Thursday, February 20, 2014

Confessions of a Prideful Mom

When I was first married, my husband and I were having a nostalgic moment discussing our childhood.  He told me that his parents would tell him and his siblings that almost every problem they were having was a pride issue.

I scoffed.

Not everything can relate back to pride . . . right?

Turns out I'm not always right (much to my chagrin). I have come to realize that most of my problems are related to pride.  Obviously there are some that are completely beyond control.  My daughter being prone to ear infections, my son's problems with vision and crossed eyes, my husband's diabetes, my apparent inability to be a comfortable pregnant woman. All of these have nothing to do with pride.

Isn't there a pop culture reference to having 99 problems and something not being one?  I must sound horribly out of touch in asking this question, but what can I say? I can sing every song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Well, let's think about the things I perceive as being problems in my life.  I do not look physically at all how I feel I "should, " I am not great at keeping every inch of our home clean.  I do not have anywhere near enough storage space.  My living room also happens to be a toy room, a family room, a tv room, a den, and often times a dance studio. Which means that it is not as nice as I want.  My home is not perfectly decorated.  I do not have enough money to let my husband stay home with us every day.  There is not a single time in my recollection that all of my laundry was done.  My car is the place goldfish go to die. No matter how I try, it's always dirty and full of toys and blankets.  I let my kids watch too much TV, et cetera, et cetera.

Do any of these things matter?  Honestly, no. They obviously matter to me, but it's because I am quite prideful.  If I were forced to sit down and really list my priorities, these things wouldn't be on them. But, because I have this crazy idea of how my life "should be," I have this insane feeling of inadequacy when I don't accomplish them. Which, let's be honest, is always.

What would happen if I let go of my pride? If I let go of all of the "shoulds?" What if I stopped letting silly things control my thoughts?  Well, I would venture to say I'd be a happier person, a nicer mom, a more considerate wife.  I'd say all around there would be improvements.  And yet, I hold on to my pride as if it were a lifeline.  For the life of me, as I sit here writing this, I cannot explain to you why.  I don't know what I get from being prideful.  If you come up with something let me know.

So here I am. Admitting to the fact that I am prideful, and selfish.  And hoping beyond hope that I can be strong enough to let it go. It obviously doesn't benefit me.

I believe it is in times such as these, when we can accept our less than perfect aspects, that our lives have the opportunity to become truly lovely.

Here is to being productive without feeling like you have to do more, or it's not good enough. Here is to being healthy for the sake of being healthy.  To taking care of my home, and spending more time enjoying the mound of toys my kids have, because heaven knows there are parents who would love to give their kids so many toys they can't find storage space for them.  Here's to accepting life's lovely moments without letting the hand of pride sneak in and make them less.

I am going to tackle this.  It won't be quick, and it won't be easy, but I like a challenge.  Well, a challenge that isn't too challenging.  I have downfalls, and I have imperfections.  But, when I see the way my kids look at me and the love in my husbands eyes when he comes home from work, they all seem so insignificant.  I am going to try and see myself as others, the ones who I love most, see me.  Definitely sounds like a win to me.

Be stronger than the pride?  It's not easy, but I am willing to try.  Are you?

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