Creative Child

The World Doesn’t Need Perfect Mothers

by Rebecca Eanes

We are running ourselves ragged and worrying ourselves to pieces. We are doing too much and resting too little. The quest to be the mom who has it all together is a dangerous one, and it’s time we drop our masks and show our true faces.

A few years ago, I was crazy busy trying to do all the things and look graceful doing them. It seemed that all of the other moms in my circle were superheroes. Always volunteering, always smiling, baby cradled in one arm and a fresh batch of healthy muffins in the other. They made motherhood look easy, and as I tried hard to attain this level of mothering perfection, I was able to make it look pretty easy, too. Except I was withering on the inside.

At home, my family saw the toll my perfectionism was taking. I was irritable and exhausted. I was ashamed that I didn’t measure up – that I couldn’t keep up like the other moms. I was sure they were waking up bright-eyed and giggly while I could barely drag myself out of bed. I felt like a failure.

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I suppose there’s always been something to perpetuate the myth of the perfect mother (I’m looking at you, June Cleaver) but nowadays we are subjected to a constant stream of the highlights of all of our friends’ lives. The selfies at the gym, made-up faces filtered of imperfections, smiling children showing their stellar achievements. We see how great everyone else is doing and then we log off and stand in the middle of our own reality, and it isn’t so picture perfect. The kids bicker. Dinner comes in a microwavable container. The treadmill is a clothes hanger. It looks like failure in comparison, but it’s not! It’s real life. Beautiful, chaotic, filled-to-the-brim life, and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

I once asked my kid, “Would you rather have a perfect mom or a happy mom?” He didn’t even hesitate. “A happy mom, definitely.” He went on to tell me that he’d rather see me happy than have all the toys on his wish list. I bet your kid feels the same way. A child’s love is such a beautiful thing. It isn’t judgmental or conditional. You don’t have to earn it or hustle for it. You are already a superhero in their eyes. The rest of the world’s opinion doesn’t matter anyway.

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