“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist… without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”-Stephen Hawking
The other day, I was driving in the car on the way to a friend’s house with my daughter with the windows down, radio on and the sun shining down on us.
She had been quiet so I asked her if she was okay and she, very softly, told me that she was feeling nervous and that her stomach hurt.
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Now, I am someone who has had anxiety for as long as I can remember but I have always tried my best to hide that part of me from her. I have been told, by many people, that I shouldn’t let her see my anxiety and my nerves so that it didn’t rub off on her.
In this moment, however, I felt this pull to tell her it was okay. She confided in me that when we go to someone’s house, or somewhere new, that her stomach starts to feel woozy and she feels like she is going to cry.
See, I feel the same way. The same thing happens to me and I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone.
I went with my gut and told her that I too get that feeling deep down in my stomach when I am doing something new or going far from home. Do you know how my sweet little girl responded? She told me that she felt so much better because she thought she was the only one who felt this way.
She thanked me for telling her that and I couldn’t stop the tears that filled my eyes.
I learned one of the most important lessons of motherhood that day, something that has taken me almost seven years of being a mommy to learn, that it’s okay to show your kids your flaws.
I am not perfect. Neither is my husband. We make mistakes, all the time in fact, and we have more flaws than I care to share. And you know what? That’s okay.
Since my little girl was a baby, and especially as she has started school, I have tried to let her know that we don’t expect her to be perfect. Ever. It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to not always make the best decision.
So, why then, do we need to hide our flaws from our kids?
Mama, please don’t be afraid to show your little ones your flaws. It’s okay for them to see you fall apart sometimes. It’s okay for you to show them parts of you that you may not like all the time.
It’s okay for them to see that you are human.
The look of relief on my daughter’s face that day, when she found out that I too get the same feelings, was priceless. I knew in that moment that I had done the right thing.
From that moment on, I have been more open with her. I have told her about some of my experiences with anxiety that are in line with some of the things that she feels.
My husband has also talked to her about being hyper all his life and how he has learned to control it. (She is a hyper child, more on that later!)
If it is possible, I feel even closer to my little one now after talking to her about my anxiety. It felt so wonderful to open up to her and I know moving forward, I will be more forthcoming and honest with her. (Within reason, of course!)
How do you feel about showing your kids your flaws? Have you ever told them something about yourself that you tried to hide before? I would love to hear from you!! XOXO