On Parenting and Perfection

My "perfect" little family.

"If you look for perfection, you'll never be content."- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Parenting has it's challenges.  Okay, let's be honest.  It's f*cking tough sometimes.  They don't give you a handbook when you have a baby.  There are no rules for raising kids.  There are days I wish I had an owner's manual that explains what to do when your toddler cries for no reason, or when your teenager throws major attitude your way.

As a mother of three boys I often feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  These little men have captured my heart and I love them more than words can describe, but some days I feel like I won't survive.  They test my patience daily.  There are days where all I do is yell.  Sometimes, I wonder how I'm going to make it through their childhood and teen years without raising a serial killer.

Come on, I'm not alone, some of you have asked yourself that very same question.  It's okay.  I feel you.  I've been there.

Now, deep down I don't really believe I'm raising the next Ted Bundy.  Even when things are crazy and I feel like I'm losing my mind, I know I'm doing the best I can.  I work hard to teach my boys right from wrong. I expect them to have manners.  I expect them to be hardworking, kind and respectful. I expect them to help around the house.

I'm no June Cleaver.  I'm more like Roseanne.  Case in point: Some days my kids do what is asked of them without question.  Other days I'm nagging them until I lose my shit.  They start whining about how mean I am for making them do chores and I respond with these parenting gems:


"Why do we have to fold our own laundry?"

"So your future wives don't hate me!"

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"None of our friends have to do chores!"

"Stay away from those kids! They're the ones who'll end up in jail."

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"This is stupid! I hate cleaning!"

"You better learn how to do this now! I don't want to see you on a future episode of Hoarders!"

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I could go on, but you get the idea. The point is, perfection doesn't exist.  We do what we need to do to get through each day.

The other day I read a Facebook post from my friend who is a new mom.  She shared how she felt like she was a bad mother  My heart went out to her, because I remember feeling that way when my first baby was born. There's so much pressure to be perfect, to do it all.  We waste so much time worrying about having the perfect house, the perfect partner and perfect kids. Mom Guilt is real. Society sets impossible standards on women and mothers, but I'm telling you right now, it's all bullshit.  I was a perfect mother...before I had kids.

Parenting is hard work.  There is no perfect way to raise children.   Every mom experiences guilt but I find it's usually because we are comparing ourselves to other mothers.  We can overcome the Mom Guilt by setting our own rules for raising our own kids.

At the end of the day, if I've done what's best for myself and my family, that's all that matters.


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