“I occasionally put my children to bed without reading them a story. Some days, all they ate was crap because I couldn’t muster the energy to cook from scratch. I lied to them on occasion to manipulate their behaviour for my benefit. I couldn’t control my temper when I was really tired and would raise my voice. My pushchair was facing the wrong way so my children couldn’t see me when I pushed them. There was an endless list of failings.”
– Quoted from Evidencebasedtitsandteeth
We have notions of the ‘perfect mother’ who is constantly making us feel guilty about the things we don’t do. Whose notion is it? Mostly ours, and partly the people we live around.
Sadly, sometimes these people are other women who’ve been through it all, yet must continue the myth of the ideal mother. I met some young mothers who have become great friends. I am amazed at the idea that all of us have forgotten that just one year ago, we were relatively carefree girls who didn’t care much about kids and their weight, their habits, their milestones, their hair growth. I want to tell them, because I see how amazingly they have taken to motherhood. How giving and how eager they are to do the right thing. We forget how big a leap this has been for us, and now is probably a good time to pat yourself on the back.
Trying to be a supermom maybe exhausting and unhealthy for your life outside of being a mom. There is no ideal. There is only you. So give yourself some credit and give yourself some breathing space to not be perfect all the time. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it because it will teach your children to be more human. To accept that perfection cannot be delivered on a platter, that we are all human striving to make it work a day at a time to the best of our abilities.
So smile the next time you are surrounded by inexplicable mess. Because it’s okay sometimes, in fact it’s even fun. By taking the pressure off yourself, you are taking the pressure off your children – thus giving them credit and space to make choices of their own, mistakes of their own, and a mess of their own – but still turn out just fine.