Overcoming the Pressures of Perfection
Striving for Excellence while Enjoying Your Motherhood Journey
Photo by @i_lor
It’s only natural to want to be the best in what you do. We study hard to get top scores and honors, work diligently to climb the corporate ladder – we push our limits to be better in all aspects of life. This also applies to parents. Mothers, in particular, want to do everything right because they know that there are people who depend on them. In wanting to provide unparalleled love and care to their family, however, some moms may struggle with the desire to be perfect.
Perfection means not having any flaws but as humans, making mistakes no matter how small, is inevitable. Striving to embody perfection can trigger self-doubt and decrease self-esteem which can be major obstacles for moms in developing and nurturing relationships within and outside the home. There is power in being in control and guaranteeing that you can achieve the results that you want, but there is peace and happiness in just enjoying the process that is your motherhood journey.
If you’re struggling to ease up on the need to be perfect, here are some strategies that might help:
Hold on to things that inspire you. Being a perfectionist often leads to burnout. The tendency to focus on the smallest of details can take away the magic of experiencing things as they happen. This is exhausting and can rob you of the energy that you need to go through each day. Recharge by doing things that you are passionate about. Let your creative juices flow through art, take a stroll around the city or dance to your heart’s content with the kids. These don’t require a formula and should allow you to relax!
Celebrate “small” wins. Often, moms may not feel that they are doing enough because their eyes are on big goals only. They forget to consider the little milestones that help them get to the finish line. Give yourself a pat on the back for everything that you get to accomplish in a day. Even if they are as simple as being able to cook your children’s meals or helping them with their homework, these mean so much to your kids.
Parenting is done as a team. In wanting to be perfect, one would try to do it all. Moms shouldn’t forget that they have an accountability partner in dads. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of the tasks that you need to accomplish, ask for assistance from your spouse and strategize on how you can divide the labor between the two of you. It is not a weakness to ask for help; on the contrary, it should make your spouse feel that you trust them enough to have your back at all times.
Create a priority list. Multi-tasking is a great skill to have, but trying to finish a number of tasks at the same time makes one more prone to errors. Conserve your energy and reclaim time by creating a to-do list, with urgent items at the top. This can also make you less anxious as you will be aware of the things that you need to do on a given day.
You are special. We are so exposed to social media that running into moms who seem to be doing better than us is an everyday occurrence. While it’s good to be inspired, this becomes harmful when we begin to blame ourselves for not meeting the standards set by more successful moms. Remember that every motherhood journey is different, and you are on your own special lane. Filter what you see and take away only those learnings that can benefit your life.
It’s okay to not be perfect. The important thing is that we continue doing what we do to the best of our abilities, and keep learning and growing at our own pace. Life is a marathon, not a sprint – accept your imperfections and work on being better without the pressure of perfection.