Friday, September 18, 2009

The Perfect Mother

Have you noticed there is this insane pressure to be the perfect mother? No wait - not just the prefect mother but the perfect woman? We should all have perfectly toned bodies, great hair, beautiful make-up, clothes that are in style, we should be able to cook and cook nutritiously (because heaven forbid anything pre-processed touch our child's lips!), keep a clean, organized house, work part-time or volunteer or have some interest outside of the house, be educated, well-read, musically or artistically talented, a great wife and supporter of our husbands, and have a house that looks like a million bucks but really you hardly spent a dime on it. Then there is our children. They should be perfectly cleaned and groomed, be able to read and write by the time they are one, involved in a multiple number of sports, music lessons, dance lessons, art lessons, they should start prepping for the SAT by the time they are four, never act-up in public, never say/do anything naughty, and always be polite little angels.

Are you laughing yet? Yah right - that's not very realistic?! Right? Right - but how come we find we are always defending ourselves? I hear my friends do this and I do this a lot. "Oh, sorry the house is a mess, it's just one of those days" or "please excuse the mess" or "I promise, my kid doesn't eat chicken nuggets everyday" or "I need to work-out, it's just tough right now."

Well, I'm rebelling. I don't work-out because I don't want to. My son eats french fries because he likes them and I let him. My house is always in a state of mild messiness - it's just a fact of life. I buy stuff for myself; it makes me feel good. I let my child learn by play - he's only going to be one once, why pressure him unnecessarily?

I propose we stop defending ourselves. We are all human. Take a page out of your child's book and just be yourself. You don't find your child defending his/herself, do you? Repeat after me:

I will be confident in who I am.
I will accept myself and my fellow Moms just the way they are.
I will not defend myself against an unrealistic expectation.
I will be understanding and not judge my fellow Moms.

Who's with me?!


  1. Such a great post, Aub! It's so true! I find that I'm constantly defending myself against the world and, well, myself.

    Although, you're one lucky chica if your house is only in a state of constant *mild* messiness ;)

    ps-this post reminds me of a book I have. The author was saying how she had a mini-epiphany and realized that by cleaning her house spotless before anyone ever entered, she was actually giving them false expectations of both her "real" house was and what theirs should be. It was definitely food for thought. Lucky me, I'm never put together enough to give ANYONE false expectations ;)

  2. What a great post! I absolutely agree! I've only been a mom for 16 months and I can't believe the pressure that I immediately put on myself. I think I would be a much better mom if I would let myself relax and not have to do everything.

  3. Thank you for this post! It is so true. I'm pretty sure most of us feel like this. I'm always dismayed at how I fall short. But instead of looking at how far away my self-acquired "finish line" is, I should be looking at all I accomplished, how far I've come.

  4. Perfectly said!! Thank you! I always find myself looking around my house, wishing I'd gotten more done in the day; looking in the mirror, wishing I'd had time to do more than pin my bangs back with a bobby pin; that pile of dishes in the sink, we won't even go there; and I'll get back to my pre pregnancy weight someday...right? My kids are happy and healthy and I get to spend time with them right now that I won't get back!

  5. Ugh.
    How true this is...the "mess" is part of the decor at my house
    --it just tickles me to death when the pile of hotwheels on the floor happens to be in fall colors...and the ketchup on the wall goes perfectly with the artificial plant on the table.

    Thanks for this post.