Can You Be A Perfect Mum?
Last week my Facebook news feed was full of articles and posts about the ‘perfect mum’. In the past, I’ve been accused of trying to make mums perfect, so I felt motivated to write this response.
Firstly, what is perfect? Complete, having all the desired characteristics, whole. Can any mum be perfect? Yes, and no. It all depends on how you define perfect.
If we define perfect as 100% well-behaved children who don’t tantrum, scream, fight, ignore us, lie, whine, not sleep through the night, are picky eaters etc…, then no parent in the world would be perfect. After all, this is all normal behaviour as part of normal childhood development and to be expected.
If we judge our behaviour upon the expectations of others, be it our friends, family, partner or well meaning stranger, then yes we won’t be perfect. There is no way we can live up to the expectations of everyone else.
However, if we judge our behaviour, our effort and our motives based on what we want for ourselves, then yes, we can be the perfect parent. We can be the perfect version of ourselves.
Being the perfect us means being true to ourselves, being authentic and living life our way. Do we do what we want to do? What makes us feel fulfilled? Are we the type of mum that we want to be? Are we parenting our children the way that we want to? Or are we being influenced by who we think we should be?
Why does parenting become easier after our first? Not only because we’ve had the experience (although that certainly helps!), but because we know the type of mum we want to be. We’ve become clear on our values, what we believe and what feels good to us in our soul.
We only have one life. We only have one chance to raise our child, and we all know it goes by too fast. Living our life by what we think we ‘should’ be doing, the way we think we ‘should’ be raising our child will always lead to feelings of uncertainty, being less than, not being perfect and ultimately hearing that little voice inside of us that says “why isn’t there more”.
It doesn’t have to be that way! If we create a map for our own lives, of how we want to be as a woman, as a partner, as a mum, as a soul in this beautiful universe then this can all be avoided.
My advice to all mums is to strive to be perfect. Strive to be your version of the perfect mum. Know what type of mum you want to be. Learn how to become clear on your parenting values and learn how to act in accordance with them.
We will all look back at our lives, at the way that we raise our children and ask ourselves, “could I have done better?” If we live our life and be the type of mum that we want to be, according to our plan, our values, and our beliefs, then we will answer no. We will know that we did our best, we will feel fulfilled, we will be content. We will have been the perfect parent, our perfect self.