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The Joy of Imperfection

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I came across this fabulous quote tonight -- so fabulous that I had to immediately rush to my blog to share it with you. :-)

Here it is:

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years
was that there was no way to be a perfect mother
and a million ways to be a good one."
- Jill Churchill, Grime and Punishment

I was thinking along these lines when I wrote the introduction to The Mother of All Parenting Books last year. I always hate it when parents think that they have to be perfect or when parenting experts pretend that they have all the answers, so I launched into this little rant on the subject right in the introduction of my book. Here's what I had to say: "What parents today are looking for is nitty-gritty, from-the-trenches advice from other parents -- the only people on the planet who really and truly understand what it's like to be a gloriously imperfect parent raising gloriously imperfect children. There's a growing backlash against advice givers who have lost touch with the needs of real families: so-called parenting experts who offer highly simplistic, formulaic solutions that don't take into account the countless messy variables that are the very essence of family life and who refuse to accept the fact that one-size-fits-all parenting solutoins fit most kids about as well as one-size-fits-all jeans. That is the kind of book I've attempted to write here: a book that believes that pooled knowledge and shared experience beat formulaic solutions hands down every time."

Okay, I tend to get a little passionate about this subject....

So what's your take on this whole "perfect parenting" thing? Are we finally breaking free of the June and Ward Cleaver standards of perfect parenting? Or are we just pretending that it's okay to be a less-than-perfect parent? Thoughts?

| posted by Ann D @ 10:27 PM