Being an imperfect person does not make me a bad parent.
Spelled out like that, it looks kind of obvious. But for a very long time, I did not know this. I struggled with new motherhood and my perceived failings made me feel like a bad mother. But as I grow in confidence in this role, as I learn things about myself and how they affect me as a parent (this was illuminating), I have started to cut myself some slack. I do not expect anyone else to be perfect, and I have not required perfection of myself in any other area of my life. But wanting so much to be good for my son blurred my vision a bit. It became harder to see that my imperfections didn't make me a bad mother, simply a real one. Now I see that it is more important for my son to grow up around adults who are self-aware, who make mistakes, apologize, and try to do better, than for him to have a mother who is trying to be perfect and failing, and beating herself up for it. I'm breathing so much better in this new space where I am easing up on myself. My son--and everyone else around me--can only be the better for it.