On Perfect

Being a mother is hard, really hard. Whether you’re a SAHM, a WAHM, or a working mom…it’s hard. You make sacrifices, you do your best, and every single day you battle the prescription of this “perfect mom” persona.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about perfect. I’m also tired of feeling guilty for not folding that pile of laundry, for not washing those dishes sitting in the sink, for not vacuuming during nap time and for not cooking some organic home-cooked meal that blows the socks off my family’s feet.

I’m tired of all the commercials of mom’s doing it all. Waking up at 4am to take kids to hockey practice, cooking them yummy delicious meals, living in a mess free house…ugh. It’s too much! I’d totally be the mom who accidentally slept through the alarm, or who burnt dinner because I was rushing to try and clean the warzone that is my living room.

But we keep striving to be the perfect mom, because we don’t want to let our kids down. We don’t want them to miss out on activities because we’re exhausted, we don’t want them to eat McDonalds for the third night in the row because we just don’t want to cook. We fear hearing “but so-and-so’s mom is sooo much cooler for this and that reason!”

A lot of my “mommy guilt” streams from the “perfect mom” persona I have. I’m stupid enough to think that I need to have it together all the time, so when I do have a meltdown or a freak out, I feel even worse because it shouldn’t have happened. I’m realizing this, and I’m trying to change this. I don’t want to feel defeated, to feel like a failure if I don’t get everything on my to-do list completed. I don’t want to be anxious and stressed out because I don’t feel that I’m doing a good job. I am. I may not be feeding my kid all organic foods – because frankly, we just can’t afford it – but I also don’t feed him crap all the time. I grew up on KD and hotdogs for lunch, I’m alright. We’re far from green – even though we try to be. I use Greenworks cleaning products and we recycle, but that’s about it I’m afraid.

I’m also tired of trying to connect with other moms who also have the “perfect” mindset. I don’t judge other moms for not being perfect, but unfortunately I’ve encountered quite a few moms who do judge, hell, I’ve encountered moms who even try to tell other moms how to parent. It’s not cool. I’m also tired of saying “Oh, I’m a SAHM” and then having that “Ooh…” *crickets* response. It doesn’t seem to matter what you do, if you’re a working mom you tend to get judged for “not being home with the kids”. If you’re a SAHM, you get judged for “not contributing to society”.

Honestly? I think we all need to go easier on each other. We all need to be more supportive, and less quick to judge. Sometimes, we have bad days. Sometimes, we don’t get shit right or shit done. Doesn’t make us horrible moms, it makes us human. Frankly, you’re doing it right if you love your child more than anything and you do everything to take care of them and provide a safe environment for them, so don’t sweat the rest. I know, it’s totally easier said than done. I’m an example of the “easier said than done”, because I still suffer from the “mommy guilt” for not being “perfect”.

Perfect is over-rated, and perfect is fake. Perfect would be washing those dishes in the sink instead of blogging. Perfect wouldn’t be taking a nap after hitting published, but Perfect would be cleaning the apartment and folding laundry. Perfect doesn’t look out for me, Perfect just stresses me out and leaves me feeling worn out at the end of the day.

Here are some good tips I heard on how to squash perfect:

  • Take “and” out of your vocabulary. Instead of saying “I need to do the laundry and the dishes”, say “I need to do the laundry or the dishes”. 
  • Make one day a week your “do nothing” day. And literally: do nothing. 
  • Spread the word to a stressed out mama-friend: it’s totally okay to leave clean clothes in a pile. They’re clean, right? Stop stressing and have a tea. 
  • Make “me time” to do whatever it is that you love to do. 
  • Remember that nobody is perfect, even the ones who pretend. It’s a mask, it’s a front. 
  • Remember that perfect is over-rated, anyway. I love my friends for their flaws, not their “perfection”.

Hopefully we can all squash the perfect, and eliminate some of that mommy guilt for good.

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About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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