Every mum out there wants to give their children the best. We want to protect them, to be there to celebrate with them, and soothe them when they cry. We want to give them opportunities to explore, to make sure they eat healthy foods all the time, and to be there for every concert, birthday party, bedtime story and more. We want to be perfect. The trouble is, no mum can be perfect, and being a mum is not a competition. So how do you know if you’re a good mum and how can you stop worrying about perfection?
The trouble with our modern world is that we still idolise the super mums of the past. We still look up to the mums that were always there on television shows, who made cookies and spent hours with their children doing homework. What we forget is that those mums weren’t trying to work a full day too, and that their world was slower and less stressful than our own. It’s unrealistic to think that you can have a full time job and still be a super mum. There’s just not enough time in the day.
Then there are celebrity pictures where you see famous new mums, described as devoted and doting, and pictures of them and their baby in a tender moment. Of course, they also have personal assistants, nannies, nutritionists and more. It’s a lot easier to be a super mum when you’re the head of a baby raising team!
Another factor in our quest for mummy perfection are the self help books aimed at mums. They’re intended to be a source of information and inspiration, but too many of us assume that we need to follow them to the letter. When we don’t, we feel we’ve failed.
Competing with other mums is another cause for worry for most mums. When you’re not on every school committee, when you don’t bake your own cookies, and when your child isn’t a perfect angel, like the other mums you know, you feel that you’re not as good a mum as they are. That’s not true. As long as your child (and your family) are healthy and happy, and as long as you’re doing your best while making sure to take care of yourself too then you’re doing just fine as a mum.
Don’t allow guilt, social pressure, or anything else to make you feel that you’re not doing a great job. If your house isn’t perfect, you sometimes serve frozen fish fingers instead of making your own meals, and you can’t always take time off work to attend your child’s school picnic, it’s okay.
Far more important than money, a clean house, and a gourmet menu is that you’re there for your child when it matters, that you spend quality time with them and that you enjoy each other.