I’m not perfect. No surprise, right? But sometimes, not being perfect, makes it hard to be a mother. There are many things I don’t want my children to do that I struggle not to do myself. Sadly, these do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kinds of moments kill my authority the most, as my nine-year-old loves to point out.
“But mom, you swear,” he says.
Right about here I’m clenching my jaw because we have this argument every time I tell him not to talk a certain way. “Yes, but you shouldn’t.”
“Then why do you get to swear?”
Oh, I knew the question was coming. It always does, like a body-slam-of-shame I can’t ever escape—until this week. I had an epiphany that I hope at least ends the debate of this aspect of my non-perfectness.
I turned on him. “I’ve been trying for years to stop swearing. I know it’s an ugly habit, but it is so very hard to overcome, which is why I don’t want you to ever start. I don’t want this struggle to be yours one day. Be better than me, you’ll be glad you did.”
After blinking several times he left with a simple “Okay.”
Okay? Okay! It was a New Year’s miracle! One I’m now considering how to spin on all of my other less than perfect habits he loves to point out. Yes, people, I wasn’t kidding when I said I wasn’t perfect.