This is one of the hardest things for me as a parent.
Yes, we need to have goals, expectations, aspirations for ourselves and our children. We expect ourselves to be compassionate and clear, we expect them to be polite and reasonable. And we need to know that these goals, expectations, and aspirations won't necessarily be reached. I'll be cranky and self-absorbed sometimes. They will be rude.
My intent to be compassionate is a guide that leads me through the cracks even though I am sometimes less-than-compassionate. My goal to have a strong connection with my child guides me, even, especially when our actual connection feels a bit weak. And my goal to raise loving and strong children guides me, even in those (inevitable) moments when they are not acting loving or strong.
As a mom (to 2 teenage sons), wife, and person in the world, I have been on a long imperfect journey. I have made many mistakes, but with mindfulness, emotional reflection, and lots of support I have learned enormously from those mistakes.