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Less-Than-Perfect Parents – and Children

Leanne LeCras is an Australian mom of 2 who knows – as we all do – that there are moments when parents are far from perfect. Just like their kids. Read more from Leanne on her blog.

Less-Than-Perfect Parents - and Children

Less than perfect parenting:

As every other parent in the world can attest, there are a lot of moments in raising your children that you wouldn’t mind having a do-over button for. I had been thinking back about times when I got really cross or frustrated when my kids were little and would not have won any “warm, fuzzy mother of the year” awards. There were also plenty of instances that the kids remember where I apparently failed motherhood and I thought I was doing okay!

 

Erin (our daughter) tells me about the time she gashed her leg on a stick and her cousins bandaged her up because her Aunty and I had told them not to bother us while we were having our coffee and chat! Obviously we weren’t very clear on what “bothering” covered in that instance. The scar on her leg is there to attest to that little “fail” moment. Our son tells the story about how I ‘made’ him ride his bicycle to the bus stop (to catch the school bus) when he was quite young. I remember it as him begging to ride his bike and me worrying about him getting there safely – history gets warped a little depending on who is remembering!

Less than perfect children:

Our two children were actually pretty good through their childhood and into their teens (despite the less than perfect parenting they experienced at times). There were times though where I could easily have locked them in their bedrooms for a day or two for some peace of mind. The teen years certainly brought a few of those moments to the fore and took a few years off my life in the process.

Our son, who is normally sensible and ordered and reliable, turned into a hoon driver when he got his license. He worked at a chicken processing plant in his spare time to save money to buy his first car – a red (of course) Holden Commodore (vehicle of choice for all rev-heads and a nightmare for their parents). The countless times I lay in bed listening for police sirens and the lectures we gave him all seem like water under the bridge now – but at the time we truly despaired.

Our daughter gave us a few rebellious moments here and there too – fortunately not with her car choice – she went for a little cute car with pink wheel hubs called “Muffin” but teaching her to drive wasn’t always fun – she would insist she knew what she was doing and was not great at taking advice – case in point was the first time she tried parking in our garage without me in the passenger seat (see below for the result!) I made her stand there for photographic proof at the time (less than perfect parenting I suppose!)

This photo is titled "whoops" in the family album.

This photo is titled “whoops” in the family album.

Many perfect memories along the way

I can’t even begin to count the multitude of happy memories we have of our children and their growing up through childhood to being the terrific adults they are today. How do you condense all the little times when you laughed and shared moments that are remembered forever? One of the great things that time does, is dilute the not-so-perfect moments and it allows us to remember the good times. I’m really proud of how well our “kids” turned out – seeing my husband and I had no idea what we were doing most of the time, I think we must have gotten it right more times than we messed up.

Leanne

Hi! I'm Leanne. I’m a happy empty nester living in Australia and blogging (at crestingthehill.com.au) about my midlife journey. I want to share the joys and challenges of this stage of life and counteract the negativity associated with getting older. There is so much to be grateful for and to look forward to, and I’m loving sharing my story with others who are walking the same path.

sue

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Sounds like my household was Leanne! Parents and children aren't perfect but we do our best and with love thrown in that is all that matters. Congratulations on your guest post and sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

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Tuesday 25th of August 2015

thanks so much Sue - glad you could stop by :)

Gina B

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

I often have to stop myself, too, and see where the kids are at now, how far they've come. At 9 and 12, we still have a long way to go but I'm happy with the way they have become polite, kind, considerate - even if they are still working out the kinks with rebellion and crabbiness. Oh and they're girls, so I know I have A LOT of that ahead, but right now I can feel like "so far, so good"!

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Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Hi Gina - yep I think if things are going fairly smoothly then you just keep applying it into the teens and keep your fingers crossed. A bit of rebellion and crabbiness keeps us on our toes and takes away any surprises that come with teen-dom :) good luck!

Beth Havey

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Love this post, Leanne. So many wonderful moments in my motherhood and some I wish I could as you say either do-over or eliminate completely. But I wasn't perfect--just full of love and hope. I think we get better at mothering as we go, but now looking at my daughter who sometimes struggles, I know it's just about leaping into the pond of mothering and doing the best that you can.

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Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Hi Beth - I agree that we get better as we get the hang of it and maybe we just learn to stress less. I think our kids are pretty resilient and our mistakes wash over them most of the time. Your daughter will dive in and be fine too :)

Rena McDaniel

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Terrific piece Leanne! I know I have lots of things I would like a do-over on! Accepting that we are never going to be perfect and being happy with what you have accomplished is the best feeling in the world.

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Tuesday 25th of August 2015

thanks Rena - yes we'll never look back on our perfection but I think we must have done pretty well in raising our children through all that trial and error!

Lisa

Tuesday 25th of August 2015

I'm still in the early stages of parenting (ie have a 2 year old) but I will keep your lessons and observations in mind going forward. I DO have those frustrated and exasperated moments, where I have to stop to remind myself how lucky I am to have a healthy active little boy rather than be irritated at what he's getting up to! Lovely article, Leanne xx

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Tuesday 25th of August 2015

Thanks Lisa and I'm sure you'll look back on a few blunders along the way (I have a few that make me wince) but all in all we do our best and our kids know that and flourish - you'll be where I am before you know it so enjoy all those little boy moments while you have them :)

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