Mom translation: Don't beat yourself up over things.
I've been a Buddhist for more than a decade and meditated for thousands of hours, but I'm still a novice. Being a Zen student is a good way to be reminded that the journey is the goal.
And it's the same with being a parent. Of course we all want to be perfect. And we want our kids to be perfect too -- responsible, generous, polite, nice. However, it's a life's work to become a decent human being. Because our kids are constantly changing, we're always total beginners. We all need time to learn, make mistakes, and start over. But we live in an impatient world, and many of us -- women especially -- tend to beat ourselves up when we feel like we've fallen short.
So it's important to model patience. In our house, when Azalea makes a big mistake -- like biting me when she gets excited or throwing a plate in anger -- as much as I might have the urge to punish her, she usually gets a chance to "try again." We redo the scenario and allow her to get it right. (My husband and I do this with each other too, as in, "That was a horrible goodbye. Can we have a do-over?" It works wonders!)
If Azalea is totally unwilling to get dressed or sit down for breakfast, instead of getting irritated I try to take a deep breath and say, "Okay, come in when you're ready." Sometimes it takes several minutes for her to cooperate; other times, it's immediate.
Occasionally I'm really impatient and blow it. Then I get to model how I apologize. Being a good kid or a good parent doesn't happen overnight. We all need to be gentle with each other and ourselves, practicing patience. Again and again.