I was wrong.
I thought something magical would happen the first time all my kids went off to school. Something magical involving rainbows, unicorns and little elves that would keep my toilets clean, bake cookies, stay on top of school activities and help manage ALL. THE. PAPERS.
(Sidenote: Elementary school paperwork = global deforestation. I’m pretty sure 5,026 acres of the Amazon jungle came home in my kids backpacks last year.)
But it’s been a whole week and a half into the school year and there are still dirty dishes in my sink, processed food in my pantry, and a pile of papers on my desk.
The full reality of my imperfection hit me when I was at the grocery store on Friday. I was buying things to pack in my kids lunches (I need an elf for that too…) and my fictional perfect mom self stepped outside of my real mom self and wagged her finger at me about how I should be baking fresh bread for their lunches, never use baggies and pack more beets, because beets are healthy.
I don’t think there was a rainbow involved, but, for once, my real mom self stood up to my mean girl perfect mom self, looked her square in the eyes and said, “I don’t need to be THE best, I just need to be MY best. I’m doing that, so back off.”
I grabbed my plastic bags, packaged carrots, processed bread and walked away with my head held high.
I’m pretty sure all the other moms in the produce department broke out into the slow clap.
The most freeing thing I’ve done in a long time is to make a conscience choice to only compare myself to myself and not to that mean girl perfect mom voice that always talks down to me.
I like to think of David and Goliath. Being a perfect mom seems overwhelming and unconquerable. And, frankly, in my own strength it is.
But God is my perfection. My job is to follow Him trust Him, and give Him all of me. When I do, He never leaves me as I am. He changes me, molds me and makes me more like Him.
He helps boys slay giants and regular moms, like me, shatter the mirage of the perfect mom.
Progress, not perfection, mamas.