Today I have read a couple of posts that I have really enjoyed from Woogsworld and Maxabella Loves about perfectionism, blogs and motherhood. Reading them my first thought was of a series of posts by Seana Smith on the same topic.
For me I know when I started the journey of parenthood I had very clear ideas of what it was going to be like. I had studied and worked really hard to build a solid career and framework of a life with my husband. I had also researched and planned out in my head a very clear ideas of what parenthood was going to be like and the experiences that I wanted to share with my children. I had built up in my mind the perfect life and experiences I wanted to share with my children. I had wanted my children to have the perfect home and …
- to be bilingual. My husband’s family has Italian heritage and I wanted my children to benefit from learning the language and having a close connection to the Italian culture. Before LittleMan was 6 weeks old I had him on the waiting list for the Italian Bilingual School. I had even been studying Italian for several years beforehand as well (OK I got alot out of it too …. but part of the reason was so I could share it with them). I just think that having a second language (whatever that is) gives people a different perspective on the world and a greater ability to accept and appreciate people with different ideas and experiences.
- to learn musical instruments. I think that children learn so much from learning a music instrument. When I had finished university (my first degree) I had always wanted to learn the cello and one of the first things I did was save for a cello and started lessons using the Suzuki Method. From this experience I wanted my children to learn a instrument from a young age based on the Suzuki Method (Ok they would have had to start with the cello … and then possibily move onto another instrument).
- to participate in sport. I didn’t have any set idea of what kind of sport but just being active and participating in a team sport like netball or football (soccer).
- to be actively involved in their community. OK I know that this might sound a bit old fashioned and daggy … but I love the Scouts and Girl Guides. I participated in the Girl Guides when I was at school and I got alot out of it. There is alot that kids can learn from their organisations however what I think I like best is the work in community service that they do. My father impressed on me from a young age the importance of community service and I wanted to share this with my children.
There were of course a number of small things but these were the big things that I wanted to share with my children. These were also some of the hardest things for me to let go after LittleMan’s diagnosis. For me I was convinced that because of something that I did or didn’t do I had robbed him of these opportunities. (In my rational mind I know that there is no evidence to say that I was responsible for his autism … but my irrational mind says that until there is a known cause they can’t rule it out either). Somehow it was my fault. I had hurt my son and destroyed the wonderful perfect life that both my husband and I had worked to build.
I think that my guilt and addiction of wanting my ‘planned life’ was driving me nuts and making me very unhappy. I think a turning point for me was when I started to make being happy a priority .. Don’t get me wrong I have the normal ups and downs that go with being a parent of an autistic child …and somedays I slips back into the old ways but I am doing my best to be positive and prioritize my time to do the best I can on a new set of goals.
My new goal is to be the ‘good enough mum’ and build our home on love, happiness and acceptance. My goal is to shower our children with love and provide them with wonderful experiences and with the best possible chance for them to meet their potential (with all the supports that they require). And if that means the house is not perfect, out-sourcing tasks like the ironing to the dry-cleaners and looking for ways to produce healthy meals in a productive manner (sorry no winner of Masterchef here) … then so be it. But that also means looking after me … like going to the gym, taking some time out for me and looking for ways for me to extend myself like doing more work (I enjoy work … and want to find ways I can be productive within the framework of our lives).
Good enough … is good enough for me. Being happy is more important!!
What do you think? Have you experienced something similar?
Participating in September Digital Parents Blog Carnival