Learning to Let Go of the Idea of Being the “Perfect Mom”

Why are moms so hard on themselves? You work hard to make sure that your children are afforded the happiest and healthiest life possible, yet somehow you’re never satisfied with your efforts and accomplishments. You’re constantly striving to do more, to live up to unrealistic expectations, and to emulate perfection in the eyes of others. 

Mum label Photo by The HK Photo Company on Unsplash

This inner desire to be the “perfect mom”, however, drudges up this negative inner voice that says you’re not good enough or that you’ll never succeed. As this inner voice gets stronger, your self-confidence goes out the window, and your mental and physical well-being becomes compromised. 

Let’s Face It. Perfect Parents Don’t Exist 
Sure, being the best version of yourself for your family is something to strive for. What must be realized, however, is that there is no such thing as a “perfect mom”. As a parent, you will always make mistakes. There will always be something you could have or should have done but didn’t. 

When you spend so much time criticizing yourself for everything you’ve done “wrong” you miss out on all the things you got right and the significant role you play in the lives of your children. Eventually, you chip away at the beauty in the woman you are and lessen your ability to be the mother your children need.

Ways to Let Go
So, how do you get rid of those negative voices in your head? How do you stop trying to do everything perfectly and simply accept, appreciate, and enjoy who you are and all that you do? Listed below are some very effective methods of letting go:

Think of Your Children
Every time you try to strive for perfection, think of your children. Think about the example you’re setting for them. Think about how your actions show your children that no matter how hard they try, they will never be good enough. Whether you’re aware of this or not, your children are watching you. 

You are their first example of what it means to be an adult and how to navigate life. So, think about what your children are learning from you always pushing yourself to the max even at times you shouldn’t. Or when you do your absolute best, but become frustrated with the results. Think about how your habit of picking yourself apart will not only lessen your self-esteem but set the foundation for your children to have little belief in themselves. 

Put Yourself First
Moms tend to sacrifice their own mental and physical needs for the sake of their children. When you develop this habit, however, eventually, you become rundown, emotionally overwhelmed, resentful, and lost. Not to mention, you become less and less capable of doing what is necessary to raise your children properly. Then, because you’re not at your best, you beat yourself up and pack on more responsibilities, only to be disappointed when you don’t succeed. 

Break this vicious cycle of perfection by learning how to take care of you first. This means making sure that you’re eating a nutritious diet every day, getting enough physical activity into your day, doing things separate from your children that make you smile, and knowing how to cope when things get out of hand. 

salad.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

You can try things like meal prep and planning to save time while improving your diet, taking an exercise class once a week or joining a gym to get your physical fitness up, hanging out with friends or treating yourself to lunch to boost your mood, or soaking in a bath of Epsom salt and CBD oil to relax the tenseness in your mind and body after a stressful day. These practices improve your physical and mental well-being allowing you to be the best person possible for your children. 

Stop Comparing Yourself
“I only wish my children were as well-behaved as my sister’s children are.” “Why can’t I be as great a cook as my mother was?” “I’ll never be able to raise 3 kids, run a successful business, and look as flawless as Beyonce does.” From the women you know personally to those you see on social media and television, you are constantly looking at the lives of others to determine what perfection should look like. 

The problem with this is, there’s so much about these women that you don’t know. You believe them to be perfect but have no idea of the many pressures they’re under, mistakes they’ve made, or burdens they’ve had to bear to get where they are today. 

Sure, your sister’s kids might be well-behaved in public, but at home, they might be complete terrors. Maybe your mom is an excellent cook, but perhaps she had time to hone in on her craft because she stayed at home and didn’t work. Beyonce looks to be the picture-perfect mom and businesswoman, but chances are she has a large support system (from personal assistants to family members) to help her juggle her tasks. 

Being the perfect mom doesn’t exist. No one woman on this planet has mastered the role of motherhood to the point that she no longer makes mistakes, never needs help, and never breaks a sweat. The sooner you realize this, the sooner the tremendous weight is lifted from your shoulders allowing you to appreciate and continue being the best mom possible. 

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