I am keenly aware of many things as a parent. One of the things that I think about often is that I am a role model for my daughters. My girls look to me as an example of what it means to be a woman. If I want them to grow up to be strong, smart, independent, spunky, honest, creative, spirited, trustworthy, and lovable people, then I must work to be one myself. The whole “do as I say, not as I do” motto really doesn’t fly when you’re a parent, try as we might to convince ourselves otherwise.
I struggle some days with this whole ‘being a good role model’ concept. I have days I am weak and needy. Other days I’m cranky and just not able to cope with the small annoying details of life. I’m not always the easiest to love. I know that there are times when I’m not modeling the best behaviour or attitude for my girls.
Most of the time* I’m okay with this, though, because I know that this is all part of the human experience. By admitting to my flaws, and working to improve them, openly, I’m showing my daughters that perfection isn’t a requirement for being a good person. We all have flaws; we all stumble from time to time, we all have moments when we are assholes. An unflattering moment doesn’t make us terrible people. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything “wrong” with us.
It just is. It’s just one moment in a lifetime of moments. It’s just one itty-bitty crumb of what makes us who we are. Because really, it is those stumbles in life that make us better people; they are how we learn to do better next time. And yeah, I’m learning lots. Not only am I learning how to do better next time around, I’m also learning about the value of compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
This motherhood gig comes with a lot of pressure, it’s true. But the rewards make it so very worth it.
(*And yes, in case you’re wondering, I’m struggling a bit right now with this whole “role-model” thing as I continue to battle with some of my inner demons over self-worth and self-esteem. I’m getting there, though…and certainly doing better than I was recently. So YAY for small victories!)