Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Striving For Perfection

If you had asked me last week if I thought it was possible I could be a perfect mother, I would have said no. I've always known that I am an imperfect person and when I stumble in other areas of my life, I try my best to quickly pick myself up and learn from my mistakes. What I didn't realize is that when it came to being a mother, I was trying to be absolutely perfect and getting disappointed in myself when I failed to measure up to the impossibly high standards I set for myself.

I created my definition of the perfect mother and I tried to be her every single day. To make sure my baby is happy and healthy 100% of the time. That she's eating all the right foods and the right amounts every day. That every product we use is organic and natural. To make sure she never feels overtired, she's never in pain or discomfort. Making sure I hold her enough, that she gets the right amount of independent time on the floor to crawl around and get into mischief, while also getting down on the floor with her and playing peekaboo, singing songs and showing her how to build towers from blocks. My definition of the perfect mother is one who is confident and relaxed, she follows her motherly instincts above all else, yet I was second guessing myself and worrying at every turn. My definition of the perfect mother is a woman who, in addition to nurturing her children, also nurtures her own passions and dreams so she can set an example of a strong woman who goes after what she believes in... but I was wasting so much time researching other people's definitions of the perfect mother that I had no time left for anything but my own sleep. 

I think it's great to strive to be perfect. (No one really shoots for mediocrity) but I also need to accept that there will be days when I'm closer to my definition of perfection than others. And I need to be okay with that. I feel the weight of my influence on her life every hour of every day and it's an incredible responsibility to raise this little girl. She is learning so rapidly, right before my eyes! She's growing so fast and just starting to venture out into the world and explore. I want her to know that her Mama is always available to comfort her while when she needs me while also encouraging her to be bold and independent. It's a fine balance and there will be days where I feel like I did my job right but there will be days where I feel like I didn't read to her enough, like I didn't play with her enough, she didn't eat enough solids, she didn't sleep enough. Every day is different and brings new challenges and successes. I need to learn to just be in the moment and not worry so much.

I love new beginnings. Since this is the beginning of a new year, I am trying to turn over a new leaf. I suppose I'm making a resolution. I'm going to focus on following my instincts instead of what the "experts" say, I'm going to read her cues instead of trying to force her into a schedule that doesn't suit her. I'm going to accept that bad days are a part of life and I can only do my best. Basically, I'm going to focus on going back to the way I used to be when I started out as a Mother, before I let my late night research get the better of me. Yesterday, I found my magic moment - the moment I was able to take control and change what was bothering me and I haven't looked back. I truly believe every day has those magic moments... it's just a matter of looking for them and capturing them when they arrive!
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