Next up in my Becoming a Stay at Home Mum Survival Kit I’m talking about perfection… or rather the lack of it.
I don’t believe in perfect. I really don’t. I mean I guess that in science there may be some things that are perfect – a perfect circle etc. But in people? Nope. I don’t believe perfect exists. Perfect partner, perfect marriage, perfect parent? It’s just not possible, no matter how hard you try. Because we are human beings and we make mistakes. We aren’t superhuman and able to juggle everything that life throws at us without a slip up now and then.
So aim to be the best you can be, by all means, but don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect.
God that sounds simple doesn’t it? If only it was that easy to do! To just know you’re doing the best you can and be happy and proud of that. I am trying really hard to be more like that. To not put so much pressure on myself to be ‘perfect.’ But I am coming to realise that I am a perfectionist even though I don’t believe in perfect. How ridiculous is that?
I like to succeed and I want to do well. I love baking and I want everything I make to turn out like it does in the books or on the website. But it hardly ever does! I am enjoying learning to crochet and thankfully it is a very forgiving craft but even then some things end up wonky or not how I imagine them. I love to write and am enjoying my blog. I used to be a proofreader as part of my previous job but I very often have spelling mistakes and typos in the blog posts I publish – no matter how many times I check and re-read them. So frustrating!
I try to be a perfect mum. As a SAHM this is my job now and I want to do well at it. I want to keep the house spotless, to have a well behaved and happy child at all times. I want to never shout at him, to never swear in front of him and always give him 100% of my attention while somehow also managing to do all of the other things I want to do. Cook, bake, crochet, clean, blog, read. All while being being well presented and happy myself. Do you see how ridiculous this sounds when you see it typed out? Pfff no wonder I don’t succeed. No wonder I sometimes feel like a failure. I have unrealistic expectations!
So you know what, occasionally, when I’m tired or have PMT, I shout at Monkey. I hate it and feel guilty afterwards but I am not perfect and I shout sometimes.
Sometimes, things go wrong. Something I am baking doesn’t quite work out and I have to throw it away, or eat it anyway and try to make it better next time.
Sometimes I don’t follow the crochet pattern properly, or something doesn’t work out the way I want so I have to unpick it or start again.
Sometimes, when I hurt myself or something goes wrong, or someone annoys me in the car, I swear in front of him. I hate it (it’s so weird my whole attitude to swearing had changed since he was born and I hate hearing it now – anyway post for another day!) but I do it.
Sometimes the house is a mess. I haven’t figured out the best routines for keeping on top of it. There’s quite often a pile of laundry to be sorted (I don’t iron). I hate dust. Why does it even exist? It winds me up.
Sometimes Monkey is grumpy. Sometimes he tests his boundaries and throws a tantrum in a shop (cue dirty looks from passers by) but you know what? He’s not perfect either. If I can have off days, so can he. It does’t mean I’m a terrible parent or that I’m doing something wrong if he throws a tantrum.
Some days (okay, most days) my hair is a mess and I can’t be bothered to put make-up on. I have play-doh smushed into my jeans and dribble all over my shoulder.
I need to stop trying to be perfect. Although I console myself that in striving for perfection at least I am doing the best I can. I just need to be more realistic and less hard on myself for not being able to achieve something that isn’t possible.
Do you believe in perfect?
Fab post, I wrote a similar one the other week here you might find interesting-there’s no such thing as perfect parenting, it’s all about just doing our best and realising we’re human and we’ll make mistakes (probably every day): http://honestmum.com/the-pressure-of-perfect-parenting/
ooh thank you I will have a read! You’re so right and we need to be less hard on ourselves, and each other! xx
We really do! Hugs x
Yip, the quicker you forget ‘perfect’ the quicker your shoulders come down from being permanently up around your ears with stress. thanks for linking up to #AllAboutYou
they certainly do! 🙂 thanks for hosting! xx
Caroline, I love that you are so honest about not being perfect! I actually feel a little bit sick when I see a blog written by someone who presents as ‘perfect’. I understand the urge to put the best side to camera, etc. – thinking positive and all that but I can’t really relate to someone who can never let down their guard and just tell it like it is!
