As a counselor, I have seen many parents trying to become the Perfect Mom. While their intentions are noble, the outcome is usually miserable for themselves and their families. Here are 3 big fat lies of trying to be the Perfect Mom.
Lie #1: I really can be the Perfect Mom
We have all heard the old adage that “Nobody is perfect.” And while we know in our mind that we cannot be perfect, sometimes our hearts still chase after this need to be the Perfect Mom. We find those other Moms that seem to have it all together and may begin to second-guess our own appearance or even our parenting decisions.
Yet, have you ever stopped to think what it really means to be the Perfect Mom? What does she look like? How does she act? What parenting books does she read and follow? Ironically, there is no single answer to these questions. Rather, they are diverse and numbered as there are mothers. While I may meet my definition for the Perfect Mom, I will often fail to meet others’ definitions.
Lie #2: My family needs me to be the Perfect Mom
Sometimes as Moms, we can convince ourselves that our family needs us to be the Perfect Mom. We need to dress better than we can afford, cook the healthiest meals from scratch and never lose our cool with parenting. Our home must be very neat and tidy, toys are in their proper place and laundry is neatly folded and ironed. For if we fail to keep all these plates spinning, life will come shattering down on us.
How stressful! I can think of a lot better things that I want to be remembered for than a clean house and ironed boxers. Like taking the time to play blocks on the floor while the laundry is overflowing on the couch. Or our house is cleaned “good enough” rather being perfect. Think back to your own childhood, what were the fondest memories you have? More often than not, I’d bet the involved interacting with your family rather than worrying about how many dishes were left in the kitchen sink.
Lie # 3: If I am the Perfect Mom, my children will grow up to be perfect people
Walk into any bookstore and browse the parenting section. You are likely to be bombarded with different opinions on parenting styles, remedies for common behavioral issues and many how-to’s on maintaining a healthy parent child relationship. But read the fine print and you will notice one thing is probably going to be missing: the money back guarantee. Why? Because there usually isn’t one.
s a counselor, I am grateful there are a lot of resources available to moms today. And as Mom, I have read and recommended quite a few of them. Yet, as moms we can aspire to influence our children, but we cannot live their lives for them. As they become adults, they will make their own choices just as we have done with our parents. We can offer unconditional love; instill in them a healthy sense of self and moral compass. We can lay down the groundwork of premises, but they get to choose their own practical application and implementation. What a relief to know that I do not need to live their lives for them, but can serve as a listening ear and positive sounding board for their future decisions.