My addiction to Pinterest has resulted in me reading an ungodly amount of quotes but recently, one grabbed my attention so hard that I could not get it out of my mind. “Your kids don’t want a perfect mom; they just want a happy one.” – Unknown. Now, if you’re anything like me, giving your children what they want is extremely important to you. I thought I was doing just that by trying to be the perfect mom that they deserve. After reading this quote, I started to think that maybe I have actually been depriving my kids of what they really want and need, a happy mom. It has become clear that attempting to be perfect may not be the only thing that is robbing me of my ability to be happy. I want to change that, not only for me but for all moms.
For me, deciding to strive for happiness starts with accepting and understanding why perfection in motherhood is simply not attainable. Sure, perfection is possible in some parts of life. You can get a perfect score on a test but only because there is a teacher’s guide to compare your answers to. As moms, we don’t have a guide to tell us what we are doing correctly or incorrectly because no two people will every agree what criteria a mother must meet to be considered perfect. Since we don’t have a guide to follow, most of us end up comparingourselves to other moms and that, honestly, is just foolish. That mom at the park who you think has it all together might be thinking the same about you. That means that we are allowing ourselves to feel inadequate based on not being “as good” as another imperfect mom.
The author Jodi Picoult once said, “The very fact that you are worried about being a good mom means that you already are one.” This could not be more true. A bad mom wouldn’t waste any time wondering if she’s doing a good job, she doesn’t care. As good moms, we do care, a lot, and yet we tend to underestimate ourselves. Sometimes, second guessing our decisions can be frustrating but it can also force us to make better ones. Therefore, even as we worry and overthink, we can simultaneously hold our heads high, be confident in our abilities and continue on our journey to happiness.
Before I was a wife and mother, I had a clear picture in my head of what I was going to be like when the time came. I thought I would handle tough situations with grace and volunteer for everything. I assumed that I would never lose my temper or my figure. I thought that and my family would be perfect. When reality hit, I allowed the feeling of not living up to my fantasy to morph into a feeling of failure. If I had been able to let go of how I thought things should be, I would have been able to see the amazing transformation I was making. I was not failing, I was learning. We all know that becoming a good wife and mother can be a really challenging learning process. It was only after I let go of that fantasy that I could really enjoy how things were. So, if you haven’t already, let go of that woman you thought you were going to be. When you do, you will see that you have been transformed into someone more amazing than you imagined.
I believe that we should never allow anyone to stand in the way of our happiness, especially not ourselves! I don’t know about you but I would much rather hear my children describe me as happy instead of perfect. I will no longer try to be perfect, obsess about being good enough or underestimate the woman I have become. I will steadily strive to become the happy mom that my children truly want and deserve.