What is this obsession with being the ‘Perfect Mom,’ about? Where does it stem from? More importantly why do we try to live up to it? None of us are perfect, there was only one perfect person and that was Jesus Christ! So why is that so many moms feel the pressure to do it all and be all even when it is humanely impossible. It is a totally unrealistic expectation that we need to release if we hope to simply enjoy being a mom. I’m guilty of trying to do it all. Maybe it is my own single mom complex, but I do know that it is exhausting and completely unnecessary! Why? Because being a perfect mom doesn’t matter to our kids it only matters to us. Our kids just want a mom that loves them and is present. Anya will say to me, “you are the perfect mom,” and I’ll quickly tell her I am far from it, she’ll reply with,”don’t say that you are the perfect mom you are always there for me.” BINGO! I’m always there for her. It isn’t the parties, or the ironed uniforms, or the notes in the lunch box that make me perfect in her eyes it is the fact that she knows I’m present. My daughter knows hands down I am there for her always and to her that makes me perfect.
Our kids aren’t as shallow as society tends to be with their view on moms. Kids don’t expect you to do it all perfectly, they are okay with when you make a mistake, or you fail. Most kids will give you a pat on a back quicker than anyone else in your life will. Perfectionism is a waste of time. You can spend so much time trying to do everything perfectly that you lose sight of what really makes a home a home. It isn’t the spotless floors, the neatly made beds or anything else that we place so much emphasis on when we think of creating a home. Having a successful home means that it is a haven, a refuge for your family and a safe place to be their authentic self. It is where we can be our very imperfect selves and still be loved. We are full of beautiful flaws that make us real and make us who we are. When we strive to be perfect we can’t be fully present because being perfect takes endless amounts of energy (only to never to attain perfectionism) and we don’t have time to pay attention to the little things that mean the most to our kids, which is our love and attention.
Perfect moms don’t have as much fun as Present Moms. Present Moms take in the day as it comes, rolls with the punches with humor instead of stress, they hear the details of their kid’s day and don’t miss out on the important thing that happened in 3rd period, they take time to watch silly television shows snuggled on the couch with popcorn falling between the cushions, they let the laundry go for the day to make cookies and dry tears after a rough day, they simply are Present. Am I saying routines and having systems in place are useless? Absolutely not if they make your life easier and give you more time to be present, but remember that pretty much everything in life can wait, but don’t keep your kids waiting for you to be present with them. One day when they pack up their suitcases to leave your house and take that one last look at their home before they go spread their wings, do you think they’re going to remember how there were never dishes in the sink or dust on the shelves? No they are going to think about all the great memories they had with mom, all the talks, the tears, the laughs, the cuddles, and they will remember you being Present and because you were Present you are Perfect!