Ever since I first became a mom, I have constantly dealt with (consciously and subconsciously) pressure to be the “perfect” mother.
Today’s society seemingly holds us at unreal standards and the parenting world can be both cutthroat and hostile. I mean, there’s a debate about pretty much EVERYTHING that we do… Fertility Treatments or Natural Conception. Perinatal Testing or No Testing At All. Sonograms or No Sonograms. Gender Reveal or Surprised at Birth. Pregnancy Announcing or Privacy Only. C-Section or Vaginal Birth. Home Birth or Hospital Birth. Pain Meds or All-Natural Delivery. Mid-wife or Conventional Obstetrician. Surrogacy or Carrying Your Own Child. No Children if Unable to Carry or Adoption. Circumcision or Uncut. Breastfed or Formula-fed. Single Parenting or Couple Parenting. Gay Parents or Straight Parents. Stay-at-home Mom or Working Mom. Co-sleeping or Alone in Crib. Spanking or No Spanking. Sleep Training or Cry-it-Out Method. Pre-school or Home-schooling. Organic Food or Not Organic Food. Vaccines or No Vaccines. Fast-food or No Fast-Food. Sleep Overs or No Sleep Overs. Public School or Private School. Candy or No Candy. And the lists continues…
Then, additionally nipping at our heels, can be the misunderstanding from family or friends who don’t practice the ideal that is “EVERY PARENTING STYLE AND CHILD DIFFERS”. Furthermore, you add on the 50 lb. backpack of pure judgement from other parents or even audacious non-parents, coupled with the ridicule that some cold-hearted pediatricians spew from their mouths. All of it can collectively create a very heavy strain on any mother’s wellness.
HOWEVER, one day in the shower (this is where most of my epiphanies occur), I mentally came to a turning point in my motherhood journey – which was the harsh reality of that idealized “perfect mother” conception — it doesn’t actually make me a better mother, but rather only takes away from the overall joy that comes along with being a mother!
And what’s even more sad about this, is that I think most of us (already outstanding) mothers feel that pressure on a daily basis. It sneaks its’ way in to and through the everyday trials and triumphs of watching our children grow and learn, and even in to the growing journey of ourselves within it all!
I mean, we can read all of the self-help parenting tool books that exist, but the truth is that there is no PERFECT mother!
WHAT THERE SURELY IS THOUGH:
There is the mother who SHOWS UP, who offers unconditional support, and shows unconditional love. Who instinctively knows and DOES exactly what their children need of them. I’m talking about the things that you can’t read in a self-help book, find throughout an online mom forum, or even be “instructed” by a pediatrician! The stuff that God instills within you, the magic that was given to you when He decided to bless you with the miracle that is children altogether. You were chosen to be a mother.
So I think its time for us (I know it definitely is for me), to release the chains that the “perfection pressure” has had on us and our mental/overall wellbeing. Instead of trying to be a perfect mother or better-than mother, or having all the right answers, or overcoming the shocking actions of our children sometimes – lets just focus on being the parents that our kids NEED US TO BE.
Every child’s needs will differ, but that’s part of the journey and fun of the wild ride, am I right?! Who’s in this with me?! Let’s banish the pursuit of perfection and just be free to be fully present and loving! For that is what creates happy children.
*side-note: please don’t be judgmental, I’m not saying that just being present and loving is all that it takes to raise good kids, I’m not telling you how to be your child’s mother.. I’m simply raising the awareness that you DON’T need to feel the pressure of being “perfect”. My offering is the idea of listening and observing what our children’s behaviors tell of behind the scenes.. because THAT is a fruitful pursuit.
Aside from my freeing ideology here, I also want to, in celebration of Mother’s Day, give a shout-out to the most hardworking mothers that I’ve ever met. Those two being my own mom, and my mother-in-law; I Love You both so much, and want to thank you for allowing me to be the mother that I was uniquely destined to be.
& HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL OF YOU TOO/
Sending love to all you mamas out there!
P.S. I get frequently asked about my favorite motherhood and/or child-related products. FINALLY, you can CLICK HERE to find my essentials!