Just kidding. I hope you didn’t throw up in your mouth after reading the title and seeing the picture of our well-behaved, smiling kids (who were throwing fits and pouting moments earlier).
I bet you clicked on this because you want to entertain yourself with a ridiculous, self-righteous post. Or you want tips on how to become a perfect mom yourself. (I have zero tips.)
The “perfect mom.” It has a nice ring to it. After all, who doesn’t want to be perfect? Especially for our children whom we love most in the world.
But the mindset and desire for perfection in terms of motherhood is not only unattainable, it’s damaging. If you are a mom and you think you’re perfect, you’re either crazy or delusional. Or both. And you probably don’t have many friends, no offense.
As a mom, I’ve noticed a common conviction that we moms share: we think other moms are doing much better than we are.
We feel far from perfect, but we strive for perfection nonetheless. Because the weight of motherhood is heavy. And the outcome of our kids is of utmost concern. We don’t want to fail them. We want to set them up for success. Can we control everything? No. And most of us know that (and try to accept it). But the small amount we can control, we want that part to be perfect.
And that is why motherhood is a burdensome blessing.
When we scream at the top of our lungs because our kids didn’t listen to the three sane versions we presented moments before, we shutter to think what the neighbors might have heard. They must think I’m a mean mom.
When you just can’t figure out what to make for dinner and you feed them something frozen and filled with preservatives, you imagine the homemade, nutritious meals other kids are surely eating at that very moment. I’m a lazy mom.
You think of their activities and compare your schedule to others. You wonder if other kids will have more opportunities for success because they have been involved in more sports, music, and camps. I’m doing a terrible job.
Why are we all participating in this silent competition against each other and ourselves? (I am so guilty of this myself.)
And this is not another pat yourself on the back just for being a mom post. I have seen a lot of that floating around. The reality is, we can always grow and do better in every aspect of our lives. Listen to your inner voice telling you that something you’re doing is unacceptable and needs improvement. Just make sure to look for (and listen to) the positive feedback too. The problem is we don’t give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and we’re quick to assume the worst.
We should all reflect and strive for the best version of ourselves. And that’s just it. No two people will do it the same. One will make slam-dunks where others will face plant. We might do one thing nearly perfect, but certainly not everything. We can’t compare our failure to another’s success.
And let’s face it, being a mom in today’s high-pressure society takes a toll. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Let’s get together as parents and make parenthood a bit easier. Agree on not getting cell phones until a certain age as a group of parents. Give permission to be honest about each other’s kids. “Hey friend, your daughter laughed at something she shouldn’t have when you weren’t around and I thought you would want to know.”
Why, yes, I do want to know. Because if we really are concerned about our kids, then there’s no room for pride or defensiveness. Or the pursuit of perfection.
It takes a village, remember? To love our kids, to discipline them, to be an example to them. Let’s rally together as parents. Let’s focus less on being perfect and more on raising good and decent humans. Let’s put our small slivers of (almost) perfection together to help our kids collectively. Because like in marriage, when adults unite, the results are always better.