In case you haven’t really heard that enough today, let me say that again… It’s ok to make mistakes mama.
Becoming a mother doesn’t change the fact that you are human and being human means that we are not perfect. No one is. And as for the perfect mother? That doesn’t exist either. There is no such thing as the perfect mother. It doesn’t exist. It is a myth.
Perhaps you have seen images of what matches your ideal motherhood, but know that those images are just moments in time. And they crop out everything that came before and after that moment. Because every baby cries, being a new mom is filled with moments of doubt, and mamahood is tough. It is exhausting. And most of all, it is filled with mistakes.
If you find yourself struggling with perfectionism, ask yourself the following:
What is perfectionism costing you….emotionally, physically, and mentally…. how is it negatively impacting you and your life?
Do you view making mistakes as a bad thing? why? where did you learn this? Realize you can choose to view mistakes as a stepping stone of growth.
Have you allowed yourself a space to let go? To show others that you don’t have it all together all the time? Maybe inviting a friend over when your house is a total mess and not cleaning it up on purpose? Try giving yourself opportunities of letting go of moments, spaces, or interactions where you tend to notice perfectionism.
Can you identify moments in your past where you have made a mistake and something positive came out of it? What were those moments?
Have you practiced compassion and kindness towards yourself today? Have you spoken kind words to your soul and acknowledged that today you were “good enough”?
Winnicott was a British pediatrician who researched and wrote on the concept of the “good enough mother”. The idea is that we actually benefit our children by having moments where we “fail” them because it prepares them for the mistakes and failures inevitable in learning and in life.
As parents, we are always learning about what works best for our children and our family. You might have read articles or books on how to get your baby to sleep through the night, but every baby is different, as is every mother and every family. What works for one baby, one mother, and one family is different from what works for every other. There is no one way of doing things, just as there is no “perfect” way to parent.
So take a breath and find a moment to acknowledge that you are on a journey of discovering who your child is and what parenting means for you. As you make decisions, you will make mistakes. Your mistakes are really just moments to learn, moments to grow, and moments to discover what works for you and your baby and your family,
Take a breath and prepare for the next inevitable moment to grow.
To read more about being a good enough mother and challenging perfectionism, here are some articles:
The Good Enough Mother, by Alexandria Sacks
Stop Perfectionism: 5 Techniques to be Happy with Good Enough by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy LA