Today is my daughter's 7th dance recital. It went from being a one show deal to her being there all day and doing 3 shows and 12 dances. It makes me reflect on the difference between then and now. It makes me wonder if I don't care as much about things, or I've learned what's really important....I think it's the later. When my kids were little I would become so obsessed with how they looked and what they wore and making sure everything was perfect. Now, I realize, there is no such thing.
In an effort to make everything perfect, I often neglected to enjoy anything. I would become so crazed and neurotic before a major holiday or event that I didn't ever remember to just be present. That's all changed now. I am able to finally live and go with the flow---it's so much better for everyone! My kids are more relaxed, I am more relaxed---it's definitely more fun!
With that being said, the old me rears her ugly, OCD head occasionally with her list of shoulds and her finger pointing at someone else who is doing it perfectly and look at how they LOOK. There is the key word that shuts me down and flips me right back to relaxed mom. They LOOK perfect. Yes, that girls costume has way more accessories than mine does---so what? Yes that little girls hair is perfectly done differently for each and every dance---so what? Her make up is changed between numbers to match whatever costume is coming next----so what? My daughter is HAPPY! She is relaxed and able to be herself. She doesn't WANT all that crap that I used to push on her. If she ASKED me for all that, you know what---I would snap on my supermom cape and do the best I could to get it for her. But she doesn't care about it. It was ME that used to fuss and push and try to make it all "perfect"---meanwhile, it's supposed to be for her, right? I think a lot of parents forget that.
My older son has returned from his second year of college and commented the other day that I am a total different parent to "those two" (his younger siblings) than I was to him. I'm raising them differently he said. He's right. I'm a totally different person now. I'm not all crazed and angry and frustrated and exhausted---well I AM still exhausted but I can handle that. Plus, I'm divorced and I don't have a stressful, unhappy marriage weighing me down anymore. I am free to be me! I'm sorry he had the ubercrazyperfectionist mom---she thought she was doing the right thing at the time. Everyone thought we had this perfect family---what I've come to realize is that everyone isn't living in my home. Everyone is not living my life---I don't need to impress anyone! And if there is anything that my oldest has taught me is that it is THEIR lives not mine to live. I do my best to impose my morals and my opinion of right and wrong to them and raise them the way I feel will make them good, kind, decent human beings. The rest is just for show and it's THEIR show, not mine---I want them to be happy not perfect. As far as the rest.....does it really matter?