As mothers, we all have a desire for perfection, but what defines the “perfect” mother? Is it societies view of what a good mom does, or how our family defines motherhood? Is it simply the internal image we have created in our heads of what being a mommy looks like? Almost every mom I know is striving to be their version of the “perfect” mother. They are constantly beating themselves up because of their “failures,” or their inability to achieve this aforementioned “perfection.” I use quotes here because I believe it’s all relative. What we deem successes and failures are based on our values, our upbringing and the things we hold true to our heart.
When I became a mom a few short months ago I realized the sheer power of mom guilt and the pressures I put on myself to be MY version of perfect. What did that look like? To sum it up, I had this idea in my head that I needed to know absolutely everything there is to know about being a mom. I needed to be stoic 100% of the time. I needed to always have it together in terms of my home, the meals I put on the table, the activities I did with Ellie, etc.
One night, my mom and I were discussing the guilt I was feeling over something obsolete. I looked across the room and listened to her explain all the ways she had experienced guilt over the years. All the worries she had. The sleepless nights she encountered, and the times she questioned herself. I didn’t remember a single one of them. Never before had I questioned whether or not I had the “perfect” mother. I simply knew. This realization hadn’t come to me as a grown woman. It’s something I had always firmly believed.
As a child, I looked up to my mother. I appreciated and respected her as a person inside and outside of our home. This is not to say I didn’t get angry with her, but it was always short lived. I knew I had hit the jackpot when it came to moms. In my heart, she was “perfection.”
These memories of her allowed me to realize that at the end of the day, none of it really matters! The guilt, the “failures,” the frustrations, the fleeting moments of weakness. In the grand scheme of things, these moments are minuscule. What matters is my desire to be a good mom and the fact that I try my very best for my daughter every. single. day. That is what she will remember.
As I embark on my own adventures as a mommy, I hope that my daughter will someday feel the same way. I hope that I can provide her with a strong foundation and show her what it looks like to come from a place filled with pure, unadulterated love. A place where she feels safe. A place she wants to return to. A home that sets her heart on fire.
As a mom, I vow to stop striving for societies version of perfection. Instead, I vow to provide my family with all the love I can possibly give. I vow to create a life-giving home. I hope to establish traditions and routines that bring my family comfort. To instill values and morals that allow them to prosper in all aspects of their lives. Most importantly, I promise to recognize my failures but not to dwell on them. To focus on the positive and try (with all my heart) to push the negative aside. I vow to shed the guilt (as often as I can) and promise to always give my best to my family, whatever my “best” may be.
To me, motherhood is about showing my children what it means to be human, giving them the tools to love unconditionally, and providing them with a life filled with all things “good.”
Mama’s, you are “perfect” just the way you are.
If you enjoyed reading this, check out this post about the letters I write to my daughter each year on her birthday.
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