When My Friend Taught Me I Don’t Need To Be A Perfect Mom All The Time

Posted: August 20, 2018

Are you constantly feeling the need to be perfect? Do you find yourself stretching all the time? Stop: You need to read this. 

I have always thought that I am a calm and fairly placid person until I became a mother. Motherhood has made me realise that I fare poorly when it comes to being patient or even calm when my home constantly looks like it has been hit by a tornado all the time.

I have realised that I can actually scream at a cute looking little baby and interestingly, also be manipulated by the way she melts my heart. Motherhood is a constant roller coaster ride where a woman goes from achingly heart-melting and loving emotions to the very extreme of being tested for patience. This added with the need to keep calm, look presentable, manage the house and also keep a steady face at work is something that is hard to perfect.

Then there are those moments when you feel that you really need to complete that painting, finish reading that book or catch up on yourself. I seemed to be stretching myself in all directions and still not getting anywhere. I wanted to perfect the art of being everything.

One day when I was enjoying my much needed me-time with a friend at her home, she asked me conversationally – ‘But why do you want to perfect being everything? You are doing your best, is not that enough?’

She then told me her story. As a youngster she has always looked for approval. Maybe it was her strict upbringing or whatever, she always doubted herself unless people told her otherwise. She grew up like that always looking for approval even when her heart said that what she has to offer is good enough.

I remember one day, when we were invited over for dinner at her place and she had made home-made pizza for the children. It was the healthiest and most flavourful pizza that I had ever tasted. One of the guests did not like jalapenos and respectfully removed those from her slices. No offence intended! This led her to believe that she was not good enough. She failed to see what she was worth because someone was allergic to jalapenos. This was ridiculous!

She went on through most of her adult life like this and one say she found that she was stretching herself all over far too much. In the process of perfecting her act as an artist, a mother, a wife, a cook, a teacher, and whatever other role that she had played she was stressing herself out too much. Her mind since it was tuned to look for approval constantly judged her to the point when she actually could not take it anymore. This led to a depression and the wise realisation that it is not necessary to perfect the act of whatever you do.  Do the best that you can and then let go!

Sometimes in life it is important to accept the mess, she told me. Some mess are meant to be lived in.

After her realisation, one day she looked at her house. Her three children were playing football inside the house while her precious Ming vase that stood in the countertop looked seriously threatened. There was water on the floor because one child had dropped a glass of water. Her husband interestingly was playing the goal keeper standing by the sofa! All of them were cheering and radiating happiness. Their happiness proved that she provided them a comfortable home where they can be themselves without fear. Yes, the lessons on cleanliness can wait. The dishes in the sink can wait. But this moment should not be interrupted. Her thoughts were broken when her eldest child said ‘Momma Catch! and threw the ball towards her. Her youngest baby however came over and held the Ming vase saying – ‘No, wait this is momma’s favourite vase.’ She looked at her youngest with a surprised appreciation while catching the ball and throwing it back.

Sometimes we need to loosen the reins not only on others but also on ourselves. It is not wise to constantly worry about the house that is not clean. There are children, it is natural there will be a mess sometimes. Do not be so worked out on deadlines, manage them when you can and if you cannot, explain, she told me. I am sure your boss would understand.

Lastly do not stretch yourself all over. You are doing the best that you can and that is enough. Perfection is something that is unattainable because there will always be someone better than you. Love yourself the way you are and hold your head high because you are you.

Image via Pixabay

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