I bet you thought of someone who you consider a perfect mom when you read that sentence. I bet that person is not you. He..he..hee.:)
No, No, I am not laughing at you. I am just enjoying the fact that I am not alone.
So, who is this perfect mom you know? The one with the perfect hair? Tight tummy weeks after delivering the baby while you still get asked if you are pregnant years after delivering yours.
Is she the one who comes to drop her kids to school in an ironed top and beautiful sandal, blowing kisses as her child walks excitedly into the classroom while you are struggling with your overly attached toddler who is pulling your hair and hanging on to your old T-shirt as you are trying to get her to get into the classroom. She is the one you stalk on Facebook, get jealous of on Instagram and ignore on Pinterest. She is the reason, you get mommy guilt and she is the body you think about when you douse that extra-large brownie in your mouth.
Come here, let me tell you a secret though. If you ever get talking to that seemingly Perfect Mom, you would hear her worry about the same things you worry about. She might even tell you that she wears a body shaper under her perfect dress and she has not washed her perfect hair in 5 days now. She may even tell you that she looks all put together, but her inside is wallowing in self-pity and she has too much pressure on herself because she craves for a perfect life.
Then, who is a perfect mom?
“Perfect Mom is a mythical creature. She is rarer than the rarest of a unicorns. She is a feeling, she is a fear. She is within all of us yet she is not us. “
So, I decided, I am done running behind this mirage. I surrendered to the “Grapes are sour” philosophy and made a list of “How to NOT be a Perfect Mom”
You see, I want to be OK with being an OK mom. I want to face my fear and not fear my vulnerability. I want to ask for help and I want to run away to the mountains, even though in my dreams. I am a human, who is doing the superhuman work of a MOM and sorry, I will not be perfect. I will be honest. I will be sincere. I will be perseverant. But I am not going to be Perfect.
Here’s my list of HOW TO NOT BE A PERFECT MOM.
1. Ask for help: Yes, the internet is full of quotes about Supermom. Yes, you have this crazy idea in your head, that just because you delivered an eight-pound baby from your vagina, you can do everything in the world to care for the baby, your family and your dreams single-handedly. Get real, you can’t. Even Mother Teresa had a team working with her. Please get down off your high horses and ask for help. Ask for help from your Husband, your parents, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbor, even that stranger in Target if you have to. You will still be a wonderful mom, and that’s ok.
2. Quit the race.: Yes, A has lost all the pregnancy weight in 2 months. B’s son is 2 and already speaks Mandarin, C’s daughter sleeps through the night and D throws the perfect birthday party that deserves the Pinterest Party of the year award while you are lacking in many departments. You really are running way behind in this race. My 2 cents? Don’t participate in the race. Do not look at it as a race, consider it a journey. Everyone has their unique journey and respect that. Respect yourself and quit the comparison.
3. Eff the beauty standards: Focus on healthy eating. Focus on fitness. Focus on your energy levels. Focus on your nutrition. Do not judge yourself by what you weigh. Do not add added pressure of getting into a size 4 jeans because that’s what your pre-pregnancy size was. Guess what? Your body has changed. Your organs have changed their place. Embrace your new shape. And enjoy your new body. Take care of it. There is more of you to love and I bet your kid already think you are the most beautiful person alive. Who cares about perfect 10 now?
4. Accept your circumstances: Let’s accept that with a kid on hand, 24 hours in a day are not enough. Let’s accept that even when you are at work, your child is playing at the back of your mind. Let’s accept that some days you will be rocking at parenting and other days you will fail miserably. Acknowledge your weakness and embrace it. Trust me, the moment you decide, you don’t want to be perfect. You will be FREE!
5. Take time out for yourself: Perfect Moms do crafts with their kids. They spend every waking hour teaching their kids to be perfect. But you, my friend, can teach yourself first to relax a bit. Take time out for yourself. Whether it’s 10 minutes longer in the shower or 1 lap in the garden. Whether it’s mani-pedi session in a parlor or 30 minutes of meditation. Use point 1, ask for help and take time out for yourself. Happy Mommy makes happy kids.
6. Give Love a Chance: You may not be enjoying a perfect sex life lately between eat, poop, sleep routine and you may not even be feeling very sexy with engorged boobs, but give Love a chance. Yes, perfect moms post about perfect date night with their husband on the internet but you can also indulge in a perfect night of cuddling, kissing, whispering with your partner once the kids hit the bed. Use that time to focus on love. Do not whine, do not complain, do not focus on all that’s annoying you with your partner. For once, shift the focus on love, on romance that created these kids and made you a Mom in the first place. You may not have the perfect night, but a little bit of oxytocin will go a long way in keeping you safe, secure and sexy.
7. Girl Pals will save you: Perfect Mom doesn’t need a pack of girls to down their sorrow or cheer themselves up. But you can really come alive after a Skype with your best friend, coffee with a mommy friend from your kid’s school or wine with your best mommy friend. Do not fear to share with your girls’ pal. They are on a journey just like you. They are the Monica to your Rachel. They get you. They may judge you but it’s not serious. Allow yourself to feel young in their company. Laugh, Live, Rejoice your motherhood. It’s ok to not be perfect, and who knows it better than your girlfriends.
8. Laugh it off: Have a sense of humor. No seriously!!! You cannot parent without a good sense of humor. You must learn to laugh it off, or else you will be found banging your head on the walls in the quest for perfection. So, you F’ed up. Get up. Laugh a little and move on. When you wear the happy glasses, even the big ordeals look easy and you can really parent better without taking yourself too seriously all the time.
9. Cry it out: You don’t have to be brave always. You do not have to undermine your stress. If you are feeling sad, cry it out. I know perfect moms don’t cry, but you are not perfect otherwise you would not be reading this blog. So, please allow yourself some downtime to get emotional, to let the tears flow, to be sad, disgusted, annoyed, frustrated, exhausted and angry. Let the water flow and you will feel better to brace the day.
10. Being OK is real. Being perfect is not: Lastly, you are a real person. People may put Moms on the pedestal and yes, kids are taught to worship their parents but the problem is, it takes a lot to be a decent human, it’s almost impossible to be perfect. Do not miss out on being real in the quest of being perfect. Your struggles are real. Your
limitations are real. Your kids are real and your circumstances are real. Nothing around you is perfect. You are not perfect. Your marriage is not perfect. Your life is not perfect, so stop being perfect. Respect your intentions. Respect your labor and take pride in being real.
Hope you liked my list of being happy with yourself. The idea is to be real.
You may never know that while you enjoy being real, being ok and being ordinary, your kids may remember you as their perfect parent.
Cheers to that dream and lets Mommy On.