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Stronger does not mean more Perfect

You know how there are those days where there seems to be a theme persisting? Like there's something that I keep getting banged on the head that I need to pay attention to for some particular reason.

Yesterday was one of those days.

It started with an ambitious early morning jog with the two year old in the single stroller which is always a treat compared to the 100+ lb load of both kids in the ball and chain  double stroller. I love to think on my runs and writing and running go hand and hand for me. I felt like I was in a slump and had no other material to say about life, but then suddenly this phrase popped into my mind

Stronger does not mean more perfect.

Strong does not equal perfect.

I am getting stronger - but I am not getting more perfect. In fact, last night's dishes are still in the sink. The kitchen and my house are far from perfect. But I am getting stronger. I am out running and breathing the fresh morning air.

This realization kept bugging me throughout the day as I did things that filled me up instead of things that made me strive for perfection.

Then as if I had been preparing for this moment all day it happened. Here's the scene:

I'm sitting at the kitchen table with my four year old son and he desperately wants to write a note to his daddy. He just started making lines which resemble letters and decided he wanted to write a card. His focus and determination- which I have known his whole life- began to shine through in a way which I recognized all too well. He had just started writing letters not a week ago - yet his brow furrowed and his pencil scribbled angry lines when his "v" in love was not exactly like the example I drew.

He wrote the note. I felt so much pride. Then he wanted to write more and the words and letters were not how he wanted and his anger built. I then realized with all the utmost importance - how can I teach him to love himself and not strive for perfection when he watches me daily striving for perfection and getting angry when life isn't up to my unrealistic expectations?

I need to stop striving for that perfect standard RIGHT NOW. Because if I don't I will only feed his tendency toward perfection and he will struggle. He will feel like he needs to prove himself to be loved.

I hug and kiss him and praise him over and over for his hard work, determination and how caring his heart is that he wanted to write a note saying how much he loved his daddy. Then we decided we had practiced enough and it was time to play.


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