Want to know a secret? Perfection is a myth.
If you suffer with letting go of the version of the perfection you believed your life was before you had kids, you really should let that go.
The truth is, your life wasn’t perfect before you had kids and it isn’t perfect now! But you made it work, didn’t you? And now that you have kids, you’ve added another dimension to your imperfect life, and while this dimension is no-doubt demanding, it can be a wonderful experience to raise kids.
Lots of times as moms we cause ourselves stress, depression and disappointment because we want everything to work perfectly, wish it was perfect (or use the word “better” if you want) and act as if we have no control over things and make ourselves go with the flow of whatever happens each day – while our ever growing to do list and disappointment in all that’s wrong takes an emotional toll on us.
But have you ever read the definitions of perfection? Here’s what I found:
- the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
- a person or thing perceived as the embodiment of perfection.
- the action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.
I like the last bullet point best because it’s about the process of improving something and with the demands of our lives, creating better ways to take control of our unique lives and responsibilities is just what we need – rather than strive to meet the unrealistic demands of some ideal of perfection we’ve all been taught to believe exists.
Yes, believe me I know how difficult the demands of child rearing can be while trying to maintaining your relationships, business life and keep your sanity intact – and there’s the whole spic and span, spotlessly clean house and perfect meals we have to put on the table. I mean let’s face it, you can have seven capable people living in your house but let someone stop by and anything is out of place – yes, you know who gets blamed for that!
But focusing on how to improve the process our of our lives, rather than all that you wish was different, is how you reach your own version of perfection in your life – one that is determined by your expectations, your values and ideals, and the circumstances and reality of your situation.
You will realize that you are not powerless! You have the power to and knowledge of how to embrace change despite all the changes that kids add to your life – even when that means a dream is placed on hold for a while, finding time to complete the degree you’ve always wanted seems unlikely to happen, and household responsibilities that like it or not, always seems to fall on you despite the century we live in.
It is within your power to make things better, make things work, even when your life balance gets upset and that embracing changes and making room for them will help you maintain better control of your life.
- You will realize that ALL areas of your life are important (not just the kids) and every part teaches you something. If it wasn’t important, then you wouldn’t be involved in it. So you learn balance.
- You make time to nurture the relationship with your husband because this relationship will change when kids arrive but it’s possible to still have a great, fun, loving partnership with him. What can you do to keep it alive and kicking? What can he do to help?
- You make time for your hobbies, your friends, groups and clubs you belong to, and your other relatives.
- You make the most of time with your “cubs” and you enjoy every minute of it, not because you have to do things with your kids, but because you want to. You’ll then see the quality of time you spend change and the quality of things you do together will be different and more special for everyone.
- It means we learn to prioritize things in our lives. Are you still trying to do everything? Look at housework for example. Can you cut back or hire some help once a week? Is it really that important to dust every day?
- Above all , you’ll understand that you must take care of yourself and nurture your soul – WITHOUT GUILT – because you are the one constant in all the situations above. You dismiss discouragement because that usually means you’re measuring yourself against that old standard of perfection. You ask for help when you need it because parenting is overwhelming despite the perfect visions of motherhood we’re forced to watch on television or sadly, others mothers around us who make sure we know they have it all together.
Large order to fill you say? Well, you’re already doing it each day, now you’re going to learn how to let go of the old outdated version of perfection and insert “your new perfection”, the new process for how to improve your current situation.
Yes, you must allow yourself time, because you wouldn’t believe how much we’ve bought into the whole perfection model. So give yourself that time and don’t let others influence you too much. You are capable of deciding how all the pieces of your pie fit together. In this day and age of making comparisons between ourselves and everyone else, you’re doing yourself a disservice to allow comparisons to tell you whether you are a good mother or not.
All my best to you with this new endeavor and stay the course. And I promise, once you give up on perfection and work instead on improving your life process, you’ll find that you no longer have a need for perfection. You’ll have a life that works best for you!
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