With so many images flashing across our faces, it’s easy to feel that perfect is attainable. It is not. Perfect is boring. Perfect isn’t real. We want moms to know that it’s okay to do the best you can and be who you are.
In this post, Legit Moms-Tawnya and Jessica-answer questions about being perfect moms.
What makes you feel pressured to be perfect?
I feel pressure from seeing other people’s photos online. I think the perfect images they are portraying are their whole lives. I forget there’s so much more than a perfect looking picture.
Also, just internally, I feel the need to do it all for everyone. I want to give everything to my daughter and husband, and everything to my work and my friends. I want to be the best in everywhere and it really is too much.
I feel pressured when I see other little kids who are well behaved and moms that seem to have it all together. The moms look well dressed, calm, and happy. Their kids are sweet, calm and clean. And then I look at my kid who’s wearing his favorite orange shirt for the third time this week and is throwing a tantrum in middle of Target because I won’t buy him another nerf gun. Meanwhile, I’m in my yoga pants that have a hole where my thighs rub with messy hair and no make-up. All I want to do is get the cheese and milk that I forgot at my last Target visit yesterday. This is when I feel the most pressure and doubt about being a mom. I feel like I’m obviously not doing enough, disciplining enough, getting up early enough to shower, being organized enough so I don’t forget items at the grocery store, or preparing enough. Not enough.
What has helped you relieve the pressure of perfection?
I need to remind myself that pictures are just one moment in time. Everyone feels and goes through hard things. Also I stopped caring what everyone else was doing. I use my own analysis to decide if I’ve done the best I can in the moment and I step back to see if I feel satisfied. If the job is done right and done well, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
I take a deep breath, grab my boy’s hand, and I tell myself I wake up every day and do my best. Some days my best is way better than it was yesterday. I accept that some days my best is getting through the Target trip without screaming at the top of my lungs. And that’s okay.
What advice can you give other moms so they don’t feel such pressure to be perfect?
Some days you’ll be the mom I envy. Yes, you. Some days I’ll be the mom giving the “I get it” look to the mom that’s trying to get their kicking and screaming kid off the ground. No mom is perfect. If you get up every day and try, you’re a great mom. Don’t try to be perfect. Just love your kids. Every day. Take a deep breath, shrug and smile. Just know that today may not be your day and that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Write about it. Sing a song at the top of your lungs. Go take a hot bath. Or lock yourself in the bathroom. Whatever you have time for before the next “mom emergency” happens. Carve out a minute or thirty minutes to reflect, breath and forgive yourself.
That perfect mom you idolize or feel guilty about not being was just at Target yesterday in her pajamas with her kid laying on the ground demanding cheetos. I know because I was there forgetting to buy cheese and milk.
You do the best you can with what you’ve got. Don’t compare yourself to others. If something or someone is making you feel less than (even if it’s because of your own feelings) block them out for a while. Social media can help people interact, but if staring into someone else’s life makes you feel shittty then stop looking.
And, kids don’t want you to be perfect, they just want you to be you.
Something I’ve heard and read is to keep a gratitude journal. A place where you write down at least three things you are grateful for each night. That sounds like a wonderful idea, but I’ve never consistently done it. Some nights even thinking about three things is too difficult. So, how about this. A one page gratitude journal. One sheet that lists all that you are grateful for. You can read it each night, add to it when something new comes up, even take a photo of it and read it from your phone. In all likelihood, you are grateful for the same things most everyday, so why give yourself another task to complete or fail to complete.
Use any blank sheet of paper or enter your email to print the download for a fancy gratitude one page journal.