When I started drafting this post, I thought it would be a simple reminder that even if they look it, no mom is perfect. It's easy to get down on ourselves because we see other moms that appear to be killing the game - every hair in place, perfect eyeliner, and the kind of natural photogenetic face that launches modeling careers. But yes - even *they* have been pooped on, peed on, or puked on. They've dealt with a screaming toddler in Target and that makes them no more or less of an awesome mom. And the same goes for you.
That's a nice message, right? I'm now 30 years old - and it's taken me this long to actually appreciate my flaws. That's not to say I'm giving up, or that I'm not striving for perfection. I've just decided to forgive myself for not being perfect. It's been incredibly liberating.
It's taken me an embarrassingly long amount of time in my life that I'm not right as often as I think I am. I won't say that I thought I was *always* right, but I thought I was right pretty often. By the time I've decided I have an opinion on X topic, I'm usually pretty confident in my perspective. More often than I care to admit, I come off sounding like a frigid know-it-all. Younger Amanda was kind of a pain in the ass, if I'm being completely frank. I know this about myself, and I'm still a bit of a pain in the ass (but less of one).
Probably because of the family dynamics I was raised up in, my first reflex when I'm confronted with my imperfections is to get defensive. Again, this is something I'm working on. But here's the kicker - beating this instinct to put my guard up? That's been key to a whole lot of my personal growth. Remember when I said I try to focus on progress, not perfection? Well, this is my personal challenge - my Achille's heel. I have to drop my defenses and lean into my imperfections.
You might remember I wrote an article recently about why I'm purging my closet of all things LuLaRoe. In that article, I went in pretty hard on MLMs - and a few friends spoke up. They explained that I was lacking nuance - that there are decent MLMs and they'd like people to understand what to look for to identify a scammy MLM and avoid them. One friend even offered to do an update with me going into these details. And you know what? Their critiques were totally valid. I did a lot of skimming in the article - at least partly because I don't want to go into the weeds as I am prone to do. And instead of giving in to my gut instinct - to get defensive and try to explain away the issues - I asked them to help me understand what I did wrong and what I could do better. I meant it.
I want to do better today than yesterday. Younger Amanda would be very surprised to see me, Present-Day Amanda, openly admitting these character flaws. But you know what? I don't have time or energy to keep up a facade of perfection. It's only taken me 30 years to learn *how* to learn from my mistakes. Listen. Squash the defensive reflex. Ask to understand. Correct and adjust accordingly. Apologize. Mean it.
Yes, it's cliche - but I have learned drastically more from my mistakes as a mom than I ever have from looking perfect. So I guess I'm going to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and being wrong. Bear with me if I have growing pains, please. I'm far from perfect.