How To Be the Perfect Mother

ScanI gotcha with the title didn’t I? Well, of course it is a bit misleading because we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. However, I feel that in society today, where mothers are so brutally hard on themselves, moms need to realize a crucial component to feeling good about themselves as mothers.  The focus needs to be taken off of striving to be a perfect mom. She does not exist. But mothers need to shift their focus to this idea:

You are intrinsically the perfect person to mother your child/ren.  Trust yourself and truly believe that you are the EXACT person your child needs to call “Mom.”

I am not big fan of the word perfect. In fact, it kind of scares me. Because I struggle with perfectionism, I usually shy away from using the word.  But over the years, I  found myself watching “perfect” moms around me. Moms who dressed their kids perfectly (how dare any kid have matching socks every day!), kept their houses in perfect order, and kept themselves impeccably dressed, and in perfect shape, with their nails done, skin glowing and hair shining—AND their kids were perfect too!

I now realize that I was doing that hazardous thing that so many of us women do because we are gluttons for punishment as we continue to compare our imperfect selves with the “perfect” mothers around us. “You are measuring your insides to someone else’s outsides,” a friend of mine said to me when I put myself down in relation to another mom. Even when a mom looks “perfect” on the outside, unless we really get to know her, we have no idea what her real, imperfect self looks or feels like. On the flip side,  some moms are quick to elevate themselves and pass harsh judgments on other moms. “Sally’s son is  really messed up.  Sally must be doing a terrible job mothering him. What’s wrong with her?”

There may be nothing wrong with Sally, or Sally may be battling depression or trying to get out of a toxic relationship with her spouse. Where is the compassion? Remind yourself that Sally is the perfect mother for her child. (And if you are concerned about Sally’s well-being, then reach out to her.) In an effort to find our sweet spot as a mother and as a supporter of other mothers, it is essential to turn judgment into compassion, toward yourself and toward the mothers in your life.

On the days when you feel like you have absolutely no idea what you are doing with your child, cannot seem to figure out a way to MAKE HER LISTEN, feel upset and frustrated with yourself and your child, and then (of course!) you look around and convince yourself that every other mom knows exactly what she is doing with her child/ren, remind yourself:

You are indeed the right person for the job because…

There is no other person in the world who:

  • loves your child the way you do.
  • understands your child the way you do.
  • feels your child’s pain like you do.
  • would die for your child like you would.
  • becomes filled with nearly-lethal rage the way you do when someone wrongs your child.
  • would allow her buttons to be repeatedly pushed by your child the way you do.
  • loves and accepts your child without conditions like you do.

You truly are the perfect mother for your child.

Comments

  1. Measuring our insides to others’ outsides – what a powerful truth. When I start to fret about “perfect” I remind myself that I love a flawed mother and my kids can too: http://wp.me/s224EV-perfect

  2. Nobody could have said this better. And loved the teasing headline!

  3. Thank you, Nina :)!

  4. Daisy Pellant says:

    Important reminder, Julie, and well stated! – An attitude of compassion toward fellow mothers also combats this perfectionism. This month, I assigned The Continuum Concept (Jean Liedloff) to my Parent Book Club. Great book to support our intuition as a parent and recognize the expertise of our baby/child to know what they need and to communicate this to us.

  5. I agree with everything you said in this post. Trying to be the “perfect” mom, believing that such a mom exists, has caused me much angst over the years. Thank you for writing this. xoxo

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