instance, I am one hundred percent the worst morning person you have ever met. Inevitably, having children has worsened this flaw. In my head I think about ways to change it. I have even listed ways to make myself believe I am happier in the morning. At the end of the day when you have little kids and you don't get a lot of sleep you're already working on just trying to be awake, let alone awake and glad about it. For a long time I've felt immense guilt over my general disposition in the morning and my inability to change. I feel like I should be hugging and singing and making pancakes and all of these wonderful things that I didn't even do before I had kids. And because of what I like to call "the diet syndrome" I more often than not end up thinking "tomorrow I'll do better".
It dawned on me that there are mornings where I just wake up. I don't wake up grumpy. I don't wake up thrilled. I'm just up. I'm not talkative, but I'm not snappy either. I then started to think, what if I just aim for that? What if I just aim for awake and present and not the unreasonable end to a flaw I can't shake? I'm sure Seth is reading this somewhere with his hands clasped together thinking, "please God, let her follow through with this one!".
My point is, we are flawed. We aren't that shining example we see in our heads, nor should we be. It's like dating. Seth pointed out to me the other night that there were two things that surprised him about me after we got married. He was shocked I didn't actually make the bed every day and surprised to learn of my intense hatred for doing the dishes. I was confused until he told me that while we were dating my bed was always made. I had to giggle. My response? I told him I didn't remember always making my bed, but I did remember doing whatever I could to show him that I was the one he was meant to marry. As for the dishes, that shouldn't have been a shocker. I have a sign above the door that says, "Get kisses from the misses when you do the dishes". It's no joke. If you show up and start doing the dishes I will kiss you, hug you, and maybe even take you out to dinner depending on the severity of the situation.
But I digress...
I am learning slowly through this parenting gig that it's better to be the real working example of the person you truly are than the one you think you should be projecting. I didn't think anyone could really rival my morning mentality until Evie came along. She may someday shove me aside as the grumpiest in the house before 9am. But, because I have shown her that this is just how some people are maybe she won't feel guilty. Maybe she will just try to be awake and present instead of something she's not...chipper.
One of my favorite Atlanta bloggers posed a question on Facebook the other day. She brought up how many bloggers these days are airing dirty laundry and some are showing the uplifting highlight reel. She asked what we preferred, and clearly I am a dirty laundry kind of girl. That being said, I bet you're thinking about a flaw you dislike in yourself right now. You may even be contemplating how you could go a little easier on the guilt and high expectations for change that may surround it.
I will take the dirty laundry approach on your behalf. Yes, it is simply more appealing to me to write from the perspective that things aren't always so pretty. I also enjoy that maybe someone feels a little less alone in their own dirty laundry by reading about mine.