On any random Tuesday, you might find me doing any number of household tasks...food prep, folding laundry, loading and unloading the dishwasher. But this Tuesday was different. Our 3-year old, Gracie, had her small Snoopy fishing rod (sans fishing line and hook) and a few felt fish from the box of play food and was desperately trying to fish for them. Of course, it wasn't working. Frustration was rising in her chubby little face. "Mommy, pwease! Hep me fish!" she cried.
After pulling supplies from our craft closet, I got to work. That Tuesday morning you would have found me sitting at the work table, cutting out blue felt fish shapes and gluing metal washers to them. As I worked, the thought crossed my mind, "Wow, these are really ugly fish! Definitely not Pinterest worthy!" (Can we just talk about how that was never even a thought for our Moms? But that's another post.) I kind of laughed to myself because I gave up the idea of creating "Pinterest-worthy" content a long time ago, in favor of authenticity and my truest self.
But here I was, thinking about how ugly these silly fish were. It was a quick project, maybe 10 minutes total to hot glue fish together and attach a string and magnet to the girls' fishing poles (by now, big sister was in on the fun!) As I worked, the girls pulled over chairs and watched me intently. And then...Gracie. She said,
"Mommy, those fish are so pwetty!"
Mommy, those fish are so pwetty. Did you catch that? She didn't hear the internal dialogue I was having, berating my haphazard craftsmanship. No, her gentle, honest and true statement: those fish are so pwetty.
Listen very carefully to what I'm about to tell you, Mama. Turn off the music, the podcast, the video, and your phone ringer and dial all in here. This truth is life changing.
You know what, I'm not sure you got that, so let me say it again.
Your children don't need your perfection, they need your presence.
They do not need your artfully sculpted birthday cakes and perfectly pink princess dress ordered from Etsy. They do not need a photo-worthy gourmet dinner or a perfectly clean and beautifully organized home. And they don't need the latest $100 designer jeans. THEY WANT YOU.
I know we say we do all of those things out of love. And I think that's probably true a lot of the time. And if you create elaborate parties or dress your kids to the nines or keep an immaculate house or create gorgeous meals every day because you enjoy the process, that's fantastic! But if we're honest, sometimes, just sometimes, we work so hard to put together a picture of perfection because WE DON'T BELIEVE WE'RE ENOUGH. Sometimes it's hard to believe that all our kids really need and want is US, fully engaged, all in. But it's true.
So, be ALL IN. Look at that promise of perfection you hold in your hand. Is it worth it? Is it worth it, the late nights and the worry and the stress and the constant nagging thoughts that all of it still isn't enough? NO. Let it go, Mama. Throw that mask of perfection to the wind because you don't need it anymore. All the imperfect little acts of love? Well, they're just so pwetty, Mama.