I think I've figured out my problem.
(You: Which one?)
I've always subconsciously thought of my daughters as formless beings, emerging from me perfect.
Therefore, it was only a matter of time until I royally f-ed them up.
As much as I know this is untrue at best or at least not worth worrying about, I've made myself miserable on occasion, knowing, DREADING, that I am destined to disappoint and warp them with my imperfection. I wanted to hide parts of my true self from them. As if I could. There is no hiding our true selves. They come out in whatever ways they can.
After a long day filled with hours and hours of patience and love and play and calm discipline, I sometimes get frazzled and tired and just DONE and I yell or I get snippy or I just sigh and shake my head and then I am bereft because they are perfect and I am NOT and I have failed them again.
This is not true.
(Or it's beside the point.)
None of us are perfect. Even them. Even from the beginning. How unfair of me to expect it of any of us.
We are all born with our unique, strange selves and are molded by the world we encounter. They weren't born perfect. They were born their own quirky, strange, imperfect selves and we get more strange and quirky and imperfect as our life goes on. I am here to help my girls, to guide them and shepherd them, not to try to retain some idea of perfectness that never existed to begin with. When I think about it this way, I can see that their struggles and difficult behaviors are not a reflection of how much I suck as a mom, but just part of their whole selves, their ages, their environment and just who they essentially were from the moment they were made. No one is letting anyone down.
I am their guide, their teacher, their mother.
They are my guides, my teachers, my daughters.
(And just because I'm accepting my imperfections doesn't mean I shouldn't find ways to keep myself from getting to the point of yelling or snipping or even sighing in defeat.)
(You already knew this?)
(Would you please remind me from time to time??)
(PS. This made sense to me when I was trying to get back to sleep at 4 am. )