Pressure is part of parenting. And the quest to be the perfect parent can sometimes be debilitating. If you’ve had a rough day (okay, month), and you’re pretty sure you’re screwing everyone up, then take a guilt-free break and read this.
The Quest for Perfection
Parenting is hard. It’s fast-paced. It’s uncontrollable. And it brings out every emotion under the sun, often in one single day. But mums, let me tell you something, we are TOO hard on ourselves. We really are.
Mums feel guilt about pretty much everything. Breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, co-sleeping, sleep training, working, not working – you name it. There’s enough pressure in society to make us assume we’re doing the wrong thing.
What if we stopped thinking about what other people think, about what studies suggest and about what parents around us are doing? What if we just did what we do best- raise our children in a way that feels right to us?
Because life is not always perfect. And here are seven perfectly valid reasons why:
1. Because sh*t happens.
You’ve got your day planned to perfection. Then your youngest wakes up two hours earlier than normal and requires a nap at the exact same time you’ve planned a play date. Or your stupid car gets a stupid flat tyre. Or your oldest falls off his bike and ends up in hospital getting stitches. Even the best laid plans are destined to fail on some days. And that’s perfectly okay.
2. Because balancing life and kids is seriously hard work.
I struggle pretty much every single day. Work, school, daycare, meals, exercise, playtime, homework, family time, husband time, me time… it’s a lot to fit in!
And the days I manage to get it right? Those days are few, far between and celebrated at the end of the evening with a high-five to the hubby and a much-deserved wine.
3. Because sometimes you just need to chill out.
And wear pyjamas all day. And watch Pixar movies all morning. And make play dough animals all afternoon. And eat chips and nuggets for dinner. And spend time enjoying what your kids love most – being a kid and spending time with you, even if you miss your step count for the day.
4. Because sometimes you just need to chill out and do adult-things that do not involve going to a grocery or toy store.
You know, do women things. Like pluck. And shave. And abolish grey hair. Possibly even get a wax. Maybe even a spray tan. Probably not. But three out of five is pretty good.
5. Because sickness strikes.
As much as you try to prevent illness, it happens, especially to youngins. When fever, flu or gastro hits the household, let’s face it, the day sucks. But it’s all part of parenting.
And when man flu strikes, well… you might as well kiss your week goodbye.
6. Because sometimes your kids matter more.
More than exercise, getting the chores done and ensuring everyone gets the exact amount of fruit and veg. Some days there is simply not enough time in the day to get to these things. And, when push comes to shove, if your child is upset, sick, scared, or simply needs you… then this wins.
7. Because (let’s face it) being perfect all the time is too impossible.
So let’s stop trying shall we? Instead, let’s focus on the perfect moments in less-than-perfect days? So you burned dinner? So you had to rewash the clothes three times because you kept forgetting to take them out of the goddam washing machine. So your child screamed the house down because you told her it was bedtime.
So what? How many meals have been cooked perfectly? How many loads of washing have come out smelling fresh and clean? How many nights have you managed to put bub to sleep at a reasonable hour? Sure, you didn’t get it right today, but who cares? You will again soon. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week.
These, mums, are what matters. Yes, life may not be perfect all the time. But perfection is overrated anyway. It’s those imperfect moments in-between that matter the most.