Allow Yourself to Be Average

I (Melissa) went snow skiing recently for the first time since I had a head injury over ten years ago. My accident affected my balance and my response time, so I was nervous. I told Sissy and Mimi I wouldn't even ski with them the first day. I had to concentrate. I wanted to be able to ski just like I used to. I got out there, and I couldn't make my boots feel comfortable. I couldn't figure out how to pick up my ski on the turn. I didn't remember where to plant my pole. The harder I tried, the more tense and frustrated I became—then I just got tired.

I decided to call it a day and go home. My way home took me down an easier slope. All of a sudden, I realized I was enjoying myself. Instead of thinking the people around me were in my way, I started being friendly. I noticed the beauty of the mountains and the trees. I was actually having fun. It was then that I realized it's really okay to be an average skier.

I told this story to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group recently. I told them that my skiing experience was a lot like parenting. To try to be a great parent only makes you tense, frustrated, and tired. It is okay to be average. Average parents are freed up to enjoy their children and see them through cleaner lenses.

As I spoke that morning, I really didn't have to teach much about this idea. Their response—actually, their relief—was im mediate. Every woman who spoke to me afterward told me how thankful she was to know that it was okay to be average.

There is perhaps more pressure today than there has ever been on parents to do it "right." You hear voices saying, "Spend quality time with each of your children" . . . "Teach them about Jesus, but not in a legalistic way" . . . "Talk to them about drugs, sex, and alcohol before it's too late" . . . "Make sure they have good self-esteem" . . . "Get them in the right school at the right time" . . . "Give them every opportunity." It's enough to make you a very frustrated skier!

Don't worry so much about where you plant your poles. Like me, you may have to make a conscious decision to let go. Yes, we want you to look at your own life, and yes, there are a lot of practical tips even in this book . . . let alone all of the wonderful parenting books you already have stacked beside your bedside table. But you are not going to get it all right. What your daughter wants—what your daughter needs—is not a perfect parent. She needs you.

0 0

Post a comment