Monday, March 18, 2013

Be a Champion of Imperfection

I haven't made my bed in weeks.

Sometimes I cringe when Reese says, “Mommy, you wanna go play?”

I have forgotten to strap one of my kids into her car seat before driving across town... three times. 

Did you know that I make myself feel guilty when those things happen? Think about some of your imperfections as a wife or a mother. Do you ever make yourself feel guilty about them? 

Have you ever found yourself judging another mom because of the way she disciplines her children or because she chooses to work (or not to work) or because her marriage fell apart?

Why?

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why are we so hard on each other? 

Several weeks ago, we had some friends over for dinner. I had gone on a cleaning spree the day before (purely a coincidence), and I could see the looks on their faces when they walked into my immaculate home. I could have let them believe that this is how I really live. I could have let them leave wondering how I’m able to keep such a clean house with two small kids. I could have, but I didn’t. 

“This is the cleanest this place has been in six months,” I said proudly. (It’s fun to see the relief on another mom’s face when you admit that you’re actually quite the hot mess behind closed doors). 

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I don’t hold much back. I don’t do it because I want to air my dirty laundry on the internet or because I necessarily like having an electronic window in my living room. I do it because I believe whole-heartedly in authenticity, and I believe the areas of life where society tells us to be ashamed are the ones in which we should instead be banding together and lifting each other up. The world would be a better place if everyone could be themselves wholly and authentically without fear of judgment. 

This past weekend marked my fourth year in attendance at the Hearts at Home conference. This year's theme was No More Perfect Moms. (This is the reason for the “no more perfect…” posts in the recent Hearts at Home blog hops). Our founder and CEO, Jill Savage, wrote the book No More Perfect Moms in an effort to start a movement toward complete authenticity among the nationwide community of mothers. The  hope is for us moms to stop hiding our own flaws while judging others for theirs, to love our real life rather than longing for an ideal life, and to commit ourselves to living with guilt-free authenticity.

It's about time we make that change. It’s time for the masks of perfection to come off. It’s time we start celebrating our true authentic selves and raise a new generation of fearlessly authentic children.

Let people come over when the beds aren't made and the floors aren't swept. They'll stay anyway. Let them see the vulnerable parts of yourself and your life. They'll love you anyway. Be proud of the imperfections that make you unique. Be accepting of the mistakes that make you human. Give yourself and others the grace that comes from realizing that there are no perfect moms – just imperfect women with imperfect homes, imperfect husbands, and imperfect children.

You are not alone in any of your struggles, and if you believe that you are, it’s only because everyone around you is afraid to give those struggles a voice. Be that voice. Go out and share your story openly. Watch how many people say, “I’ve been there too,” and breathe a much-needed sigh of relief.

Breathe in the encouragement from someone who gets it.

Breathe out feelings of isolation.

Breathe in the realization that they love you anyway.

Breathe out the fear of judgment.

Breathe in acceptance.

Breathe out unnecessary guilt.

Then go forth and continue to be fearlessly, authentically, perfectly you.

** Become a champion of your own imperfections. Set yourself free from the guilt of your mistakes and abandon the urge to judge others for theirs. Share your commitment to authenticity with other moms and let’s build a new commUNITY of authentic moms raising authentic children. Pass this on to the moms in your circle and let them know that they are safe to be their true, beautiful, imperfect selves in your presence. **

3 comments:

  1. Awesome! I want to live my life this way. It was so great meeting you this weekend. I look forward to reading more from you and doing my best to live an authentic life! You are a great writer and very inspirational.

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  2. Carlene Farrell (da mama)March 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Way to go Lisa. I've always raised you to be yourself. I've had people come over when the house was a disaster and I saw the look on their faces. These same people who had only 1 or 2 children compared to my 5. These people who look better in a comparison of our homes but would not fair so well with a comparison of our children's happiness. Instead of furnishing the house with great pieces that no one was comfortable in and the kids couldn't play around, I made a point of having things that were durable instead of beautiful. A house that cannot be lived in is just a house...not a home!

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