Imperfectly Perfect

My son, Locke, got a pair of Cars pajamas from his grandma for his 2nd birthday last week. He adores all things Cars.

It took me back to a time when my older son, Crew, was also obsessed with Cars. He had a pair of Cars pajamas that he wore every day too. I remembered a imperfectly perfect parenting moment I had around those Cars pajamas.

I was 8 months pregnant with Croft and I had to give a talk in church one Sunday morning at 9 am. I had to wake Crew up to get him ready for church.  He was tired and grouchy and didn’t appreciate the early wake-up.  As I tried to take off his Cars pajamas, he kicked and screamed and thrashed about. He was a big kid for his age and  I couldn’t coax him out of those jammies, plus he had kicked my pregnant tummy one too many times. It was nearing time to leave and I could not be late because I was speaking.

It was time to make a choice. The way that I saw it, I had 2 options:

1. I maybe could have forced him out of the pajamas with great physical effort and probably some yelling. Although I am not sure my pregnant body could have done it. But I am pretty sure the Spirit would have left and I would have been frazzled as I left for church.  Not to mention what my hair and clothes would have looked like by the end of the struggle.  (Remember I am speaking in front of hundreds of people. I gotta look good.)

or

2. I could let him wear his Cars pajamas to church and avoid a confrontation. We could be on time and I could be calm and still have the Spirit with me as I spoke.

Well, you guessed it. I gave up on the fight and let him wear his Cars pajamas to church. He was happy, we were on time, and I nailed my talk (and I looked as good as an 8-month pregnant Tiffany can look).

After Sacrament Meeting, I walked down to the bench and changed  Crew into the church clothes I brought.   Since Crew was awake and calmed down by this point, there was no fighting and no yelling. He happily went to Nursery in church clothes and he hasn’t worn pajamas again to church since.

As I left the chapel, a friend said to me, “I was so glad to see Crew in his pajamas…  Now I know you aren’t perfect.”

My response outloud was “I could have the Spirit, with a boy in pajamas, or I could have contention, with a boy in church clothes. I opted for the Spirit.”

As she left I thought, “Actually, the fact that I could let my kid go to church in his pajamas knowing there would be stares and judgement makes me even more perfect.”

And I believe that. It is in those seemingly “imperfect” parenting moments that we are actually being the most “perfect” parents.

7 thoughts on “Imperfectly Perfect”

  1. I had one of those kind of parenting moments a few months back. I was playing basketball with my women friends and my teenage daughter at 10:00 one night. This is after I had run 8 miles, taught an aerobics class, lifted weights, swam 40 laps, and played 2 hours of volleyball (now mind you I was in the middle of training for a triathlon- I am not always that crazy). About half way through the game, my body just shut down. I literally had NOTHING left to give. And for the first time in my life- I cried uncle. I stopped mid court and turned to everyone and said “I am done” and I went and sat on the sidelines and cheered everyone on for the rest of the time. I was finally admitting what I thought was defeat. A few weeks later, I asked my daughter about that night. I said “were you totally embarrased by me giving up that night and sitting down?”, and much to my suprise she said “no mom, I wasn’t embarrased. I finally saw you as human.” In one humbling moment in my eyes- I finally had grown huge in my daughters eyes. That is being a perfectly imperfect parent. Love ya Tiff.

  2. Loved this post–it totally speaks to my heart. I used to wonder how moms could let their children come to church without looking “picture perfect”. Through experience I have learned that imperfection can actually be the higher (and harder)road to travel, but will actually be the one filled with more joy. I am mom to a son who doesn’t like the bottom cuff of his pants to touch the top of his feet–sensory issue! He rolls up his pant legs enough so they look like floods. I used to fight him on it and we both went to church after a morning battle. Neither one of us won. Now I am mom to a son who goes to church with his courduroy pants looking like floods and we both are happy about it–we can keep the spirit in our home and we can have great experiences at church.

    1. “imperfection can actually be the higher (and harder road to travel)”- great quote. I love when my readers can say it better than me. Thanks Jennifer!

  3. I loved that story. A few weeks ago I had the same type of issue with my three year old. Every Sunday it is a battle to get him to wake up to go to 9:00 church. It took me 45 mins. to get him into his church clothes. I tried pulling off the jammies and it was not working. I sent the rest of the family to church so they could at least be on time and have a nice quite moment. We were late and I was getting frustrated but I kept praying for patience and I didn’t even yell at him, which is a miracle in and of itself. I hugged and loved him until he let me put his church clothes on. I was grateful that I was able to keep my cool and love my little guy. Next time I am totally pulling a Tiffany and just take him in his jammies. So Stenson’s if you see Jake in his jammies you know why.

  4. Seriously – where was your husband for all of this? 🙂

    Actually, I know…I was at Stake Meetings that day (like every Sunday). I truly admire all that you do to get the kids ready every week. You are authentically amazing.

  5. As mother’s we have to choose our battles every day. Peace and happiness should always the winners.
    My third son wore his superman PJ’S under his church clothes for months.

  6. I firmly believe that the devil shows up on Sundays to see what kind of trouble he can stir up before we Christians head to church. Kudos to you for not falling for his shenanigans!

    I remember one specific Sunday morning that I was not proud of…at ALL. I have since made a promise with myself (and God) that I will never go down that “low road” again!

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