Do We Push Our Daughters Too Hard to be Perfect?
After helping my 10-year old daughter rush off to the bus stop, like I do every day, I usually go back to her room and tidy up the things that bother me the most...Her room is a little nicer after I went through it this summer with my fine-tooth comb, but her bed is usually 1/2 a mess with the comforter pulled up and a huge lump underneath which usually conceals the sheet and maybe the bottom of her pj's, underwear, a doll, etc...so, I kind of fix what irks me...and then it slapped me in the face...
She wrote that? Where did she get that from? Is that an affirmation for her or a memo for me? **I'm pondering**.... What made her write that.
I am a pretty neat person. I like my home to be as neat as possible--not OCD neat... ... well, I was pretty bad back in the day, but since having kids, I've relaxed quite a lot. So anyway, my daughter is not a particularly neat person. I assume she gets that from his side...(no, I know she does) :-) So, she's been driving me bananas every since she was two years old and able to smear gogurt all over the tv screen and still happily watch Teletubbies...Nowadays, it's her Ipad that's smeared with stuff...sticky stuff. She walks around with her shoes untied and her room is usually a mess...so, we go at it every day about staying organized and clean. Honestly, I'm exhausted by it.
Please don't misunderstand...I encourage her every day. I tell her she's beautiful, smart, generous and funny. I really try not to be too hard on her... Did I say anything when she brought home all B's on her report card?... ... ... ...Ok, I just said something like, "good job, honey...next time your goal can be to make at least one 'A'...is that bad? I mean what do you all say?... "just good job?!" **sigh**
Some say just let them be who they are...let it go. I'm not sure if I can do that, but if I consider it, at what point do I just surrender? What about my house? I know that none of us are perfect. Our imperfections make us perfect (aww, didn't that sound good??) However, what's wrong with wanting her to have a neat room, smell good, have a clean face & teeth...and moisturized skin?? huh?! That's really all I'm asking (hoping, demanding-whatever). I just don't want to go over to her house when she's 32 and think to myself, Lord, what did I do wrong... Oh, but after this morning, I think I do know what I'm doing wrong...
I don't ever let her see my imperfections. That's what I'm doing wrong. I haven't every passed gas, cried, sat on the toilet, belched, been smelly, or had food in my teeth(knowingly)...around her. Someone's laughing, but unfortunately, it's true. Now, I have tripped, been make-up less (imperfection at it's best!) and burned plenty of meals...plenty, I said. But is this enough for her to know that it's ok to not be perfect?
So my worry now, is this...If I do come to visit her when she's 32 and think to myself, Lord, what did I do wrong...what if it's because of the opposite reason?...what if she's freakishly neat, cold, crazy & uptight (I'm not like this, btw) :-) I DON'T want that. I'd rather have crumbs in my s o f a, than cause that kind of trauma!
I'm sure that at the bottom of this blog instead of 1 person listening, it says 1 person screaming-lol-- so, I may be too scared to look, but I really do want to know...at what point do you just let your daughter find her own way? (& without you going crazy)...
**update** after I wrote this blog, I got a chance to ask her the reason for the "affirmation"...she said "I got that off my teacher's bulletin board...so I used it to play school" :-) <paranoid mom>