A follower on my Facebook page recently commented on a picture that I posted. The picture was that of a dozen cupcakes that I had baked for my kids earlier that day. The cupcakes turned out beautifully, and had cute little pink and yellow flowers. The caption for the picture read, “To combat the gloom of this windy, cold day, I made some flower cupcakes to remind the kids of what’ to come…Spring!!! I can’t wait to get this cold winter behind us.” The comment that the follower posted was “I don’t know why you call yourself flawed mommy!”
That comment absolutely made my day! It had been a very tough day, tough week…as a matter of fact tough month, and it was nice to hear the compliment! As it is true for many of us, I had more balls in the air that day then I could juggle. I was stressed, tired, sad, frustrated…all very common emotions for all of us parents…heck for all of us grown-ups! Yet no matter how tired I am, I always manage to find the energy to keep those thoughts and feelings to myself…to not let anyone else know that I am struggling… that things are hard…that I may not be coping. The truth is that on that day the reason that I baked was because of what I was feeling…it was my outlet. I created something beautiful to help me forget all the ugliness that was going on inside. Earlier that week I had received news that my latest job assignment was moved to a site that is 90 minutes away from where I live, making it difficult to take care of my responsibilities at home if I chose to accept it. I was also mourning the death of a friend’s 10 month old little girl, who had passed away earlier that morning from a genetic disorder. Even though expected, her death left me feeling so incredibly anguished and broken. On top of all that, my 2-year-old little girl is headed to surgery in about a month, and even though it’s a simple minor surgery, the worry from imagining them taking my little girl out of my arms and watching them walk away with her to put her under anesthesia and perform a procedure…I feel so incredibly anxious when I think about that moment. Not to mention that I still need to come up with the $2,000 deductible that I will need to pay prior to the surgery date. I can honestly say that on that day I was baking cupcakes not because my kids asked for them, or because I was even in the mood…I was baking because the creation of those cupcakes is something that I can absolutely control. I can sit with each one, and carefully take my time to create something simple and beautiful. The words “Simple” and “Beautiful”…two words that did not apply to how I was feeling about “Life” that day.
When that follower saw the picture of those cupcakes and asked me why I called myself flawed mommy, it really made me think. I took her comment as it was intended, a compliment, but later I felt as though I was not any more deserving of that compliment than anybody else. Truth be told, the word “Flawed” fits me perfectly! Just because I bake cupcakes (when I’m frustrated or sad), and my house is clean (only when I know that company is coming over!), and the kids are clean and bathed (on most nights!), does not mean that I am perfect. It just means that I am GREAT at hiding my imperfections. I have made plenty of mistakes. From getting into an abusive relationship, to bringing 4 innocent children into that relationship. Choosing my career over my children, because at that time I thought the money and our material things would make up for my absence. Leaving my children to be cared for by an abusive father while I worked to support our family (because he could not hold down a job), and not noticing the clear “signs” that my children were being abused (I honestly thought he would never hurt them…his anger had always been directed only towards me). I have at times pushed my children too hard, to the point that a few years ago my oldest, feeling as though he could not measure up…or do anything right, became depressed and started talking about suicide…he was only 12. His grades had dropped from straight A’s to F’s…I completely missed the signs that he had ADD, or that he was being abused at the hands of his father while I was at work. Instead of realizing something was wrong, I punished him until eventually I had taken away everything he loved to do…leading to the depression intensifying, and guess what? I missed those signs too. Those are my BIG mistakes; I also have a lot of little flaws. My decisions are often driven by my emotions. On my worst days, I yell at the kids or my husband simply out of frustration…because I’ve had enough…not of them but of whatever life happened to have thrown at me that day. It does not happen every day or every week…but it does happen. There are days where I let the kids go to bed without doing their chores, or I do their chores for them, simply because it is easier than having to nag and nag and nag. I sometimes leave the clothes in the washer too long and then have to re-wash them, only to switch them to the dryer and then forget about them until they are so wrinkled I have to run them through a dryer cycle again. I forget conversations, appointments, and sometimes forget where I put things…especially important things. I am inpatient, and I like to be in control (even when things are out of my control). Man! I could go on and on for pages, but I promise I won’t put you through that torture!
The point is, I have made A MILLION, actually more like a GAZILLION mistakes…and I have just as many regrets! Sadly, I’m sure I’m destined to make many more. But see, that’s why I called myself “Flawed Mommy”, because I am flawed. Flaws are imperfections that are a part of me, of you, of everyone. We all make mistakes and regardless of what people may want you to think, NO ONE IS PERFECT…NO ONE!!! Coming to terms with what your flaws are…that’s the hard part. It’s hard to admit when your choices are wrong, even harder to admit that you have made mistakes that have negatively affected your family or children. But guess what, admitting that you are flawed, and being honest with yourself…that’s what in turn helps you overcome those imperfections. I have learned from my mistakes, and I have been humbled by them. My Flaws DO NOT define who I am, instead they teach me what I need to do…be aware of…think about in order to become the person…the mom…the daughter…the wife that I want to be. “Flawed Mommy”…there is no better name to define me.