Creative Child

Let Go of Perfection, Mama

by Rebecca Eanes

I admit it. I’ve been caught in the terrible, soul-sucking trap of trying to do it all and be it all. My days were a whirlwind of people-pleasing frenzy. I wanted to live up to the high standard I had in my mind. I could be the mom who did it all and did so gracefully! At least, I thought I could. I constantly bit off more than I could chew. I volunteered to take on projects I didn’t have time to take on. I wrote books in the middle of the night and homeschooled my kids during the day. We were involved in Scouts, karate, baseball, and co-op. I created play invitations for my kids in the evenings and blogged about them later. On the outside, I probably looked like a mom who had it all together.

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But I was breaking.

Underneath my mask of perfection were the sad eyes and tear-stained cheeks that only my family could see. I took no time for self-care. There was no time left in our over-scheduled days. During those years, my anxiety grew out of control, forcing me at last to step out of the cycle and refocus only on what was vitally important. It became undeniably clear to me. My kids didn’t need a perfect mom. They needed a happy, healthy one. 

We get caught up in striving for perfection for many reasons. Some of us desperately want to prove our worth. Others use busyness as an escape – there’s no time to sit with their thoughts and feel their emotions if they’re never still. There’s no time to confront their demons. Yet others feel it is their duty to please everyone, living ever in fear of letting down those around them. Whatever the reason, the result is often the same – a loss of joy.

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Maybe you look put together, but you’re falling apart on the inside.

Maybe you’ve made everyone else happy, but the price has been your own joy.

Maybe you feel accomplished at the end of the day but it doesn’t soothe your heart somehow.

Maybe you’re surrounded by people every day but you feel lonelier than ever.

Maybe you have all you’ve ever wanted but you still feel empty.

Mama, you don’t have to keep up at this dizzying pace. You don’t have to sacrifice your own wants and needs. You don’t have to please everyone. You don’t have to do and be everything. The world won’t spin off its axis if you take some time to breathe and recharge.

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