I recently saw a quote saying “The goal is progress, not perfection” and it resonated so much with me. None of us are or ever will be perfect. Trying to live up to that goal will only cause us grief and frustration.
I want you to say this out loud:
I do not expect to be a perfect mother for my son.
This is one of those affirmations that we may need to “fake it until we make it”, because it can be difficult to change our mindset overnight.
It’s a vicious cycle:
You see posts of mothers who seem like they have it all together and are happy and perfect. You start feeling guilty for not being as good a mom as them, so you try harder and push yourself even more. But then you feel worse, because you can’t do what they do so easily, and everything becomes more stressful than ever before.
Here’s the thing that we’re not often told upfront:
Motherhood is not a perfect job.
It’s messy, it’s hard, and it’s always changing. It’s not about being perfect, but about doing the best you can.
And you are the mom your son needs right now in this moment.
(Also, you don’t know how many takes those moms had to go through to get that image you saw online. Believe me, I’ve been there!)
Definitely not the perfect mother, but focused on progress
Here are 10 ways to let go of perfectionism and enjoy motherhood more:
1) Cut yourself some slack. Parenting is about your children – not you. Having them see that it’s okay to make mistakes, learn and grow from them is a valuable life lesson.
2) Be flexible with your schedule. Things will come up and you’ll need to shift and change.
3) Accept that things will get messy. Enjoy that mess, remember to laugh, and truly enjoy the moments as they happen.
4) Remember you’re doing the best you can.
5) Don’t compare yourself with others. You’re only seeing part of their journey in a small snippet of time.
6) Have realistic expectations for your child’s behavior. Do you remember some of the things you got into as a teenager? Now think about how much more access our sons have today. Things will happen, but laying a foundation where they feel comfortable coming to you or someone else in their support system makes a difference.
7) Do something nice for yourself every day. You deserve it.
8 ) Find time for self-care every day (even if it’s just 5 minutes).
9) Remember that motherhood takes a lot of hard work – it’s not just hard for you.
10) Practice mindfulness.
The Benefits of Being a Less Than Perfect Mother
Being a less than perfect parent is okay. It’s okay, because you are not alone, and there are many people in the same boat as you.
It is important to remember that parenting is a lifelong journey, and it doesn’t matter if your son is perfect or not. Being a less than perfect mom can be rewarding and fulfilling, so try to let go of the idea that being “perfect” will make you happy.