Moms Struggle for Perfection
by Sue Dickinson
you ever lose your temper with your kids and
feel like a terrible mom afterwards? Have you
cheated with a chocolate donut and felt like
you may as well quit your diet altogether? How
many times in one day do you tell yourself you
could have done something better?
importantly, how many times have you congratulated
yourself for doing well? If you are like most
women, not often. Few of us ever feel that we
are doing enough.
Fields is renowned for her maxim, "Good
enough never is." Now, I love Mrs. Field's
cookies, but this comment should never be applied
to motherhood. All it does is contribute to
every woman's feelings of guilt. Is there any
woman who can truly achieve perfection?
- and especially moms - are easily trapped by
the perfection mentality. After all, a mom is
an amazing creature! We have been made to be
able to survive on minimal sleep; create meals
from a cup of macaroni and tomato paste; coordinate
the entire family's work, school and sporting
activities; kiss every boo-boo; listen to every
heartache; celebrate every victory; and keep
everyone in clean socks and underwear (whether
or not the rest of the clothing is clean is
we do our best!
then we raise the bar, telling ourselves that
we could do better, that good enough never is.
you always secretly wanted to try a marathon,
but were scared you'd end up at the back of
the pack? And since you couldn't be the best
at it, you decided it wasn't worth it to do
it at all?
you been given an opportunity at work, and instead
of the surge of pride you knew you deserved
to feel, you felt nothing but fear that you
wouldn't be able to do it right?
the years, I've faced many terrifying events.
But probably the most petrifying was my fear
of becoming a parent. To be responsible for
a young life - to be the one accountable for
whether they grow to be a delinquent or a darling
- that's a lot of pressure!
parenting isn't a job we can give up on, even
if we are afraid. Somehow, we have to find the
courage to jump in and do our best, even if
it isn't perfect.
really, what about parenting is perfect? It
starts with a painful delivery and moves into
months of spitting up, pooping, ear infections
and crying. We then get to move into the terrible
twos, the independent fours, and the rebellious
teens. We get blamed for forgetting show and
tell, putting "healthy food" in the
lunchboxes and talking to our ten-year-old in
front of her friends.
we muddle through, loving our kids and hoping
that somehow, despite our fears, that our kids
will grow to know that we love them and want
what's best for them. Hoping that even if now
and then we yell too much; even if we ignore
our kids for a half hour to watch a clandestine
episode of "Friends"; even
if we secretly eat the last of the ice cream
and blame it on their dad, that they'll turn
out okay anyway.
never forget the advice a friend of mine gave
me before my son Douglas was born. I was terrified
over the responsibility of caring for a defenseless
baby. Finally, I broke down and admitted to
her that I was scared. "That's okay,"
she replied. "You can be scared. Just
do it scared."
a liberating statement! Just like the Nike commercial,
I didn't have to wait for perfection. I didn't
have to wait until the time was exactly right
and I was totally ready mentally to be a mom.
I could do it now - scared - and just do the
best that I could.
true that we have the responsibility to do our
best. And when it comes to our kids, most mothers
desire more anything to excel as parents. But
isn't it refreshing to know that we don't have
to be perfect? That we can do it scared? That
sometimes, good enough really is good enough?
Dickinson is the author of "What's
a Mom to Do? Overcoming the Urge to Put Your
Life on Hold" and the creator of www.UnlimitedMom.com,
designed to celebrate the many facets of Mom.
Because when you recognize them all, your possibilities
are unlimited! Visit http://www.unlimitedmom.com/whats-a-mom-to-do-book-by-sue-dickinson.php