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Why I’ll Make Sure My Child Knows It’s Okay To Be Flawed

As the mother of a now almost 2-month-old, I can't pretend to know everything about motherhood.

The majority of my time is spent in a constant state of mildly debilitating panic, praying to the procreating gods that I don't contribute to anything other than my child's profound happiness.

As of right now, that simply means changing diapers, providing a boob or two whenever he's hungry and becoming a first-class cuddler. Of course, that won't always be the case.

As I continue to discover the part of myself now labeled “mom,” I have realized how ridiculous a certain, and sadly overwhelming, parenting trend has become.

Gone are the 1950s with our fictitious standards and our ridiculous facades and our absurd paradigms — unless, of course, you're a mother.

The judgment is palpable; the pressure is overwhelming and the comparisons are constant. So, as a result, mothers start to believe that a pivotal part of being a good parent is being perceived as perfect.

As a mom, you've shed your former flawed self in the name of lobotomized excellence. You're no longer the beautiful mess of mistakes and mishaps that lead you down the path toward motherhood.

No, now you're a superior version of impeccability, incapable of a single miscalculation as to not lead your child astray. Please.

Realistically, I can't promise my son very much. I can, however, promise him this: I'm imperfect. He will know about my darkest night; how I let my emotions and Jack Daniels dictate who and what I was. He'll know about the horrible yelling and the painful hitting and the childish throwing.

He'll know that the inability to control myself superseded the pain that initiated and then fueled my reaction. He'll know that regardless of what is done to you, it will be your own actions that keep you up at night and unable to look in a mirror, forever doubting yourself.

He will know about my dating mistakes; how I thought a one-night stand here or a casual tryst there would fill an aching void. He'll know how easy it seems to get over someone by getting under someone, until the only someone you have is yourself.

He'll know that in the desperate need to numb a crippling pain, you can, in turn, cause the same eviscerating pain to someone else. He'll know that getting hurt is never as painful as doing the hurting.

He will know about my drunken mistakes; how I thought six shots and four drinks could solve an unending number of problematic situations. He'll hear about that one ridiculous New Year’s Eve, and that horribly hungover morning or that embarrassing Christmas party.

He'll know that one numbed night can make for an acutely painful morning, in more ways than one. He'll know that losing control can be fantastically fun, yet rarely comes without a price much larger than an evening's bar tab.

He will know how much I learned from every single one of my mistakes. He'll know that every flawed plan and unfortunate misstep and horrific blunder inevitably led me to him.

He'll know that if I didn't learn the hard way or suffer the consequences or pick myself up after tumbling down, I wouldn't be strong enough for him when he needs more than a changed diaper.

It is my mistakes, not my triumphs, that will make me the mother who can comfort him when he's crying, be resilient when he's faltering and keep the, realistically, very few promises I can make.

Most importantly, he'll know that he's flawed, too. He'll know that when he has his inevitable dark nights or dating mistakes or drunken debacles, they won't take away from the man he is; they will add to it.

He'll know that he will never be perfect.

Just perfectly flawed.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It

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Danielle Campoamor

Contributor

Danielle Campoamor is a contributing writer based in Seattle, WA. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a BA in English Literature. Follow her @DCampoamor and check out her work at www.atwentysomethingnothing.com.
Danielle Campoamor is a contributing writer based in Seattle, WA. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a BA in English Literature. Follow her @DCampoamor and check out her work at www.atwentysomethingnothing.com.

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