For years I suffered from this crippling belief that if I didn’t do it — it either wouldn’t get done, or at the very least wouldn’t get done right! And, because I believed it so deeply, it became my reality, my truth.
Would my family love me any less because I messed up a deadline or two (or more!)? Because I didn’t have an “all-the-colours-of-the-rainbow” meal every single day? Because I didn’t have the perfect Math flash cards for multiplication? Because, my home was scattered with toys and unfolded laundry? I believed they would. And, so I kept trying. Failing. Trying. Failing. And, beating myself up…
Like many parents, I was obsessed with the idea of being Super Mom. The media, the people around us, and personally too, we put such a premium on the fact that we work outside the home, inside the home and do everything in between. And, the biggest kudos is reserved for the ones that do it without needing help, sometimes without even breaking a sweat, and certainly those who didn’t complain!
I admired from afar so many seemingly perfect moms who seemed to have it all together — the kids schedules, their “healthy” snacks, no TV or social media, the perfect grades, clean homes, perfect appearance, and managed to stay in their kind and loving energy all day and into the evening! And, every time I lost it — with the kids, husband, extended family- I’d end up feeling terribly guilty and would resolve to try harder and harder, yet was never able to pull it all together to my own satisfaction.
Today, I’m older, much wiser, and more aware of others’ struggles, and I ask why I put myself through this torture! I know now that nobody has it all together. Others are holding tight to their feelings and expectations and guilt, just as I did, lest it all explode out into the open, God forbid, to others’ judgements!! Today I also realize in my new found wisdom that — so what? So what if others saw my struggles? How bad would it be if they saw I wasn’t organized, that I’m actually quite the scatter-brain? Wouldn’t at least my true friends be motivated to help as opposed to judge? And, if they did judge — would it be the end of the world?
Today, my kids tell jokes about my disorganized escapades and we’re able to laugh together. What stories would they have to tell had I been that perfect mom I was striving so hard to be? Maybe they love me more for being imperfect, for just giving up on some days, sitting down on the sofa with laundry waiting to be folded, watching Barney and singing every song with them, eating a slice of pizza!
As I look down at the Dinner Time Conversation Card that I’ve picked today — “If I were braver…,” I say, “If I were braver, I wouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, and to be more vulnerable at least with close friends and family. Perfection is BORING!”