We all have a cardboard cut-out idea of the perfect parent rattling away in our mind’s attic. You know, a superhero with infinite patience that doesn’t need to eat or sleep, who can read your child’s every thought or feeling with a single glance, clean and re-organise the house with a wiggle of her nose, shoot delicious and yet organic and completely healthy cookie dough out of her right pointer finger in a moment’s notice… A ridiculous blend of aspirations, memories, stereotypes and sitcoms, cobbled together with homemade, organic glitter-glue. And it is easy, so easy, to compare ourselves to this ridiculous and inhuman collage of perfection. So easy to compare and so easy to find ourselves wanting… And here’s my insight: my cardboard cut-out idea of the perfect parent rattles away in my mind’s attic. In MY mind… From the moment that my daughter first gazed upon my face she saw, she has been seeing, not a cardboard cut-out, but ME… And when she sings out, “Mummy!” she isn’t hoping that a cobbled together collage of parental perfection will answer her call. She is hoping that I will. So when you next compare yourself unfavourably to the cardboard cut-out of the perfect parent that rattles away in your mind, remember this, there’s one quality that you have that no ideal of perfection ever can: your child’s love. From the very start, your child has been seeking connection with you, not with a parental superhero, but with you.
Apply it to your life: Do you have a cardboard cut-out idea of the perfect parent rattling away in your mind? Can you recognise that it is, in fact, you your child loves?