Pefecting Parenting

I was never a nervous or controlling person growing up. I always thought of myself as pretty relaxed and down to earth. Then I got married and had children.

When my children were small, I remember how every little thing concerning their young lives was such a huge deal. My life became rigorous and scheduled, as opposed to care free and spontaneous. As my children grew older, I became a very anxious and controlling person. It was not something I ever expected to be, it just was. I remember standing in the doorway of the bathroom as my daughter brushed her hair and got ready for school to “make sure she did it right”. I remember hovering over my children as they did their homework to make sure their penmanship was just right and that they answered every question correctly. If the work was messy, I would have them erase it and do it over.

What I did not realize back in the early years of parenting was that the perfectionist in me was coming out swinging and the blows were aimed directly at my innocent children. Everything was a battle, not because they were disobedient but because I chose to make a big deal out of everything.

As a mother, it is my responsibility to help my children become productive adults, not perfect human beings. But because I was insecure and felt like I was doing everything wrong, I tried very hard to be the perfect mother and to make my children appear perfect in everything they did. But then I had a wake up call and realized I am not the perfect parent and have fallen short of perfection many times as a mother.

Can I tell you a little secret?

I don’t think I’ve ever done this mommy thing perfectly. As a parent, I have been given the enormous, yet very fulfilling and rewarding task of raising other little human beings. And because I will never be perfect, I must accept the fact that at times I might even fail my children. And in those times I will have to swallow my pride, humble myself and ask their forgiveness. And it’s accepting that my children, as wonderful as they may be, will never be perfect.

  • It’s turning a blind eye when my daughter insists on wearing the same pair of jeans that has two huge holes in the knees to school every day when everything inside me wants to scream.
  • It means saying “great job honey” when you look at a far from perfect essay that could use a little rewriting.
  • It means saying “you are beautiful” even when your child’s hair isn’t perfectly brushed and they missed a spot while washing their face.

I am so thankful that I have a perfect Heavenly Father who is so patient and full of wisdom to teach me how to parent my children. I am beginning to accept that I am a good parent, but far from perfect.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

10 Responses to Pefecting Parenting
  1. Janette Wright
    November 19, 2010 | 8:39 am

    Great post from this mom of 27 years! I am also seeing that your parenting role changes as they become adults…I now have four at that stage, and you still have to lean on the perfect parent and you still are a parent…your job is never done, it is done differently, but not done until you are finished on this earth. An awesome responsibility with tons of joy and tons of reasons to lean and learn from HIM!!

  2. Sydney
    November 19, 2010 | 9:05 am

    Praise the Lord, Barbie in all that He has done in your life.
    Thankfully we are not in this parenting business alone. We have the Almighty as an example of a gentle and loving Father.

    I thank the Lord that He is glorified in my weaknesses!
    Great post!

  3. Kimberley Daivs
    November 19, 2010 | 10:31 am

    What an absolutely great post. I needed to read this today more than you will ever know. Thanks so much!

  4. Lea Culp
    November 20, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    Oh, Barbie, now of us are perfect parents or perfect anything else, for that matter. But, thank goodness for God’s grace that covers our best efforts. What an inspiring post by an inspiring lady! So glad to have connected with you through our blogs.


  5. Beth
    November 21, 2010 | 5:25 am

    Ouch!!! Have you been looking in my window? I could have written this post Barbie. Seriously, I pray I remember this post in my heart as I deal with my precious daughter.

    I had allowed her to change her clothes by herself yesterday afternoon (she is 5 and I normally pick out her clothing). Her shoes didn’t match her outfit and her hair was a mess. I dropped her off at my MIL’s house for just a few minutes (I thought), but then they decided to go to a ballgame! All I could do was think of how she looked. Scream. My SIL even told me she tried to brush my daughter’s hair. Sigh.

    Yep, I must relax.

  6. Dena E
    November 21, 2010 | 6:01 pm

    Yes Sweet Sis,, very well written and from your heart as always.. It just shows that even as a mom (me) of 31 yrs that I’m still learning many things as I go. And even more so now as my walk with Jesus has grown sooo much these past years. And THANKFULLY so btw :0)
    May you enjoy a Blessed Thanksgiving Sweetie and a Blessed Christmas Season in Him…
    Jesus is the Reason for each and every Season…
    Hugssssssssssss across the miles~~~Dena

  7. Gina
    November 22, 2010 | 12:48 am

    excellently stated! I am also beginning to accept that I am a good parent, and that Jesus loves imperfect people. I can relate with every word, you are not alone, and I love it when we extinguish the lies of perfectionism, that “good enough just isn’t” because my ‘try’ pleases God’s heart! YES and Amen!

  8. Carolyn
    November 23, 2010 | 3:55 am

    I’m so convicted by this post Barbie, im in the perfectionist phase and I see that it is destructive and ugly, I struggle everyday to figure what is important and what needs a dollop of grace! I hate to see that look on my wee ones face when I miss the mark and confuse her with my anger and frustration as she tries to relearn,
    Oh Father how much I need your wisdom and grace,
    Thank you Barbie for this word straight into my heart today, xxoo

  9. charis
    November 26, 2010 | 2:08 pm

    this is great barbie! we can all relate and it is a good reminder to let the Lord use our successes and failures as parents to draw them close to His heart.

  10. Perfect Parenting
    April 28, 2011 | 11:08 pm

    […] something I ever expected to be, it just was. Won’t you stop over and read the rest of my post? I would love for you to leave a comment letting me know that you […]