1000 families project Anne Marie and Family

1000 Families Project: Anne Marie and Family

What one woman’s three sons taught her about the quest for mothering perfection.

In my younger days, I was always a person who thought and felt a little too much. Often never quite fitting into any one mold, one plan. I was always searching to learn more. And always yearning to be confident in my own identity.

Coming from a big—strike that—humongous family, having your own unique identity within the crowd was challenging, yet an absolute necessity for me. That didn’t come for a very long time. One thing I did know for sure early on though: I wanted to be a Mom. To create little versions of me that felt completely loved and unafraid to be unique and special.

The most perfect mother in the whole world. #fail

So early in my twenties I married and delivered two beautiful healthy baby boys. Years later—still struggling with exactly who I was and now a single mom of two teenagers—I delivered another perfect little boy. We became a perfectly jumbled up family of four.

Twenty years later, I have finally grown to embrace my identity, all the complicated, fun, not-so-fun parts of me that make up who I am. #betterlatethannever

And now I’m a grandmother to two (so far) grandsons. A feminist surrounded by lovely men.

I know that trying to be perfect was impossible and just made the inevitable parental failures all the more evident. But by some sort of miracle, though, my boys never seemed to blame me for my imperfections (curse me under their breath, perhaps, but never displaying outright indignation).

I wanted to teach them about love. They ended up teaching me so much more about feeling loved.

I wanted to teach them about being courageous in moments of fear. Their fearlessness gave me courage when I needed it the most.

I wanted to teach them about embracing their individuality. And they became very different, very unique, kind, loving young men.

So I guess I achieved perfection after all. #wearefamily

This is #1000families post number 50. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.

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Anne Marie Aikins

About Anne Marie Aikins

Anne Marie Aikins spent many years advocating for survivors of sexual assault before becoming an award-winning author and journalist. She now enjoys a successful career in corporate communications helping journalists tell the news. View all posts by

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