Also, I’m still really impressed that you are driven to produce baked goods and crochet projects even though you know they might not end up quite how you wanted. I am the kind of ‘perfectionist’ who doesn’t even attempt these things because I feel like there’s no point if they won’t come out just right. I need to get over this form of procrastination because I’ll never have any lovely messed up experiences to share otherwise!!
Thank you for such a lovely comment Sam! I’m the same, the posts that are too ‘perfect’ just make me feel bad a lot of the time – OR I think ah yeah I can do that, looks easy, then I feel rubbish when my attempt fails! I took a look at my blog and what I wanted from it and at the start I said I would be honest, warts and all, so here I am in all my imperfection 🙂 Don’t get me wrong though it doesn’t mean I don’t sulk and strop when things go wrong or don’t turn out the way I want them to, but I am learning to accept it. You should definitely give it a go, then we can swap stories!! 🙂 xx
Love this post. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. I’ve worked since I was 17, and now the past year I’ve been a Stay At Home Mum to two little rascals. Very hard at times. I’ve had to raise my voice/shout daily but how else will they learn?!
I never iron my clothes!! I am doing a post up later on today about tidying the house with children so maybe take a look ?!
Yet again, great post! x
Thank you, always lovely to hear I’m not the only one who feels like this and definitely good to know I’m not the only mum who doesn’t iron! It’s hard enough with one sometimes so I’m sure I will raise my voice more when there is 2 little monkeys!! Ooh yes I will pop over for a read 🙂 xx
No one can be perfect, and sometime life just throws us a curve ball or a complete spanner in the works. That’s the beauty and realness of if – we don’t get to live in some kind of perfect Gwynneth Paltrow-esque world! No, I don’t believe in perfect, but I believe in forgiving myself and just moving on and learning. Good luck!! #AllAboutYou
You are so right, and being able to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes is so important! xx
There is no such thing as perfect parenting, it’s just not possible! You can only have perfection where you have complete control and we all know that small children (in fact all children!) do not cooperate 🙂 In fact, life doesn’t! Great post x #MMWBH
Thanks lovely. You’re so right, life doesn’t cooperate, and small children certainly don’t! Keeps us on our toes 🙂 xx
Hugs from a fellow mummy. Great post and sounds like you do a grand job, just the fact that you want the best for everything makes you better 🙂
Thank you you are very kind! That’s what I like to think, aim high and to the best you can 🙂 xx
I totally agree with you and trying to be perfect is crazy, no one can manage it. You reminded me of a post I wrote back in January 2012 on the very same topic! Here’s the link if you’d like to read it – http://www.morganprince.com/2012/01/super-mum-erm-no.html
Even back then I knew it was an impossible task! As long as you and your children are happy then that’s all that matters.
Thank you and you’re so right! Thanks I will definitely have a read! 🙂 xx
Such a perfect post! I really needed this right now as I am struggling with the guilt of not being good enough for my children while I am full of anger, sadness and frustration at other things in my life. It’s so hard not to snap at them, even though it isn’t necessarily their fault. But like you, I take comfort in knowing I am doing my best. Thanks for the virtual hug!! #PoCoLo
Oh bless you, well I am very pleased that this post was so well timed for you! That’s what I hoped for with the survival kit series, to just give a teency bit of support to mummies when they need it 🙂 You should absolutely take comfort in knowing that you are doing your best and don’t be too hard on yourself with snapping at the kids honey, we all do it and the fact that you do feel guilty about it shows how much you love them so they are very lucky to be so well loved. You can have a virtual hug anytime! Take care! xxx
A great post! I don’t believe in perfect – I believe in good enough 🙂 Especially when you are a Mum. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x
Thank you, you are so right! 🙂 Pleasure xx