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!

7 comments:

  1. I try to avoid perfectionism, but it's hard not to be one "secretly". As in, I feel guilty if I think I'm less than perfect for AJ, even though I know I can't be perfect (and neither can she). Then there's other ways to be a perfectionist as you say: feeling like one has to have some exciting identity outside of motherhood as well. (I think it is important to have an identity outside of motherhood, but it should add to life, not to stress). Anyway, I totally agree about living in the moment....I think parenthood is a constant (positive) challenge to live in the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always found it difficult to live in the moment. Hopefully that's something I can improve on

      Delete
  2. Exactly! I struggled with this big time, and I still do to an extent. Trying to be perfect is exhausting, and confusing because so many opinions are contradictory. I read about a term coined by a mother, called 'the good enough mother'. I forget her name. It was basically about trusting yourself and being your best, while knowing you might not always be "perfect". Once I heard about that I started to relax a little, and rely more on my own judgement and feelings.

    You are doing fantastic! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sis! Hopefully I'm able to be happy knowing that I'm a good enough Mom and really internalizing that perfection is impossible. I have felt a lot better since I wrote this though, so I'm off to a good start!

      Delete
  3. So, this may sound really weird, but I actually think I'm a good mother... and then I stop and think wait, no, you could be doing more... more stimulating play, more interaction, more learning... but no! I think key to being a great mom is to truly LOVE your children. The rest just stems from that. And I think that's where some of my confidence and security in that role comes from - I am so certain of my pure love for her that I know I won't fail. It's obvious that you're doing great and that Paloma is thriving. Sure, we will all make mistakes because we are all human, but the foundation of love you've built is strong enough to survive those tiny detours.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Trying to be a perfect mama is something I'm going to struggle with as well. Great post! Being in the moment is so hard but so crucial to our happiness. Love this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gah! I just wrote out a comment, only to have it disappear. I hate it when that happens! Basically, you are the BEST mom for your little girl. We all think we should be able to do better, but at the end of the day, as long as they know they are loved, that's all that matters. Now, I just hope I don't screw them up! Lol

    ReplyDelete

 
Blogger Template By Designer Blogs