Perfection and Mom Guilt
It’s something I battle with on the daily. The perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect leader, the perfect daughter, the perfect friend… and so it goes on and on. I have a feeling I’m not the only one. And why?
When you look around at your family and friends, your child(ren), your spouse, would you love them any less if they weren’t perfect? Of course not. We love those around us; their imperfections and all. So why is it so difficult to love ourselves without such criticism, self-doubt and self-sabotage?
For many, it may be several experiences or events that add up to a belief that we are not good enough. Other times it may be one traumatic event that can completely push us off course and in turn, create limiting beliefs and fears. Our perceptions of these events, at the time that they happened, can leave us feeling crippled. The brain is programmed to protect us, and that can mean imposing limits on what it thinks we can or should do.
What are we to do? Can we change that deep belief that we are not good enough into an understanding that it is absolutely OK to not be good enough…yet? Can we let go of that mom guilt and give ourselves some grace? The short of the answer is, absolutely! We are constantly changing. The direction we take is a choice and there are no rules as to where you should go or who you should become.
HOW do we let go of perfectionism, guilt, and have a strong sense of self?
- Mindset. We need to have a growth mindset. I have learned the past few years that mindset is EVERYTHING. For me, working on my mindset looks like listening to encouraging and positive podcasts and books. It’s surrounding myself with like-minded people who are going to ADD value to my life and not discourage me or steal my JOY. I also have found that spending quiet time reflecting and writing out positive affirmations are huge for my mindset. It may seem silly, but I have these affirmations on sticky notes and they’re posted all throughout my house. We need these reminders throughout the day where we can see them and be constantly reminded of how amazing and strong we truly are.
2. Learn to let go. Try letting go of whatever is holding you back from accepting who you are. Your past, your emotions, they don’t define who you are. Acknowledge those feelings and let them go.
3. Celebrate small victories. Kept the kids alive for the week? That deserves a gold medal, mama. Yes, maybe the house is a mess and you had take-out a few times for dinner, but sometimes, it is reality. That doesn’t mean we love our kids any less than the mom whose house is clean and she cooked 5 Pioneer Woman recipes for dinner that week. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back every single day for making progress.
Choose Grace Over Perfection
Toledo Moms, let’s choose ONE of these we can do today that will help us let go of that mom guilt and desire to be perfect all the time. Don’t feel the need to pick all at the same time. Start small. Not being perfect is exciting because it means that we have space to change, learn, and live life. It’s setting the example for our kids that we want them to be completely comfortable with being themselves. We want them to make mistakes and learn from them. What will you choose? I know I am choosing to hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.