Sponsored: Not Perfect
This post is paid for by the Ad Council. All opinions are my own.
I’m not the perfect parent. Not even close. I never thought I could be the perfect parent, but certainly tried. The pressure on the moms part of a two mom family is a big one. Mostly self imposed, but still incredibly heavy. In my head, we represent all the LGBTQ parents everywhere. With every move. We have to be perfect because if we’re not, the guy at the grocery store who voted for the gay marriage ban will think he was right in doing so. He will think we’re not good enough. Especially if my kid keeps eating these unwashed strawberries that we haven’t paid for yet.
But maybe strawberries are better than cookies? And eating is better than screaming? And am I really in control of anything here? Isn’t parenting just a bit of planning, a handful of luck, and a lot of love? Can I really change that guy’s mind about same-sex marriage and parenting in this grocery store anyway?
As my daughter has grown, I’ve realized that research and even effort doesn’t make a perfect parent. Sometimes it helps, but mostly parenting is about love, respect, and kindness. For both the parent(s) and the children. Parenting isn’t about being perfect. It’s messy. It hurts. We make mistakes. But we walk together in respect for each other, helping one another grow along the way. Sometimes with some unwashed strawberries.
As a gay parent, I will sometimes be seen as a representative of the gay parenting community. I’m okay with that now. It’s no longer a source of pressure, but an opportunity to show the world, or the grocery store, that all parents struggle. No parent is perfect. Parenting is hard. No matter how the family is created. I’m just trying to do my best and messing up a whole lot along the way. In the process, this kid makes me better. Every day she challenges me to be kind to myself and to love deeply without fear. We’re in this together.
“We always wanted to have a family and did not think it was possible for us to adopt through an agency or government entity. We were introduced to another gay couple who were foster parents for the state of Nevada and who were in the process of adopting one of their foster kids.” Read more of The Randall Family’s story at AdoptUSKids.org.
“I’ve grown a lot as a person,” Lucien said. “You have all these things in your head about what kind of mother you are going to be. All of that has to go out the window. It’s really about two people making a connection, the love we have between the two of us, and building trust. She knows I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care how good or bad, we’re in it together.” Read more (and watch the video!) of the Lucian family at AdoptUSKids.org.
You don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent. Check out AdoptUSKids.org to learn more.