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Last Updated on August 30, 2016 by Diane Hoffmaster
When I got pregnant with my first child, I had grand dreams about what my life as a mother was going to be like. I was going to be the perfect mom! I had great memories of my own mother, who I thought did a stellar job of raising my sister and I. I had memories of her baking cookies for us and leading my Brownie Troop meetings. As I grew older we went for walks together and discussed the books we were reading. I thought she was the perfect mom and I had some big shoes to fill with my own children.
What does it really mean to be the perfect mom? Perfection is different for every single woman who gives birth to a child. Some women see perfection as being able to stay home with their child instead of returning to work outside the home. Some women see perfection as being able to breast feed. Maybe the perfect mom always looks fabulous, even when she is cleaning up puke while simultaneously trying to make dinner and help another child with homework. The perfect mom is really a rather vague term and it puts an awful lot of pressure on women when they have kids.
I'm still struggling with the idea of being the perfect mom. I try to do too many things, both FOR my children and WITH my children. I feel guilty when I drop the ball and screw something up. I feel like my house should be cleaner, my meals more creative, my children more polite and everything should just be 'better' than it is. And I should certainly never yell at my children, feed them boxed macaroni and cheese or forget that they need two dozen sugar cookies for a class party. I have that image in my head of my mother. She was the perfect mom, right?
I'm pretty sure I was looking at motherhood through rose colored glasses back then. What I didn't realize as a kid was that I'm sure my mom was not quite the perfect mom that I remembered. I'm sure she had days where she sent us off to school and spent 3 hours in her pajamas because she was just too tired to clean the house. I bet there were frozen dinners on occasion and I'm sure there were days she lost her patience and yelled at me when she probably shouldn't have. But...you know what? I don't remember those days! Somehow, the not quite perfect days have been forgotten over the years. So, maybe when my kids grow up they will forget that I am not quite as perfect as I wanted to be. Maybe tomorrow will be boxed macaroni and cheese and a few too many hours of television.
Striving to be the perfect mom puts way too much stress on women. We forget to stop and enjoy the moment we are in, rather than planning how we will be perfect tomorrow. I'm working on it...leaving a few dirty dishes in the sink occasionally. Saying no to the latest PTA request. Letting my kids know that I DO make mistakes. I own up to them, apologize and try to do better. Maybe my daughter will realize when she gets older that being the perfect mom isn't such a grand dream. Maybe she should be determined to be a 'good enough' mom.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.