Photo by Renrea
I really related to his post over on Momlogic: "I Don't Want to Be My Kid's Role Model."
Because I don't either.
In her post, writer Beth Falkenstein writes:
"I believe people would agree that I'm considerate, hard-working, and like to challenge myself for personal growth... But I'm human, which brings with it a whole host of less-than-divine behavior."
I found myself nodding along, as I read Beth's piece, mostly because the idea of being anyone's role model is completely terrifying. I mean, what the heck do I know? I'm still learning new things every day.
I joke with my own mom all the time and say, "Mom, you really had me fooled when I was a kid. Now that I have my own children, I know how little you and Dad knew when we were growing up." She always nods and laughs.
However, she is still one of role models, because and despite of this.
Still, the idea that anyone is watching my behavior and my actions, especially as a mother, to someday imitate is horrifying. Oh dear... I make bad choices daily! I don't know what I'm doing! I can be such a jerk!
Don't get me wrong. By no means do I think any mother should strive for perfection. And I strongly believe that mothers should allow their kids to see their failures from time to time. Because they're going to face failures in their own lives too, and being able to deal with failure is an important skill.
However, I don't want anyone to have to relive my mistakes and failures. Like Beth, I hope my kids can learn from my downfalls, not imitate them. And I hope my kids will pick the best traits from all the "role models" in their lives: from their dad, their grandparents, family members, teachers, and even their friends.
No one person can be a proper role model for another person, and I don't strive to be the sole role model for anyone. But I do hope my kids can take what they like and what works, and leave the rest — because, no doubt, they will have their own set of personal challenges that will be completely their own, outside and separately from me, and I hope they'll have lots of people to look to for help when my experiences don't line up to theirs.
So, no, I don't want to be my kid's role model, but I do hope I can be one of them.