“I couldn’t fight the tide, so I decided to float along.”
– David Levithan
This was a rough week, and I surrendered to the ‘Perfect Parent’ award the same day I applied for the ‘Failed Parent’ award. Not only did I raise my white flag, the dangling strings and tattered holes were proof of my battle wounds. My struggles this week surrounded my competency in motherhood. I felt as if I failed my child.
I am supposed to have the answers.
I am supposed to magically heal all wounds and take away the hurt. I am the mother. And after talking, reading, searching and incessantly working to find a solution, I came up empty-handed. And that is painful.
Surrendering is not looked upon lightly, as it is often synonymous with giving up. And at the end of the week, I didn’t care what it was; surrendering, giving up, or some other euphemistic term to make it sound less like failure. I had to surrender, to give up the need to have the answer for every situation. Otherwise the cloud of fear circles around me, hovering, holding my inner peace for ransom. However, beyond that cloud is acceptance of life as it is, and letting go of the struggle, allowing the cloud to dissipate, the fog is literally removed.
To say, “I surrender, I need help” out loud at first feels a bit like failure. However, when I remove all perceived assumptions of the words, I feel a bit of relief. I have learned I cannot do everything alone, despite my best effort. I am not an island, despite how alluring and peaceful islands seem, they have their own limitations.
I don’t want to depend on others.
I want to be perfect, have all of the answers and not feel needy or incompetent without assistance. So I have to remember that it’s not about surrendering to a specific person, but to the flow of life as it is, not as I would like it to be. To surrender is not to give up, but instead, to release expectations, to release the need for perfection.
When I can surrender to the messy house, to the desire to control my image in the thoughts of others, to knowing my children will have their own struggles that are not mine, my need for perfection, my expectations that hold me captive, are released and I am free.
Surrendering to the reality instead of holding on to what is not working, allows space for a door to open to a solution instead of pushing against a closed door with no hope of reveal. So, I surrender my need to be the world’s perfect parent for my children, and instead, focus on being the perfect parent in the world for my children.