Tuesday, 22 August 2017
The 80/20 Rule for Mum Success
The hilarious Jen Hatmaker released her newest book, "Of Mess and Moxie" last week. She shared a small excerpt on TODAY's Parenting team website to whet our appetite a few days later ,and I giggled my way through the whole thing. Or maybe there was actual laughing out loud. My kids now roll their eyes and ask if Jen is involved. All I can say is I'm really glad a copy of her book is sitting on my bedside table. Jen is funny and smart and real and challenging and full of snarky sarcasm that just seems to be match my own blunt directness. She's the kind of person you'll wish lived right next door to you. And you'll certainly wish you were part of her tribe. I know I do! Like any really good friend, we have differing views on some things here and there, but the really important things hold true regardless.
What I loved about this little excerpt (besides her hilarious communication style) is the sentiment that it's OK to be a good enough Mum most of the time. That's not to say we should aim low, but it is important to know that we're not perfect. And we're not! None of us are perfect, so I wonder why it is that we seem to think that we should be perfect in our parenting? Read the snippet - you'll realise that maybe your 80% success is actually pretty good. Because, you know, have you ever driven an hour in the wrong direction to an excursion location to meet your kids that aren't there? No? See, you're doing great!
I mentioned, just recently, that my son takes fake food, like cup-a-soup and tinned spaghetti for lunch these days. And I haven't actually cleaned my own house in about a year (I outsource this job). I have forgotten my kids in all kinds of places. Miss Mischief in a supermarket in Malacoota, picking kids up from school at the right time (to be fair, they were returning from camps at odd times). Once I forgot to take my kids to a birthday party. My friend phoned to ask if we were coming....yep...just a bit late, as it turned out. I'm never normally late. If you're like me, you've screeched at your kids, you've failed to keep a promise, you overreacted and probably done a thousand other things you wish you could retract. And you know what? These are all opportunities to model apologising, asking for forgiveness and dealing with disappointment. So I guess our 20% failure rate turns out to be a silver lining in an otherwise grey cloud. We get to help our kids develop resilience and persistence and empathy.
So Jen is shooting for 80/20 success rate, or so. What are shooting for?