As mothers we often push our children to strive for excellence. That push unwillingly sometimes leads them to strive for perfection.
Daughter age 3
"Perfection is always in the eye of the beholder. As long as you view yourself as doing the best that you could have possibly done... then that is perfection for yourself. You can't live up to other's expectations you can only live up to your own. -Delita
We all know that mama look. That look when we know we are in trouble or even worse when we know we have disappointed her. Our mother's sacrifice so much of themselves for us the least we can do is never disappoint them right? Wrong! Delita learned that making her own decisions in life may disappoint her mother , but the freedom she found would be all worth it.
Welcome to her Kweendom.
Hello Beau2ful's Philosophy is, "Who we are as a daughter, influences who we are as a woman, and impacts who we are as a mother. I call this cycle our Kweendom. Tell me about your Kweendom.
Growing up I had an amazing relationship with my mother. I was an only child. Some people may call it completely spoiled but I just call it extremely blessed. (LOL) I always strived to be in my mother's good light and not in her bad light. She always pushed me towards excellence in everything that I did. Especially, when it came to my education. When I was younger I perceived this as... my job was to get good grades and make my mom's life easier, and her job was to buy me nice things. (LOL) At the time I was fine with this exchange of "currency" per say, because I knew the importance of education to my mother and I couldn't bare that look of disspointment on her face. It took me a long time... in fact it was my sophomore year in college, when I realized throughout my life I have always strived not only for excellence but towards perfection... because in my mind my mom is a perfectionist and I had to do things her way.
Now don't get me wrong... I am beyond appreciative of my mother's push because it taught me to never ever settle. But what I learned that sophomore year in college was... excellence in my mother's eyes was sticking to HER plan for my life. As long as I was sticking to "our" plan than everything was perfect. You see growing up I never got any grades lower than an A. I mean I got STRAIGHT A's. I went to schools where my classmates didn't look like me. There were very few minorities at the schools I attended. This is during a time where meg the stallion bodies weren't considered the thing! (LOL) White and skinny were what was considered the standard for being beautiful. My mother told me all the time how beautiful I was, but it was hard to see while comparing myself to everyone else around me. This environment along with the pressure to succeed academically caused body image issues and eating disorders. When I got to college although it was still predominately white, it was very segregated because all the black people grouped together. I finally had groups of people that looked like me and celebrated that freshman 15 lbs that I gained (LOL) It's like socially I was succeeding and I had the freedom to be myself and make my own decisions. So I decided to drop my double major and change my minor. My mother was so disappointed I didn't stick to "our" plan that she didn't talk to me for a week. In hindsight I really get why she was disappointed because that semester I found my freedom but I also got my first bad grades ever... 2 C's a D (LOL)
That look of disappointment is exactly why I always strived for perfection. But I had to realize that I had to live my own life, make my own plans, and my mom would just have to accept them. It's been a looonnnggg journey and even til this day I sometimes have to say to my mom " Ma'am lets pump the brakes... I love you but we're not going to do this your way... we are going to do it different." (LOL) Now that I am older I realized in many ways I am a perfectionist too. Especially in my event planning and decor business #SparkYourMark. I strive for a very high mark of excellence so that if I miss that mark its still a level of excellence I can be proud of. That perfection didn't work with becoming a mother.
It was really hard at first because I planned this "perfect" life for myself, and having a child at that time was not a part of the plan. After my daughters birth, I really struggled on how to not lose my identity with having a child. I found myself at times really depressed and feeling guilty because I should be so blessed to have this beautiful joy and I didn’t feel that way. I was more regretful that I was missing out on life due to being a mom. Thank God for girlfriends, who have been there before, because they just reassured me that my feelings are valid and as she gets older I will find the balance. I meditated and grew that very important patience. As the days went by I started creating this pattern of life that works for the both of us. Now, I have started to truly feel like I’m myself again just with an added bonus. I make the conscious decision everyday to allow my daughter to be exactly who she wants to be and do things exactly the way she wants to do them. Some may call that being spoiled. I just call it extremely blessed (LOL) She is only 3 so it's been easy but I know when she get's older I may not always agree with the decisions that she makes. But when the time comes I will tell her..."this is just my advice, you can make whatever decision you want... You can be who you want, what you want, and act how you want. You don't have to be perfect you just have to be true to yourself.
What has being a mother to your daughter/s taught you?
Patience is a virtue. London is my first child so going from living by your own standards to then having to adjust to this little person it's like life was like ... nope... were not going this way anymore. Patience was key and is still key navigating through these toddler years.
Love is an action word. In what ways have you shown your daughter/s she is loved and how she should be loved?
As corny as it might sound, I truly use the phrase from the movie “The Help” where Viola Davis tells the young girl..”You are smart, you are kind, you are beautiful, and you are loved.” Everyday, doesn’t matter what time I try to say those words to her and then give her a hug and a kiss.
Life often throws us lemons if you had to share one life lesson with your daughter/s what would it be?
Perfection is always in the eye of the beholder. As long as you view yourself as doing the best that you could have possibly done then that is perfection for yourself. You can't live up to other's expectations you an only live up to your own.
Kbeau2ful's Final Thoughts:
As mothers we always want the best for our children. We picture their future, push them towards that path, and sometimes forget that as they grow they will have separate dreams than the ones we imagined. We teach our children to always strive for excellence, but Delita's story teaches us how delicate our children's perception of excellence could be. Influences from external sources can start to morph their idea of what they should look like and act like. The pressure for excellence along with struggling with low self esteem, (which is common during adolescence) affects our children more than we know. As our children get older we must find a find a balance between what our expectations are and what their desires are. They may disappoint us, but that is perfectly ok.
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