Every year, just before mother’s day, I get reminded of myself being a mother. However, each year, I am also reminded that I am a mother of adopted kids and that makes me an imperfect mother and parent. When we applied for our first adopted son, I asked my husband, a few times, to remove our application. I thought, if God did not give us children, it could be because I cannot be a perfect mother or a perfect parent.
After fifteen years (15) years and two adopted sons later, I still feel like an imperfect mother. I still think that our boys could have been better persons if they were raised by another woman. Perhaps, I have never been a fully confident parent.
Each night I hug each of my boys in bed, I tell them and make them feel how much I love them. But, deep within me, I still think, I could be a better mother and promise myself to try harder each day.
I always think of how to improve my parenting, change my schedules and focus on our family priorities. Perhaps, I am always striving to be that perfect mother, that perfect parent. My husband keeps on reminding me that we are okay as parents, although not perfect; that we are trying our best to be the best parents that our boys can ever have.
Recently, I saw a foster care advertisement1 on the internet about being perfectly imperfect parents. It stated: “Being a good adoptive parent doesn’t require perfection. Rather, it requires the very traits that many potential parents may not even know they already possess: time, stability, maturity, commitment, flexibility, compassion, a sense of humour, patience, a team player attitude, and the overall love of children.”
It went on to say: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. There are thousands of kids in care who will take you just the way you are – imperfections and all.” And yes, there are so many children around the world in orphanages and in foster care that need a loving home. They need perfectly imperfect parents.
Although I think and feel imperfect, as a Catholic Christian, I believe that Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, is always with me and in me to strengthen me. He gives me hope and courage to keep on and work towards becoming a better and better mother. Gradually.
I will never reach perfection as a mother but with Mary, our Mother of Mercy and the perfect mother, I will always be guided and modelled by her. So, to all mothers and all those who care for and love children (and adults) like mothers, I wish you a happy and meaningful mothers day!
All the best!
NOTE: A similar article by the same author appears on http://www.catholicenquiry.com/blog/item/297-mother-a-perfectly-imperfect-parent