Perhaps because raising a child is so all-encompassing and life-changing, the pressure to do it “perfectly” feels equally intense.
Being a mom is such an incredible experience. You simply cannot imagine what it will be like until you’ve lived it.
At times the rewards of being a mom can feel so much greater than expected, and other times, parenting can feel truly miserable.
Long story short: motherhood is a tremendous amount of work, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. And, being a mom can also be a truly beautiful and precious gift.
High Stakes, Serious Pressure
Society often paints us a picture of the ideal mom, and from whatever angle you look at it, it’s a doozy.
In some circles motherly perfection is a stay-at-home mom with a smile and a well-stocked pantry. In others, it’s a mom in a business suit, perfectly done up makeup, and a few impressive degrees. Yet other people might consider the “crunchy”, homesteading lady to be the best sort of mom.
Living up to a stereotype and being entirely respected by society as a mom is not only hard to achieve, but – really - it’s impossible.
Whatever choices you make regarding home, food, childcare, or career, you’re going to be flawed in someone’s eyes.
With the stakes being so high, and the pressure to succeed as a mom so real, it can be hard not to succumb to the myth that a) it’s possible to be a perfect mom and b) you should be a perfect mom.
The risk of believing the myth
If we believe that there is motherly perfection out there, we’re likely going to be searching for it, comparing ourselves to that unreachable ideal, and – potentially – ending up feeling inadequate, frustrated, and guilty.
As long as we see ourselves through a fantasy lens, we may struggle to enjoy the beauty of our role and of who we are. Yes, motherhood is beautiful, as well as an incredible challenge.
Therefore, perhaps we might start seeing ourselves through our own eyes, ladies. Through compassionate, realistic, down-to-earth eyes.
We’re not saying that we should just let it all go and become fire-breathing-dragon moms who spend every minute of our day yelling and carrying on, without the slightest bit of remorse. Honestly, not many moms would fit into that category, anyway.
We’re talking about using some of that compassion that we shower on our kids, family, friends, and coworkers each day to bless ourselves a little bit.
It’s okay to make that boxed macaroni and cheese sometimes. It’s okay to leave the floor covered in peas for a while. It’s alright to put off that zoo trip for another week.
It’s okay to be human.
It’s okay not to be a supermom.
Let’s enjoy the beauty of being a real mom: a mom that makes some mistakes, doesn’t cross off all the stuff on the list everyday, burns the toast now and again, doesn’t have all the answers but does have some regrets, and who knows that being perfectly imperfect is okay.
*Please note that none of the photographs in this post were taken by me, but were found on Pexels.com.