A black and white photo of a woman holding a child in her arms, spinning around joyfully in a living room with sliding doors open to a backyard.

The need for perfection is stealing our joy

Motherhood Musings

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the need for perfection and how it impacts our lives and our experiences as Mothers. There seems to

A black and white photo of a woman holding a child in her arms, spinning around joyfully in a living room with sliding doors open to a backyard.
Real moments. Real emotion. Real life.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the need for perfection and how it impacts our lives and our experiences as Mothers.

There seems to be such unrealistic expectations for us as women.

We’re held to account by the people around us, by society, by ourselves. From the time we are little girls, we are conditioned to believe that unless our lives look a certain way, we are failing. The messages are strong & they are everywhere.

So we go about our lives: trying to be all the things, do all the things, keep all the balls in the air, meet all the standards… and all it gets us is fucking exhausted.

I recently read a beautiful book: The Art of Gratitude by Meredith Gaston. Reading her words about perfectionism really hit home for me.

“Just like beauty, perfection is completely subjective & in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes we are so caught up in perfecting ourselves & our work to our own self-set standards, that we miss the natural beauty within and around us. We miss how well we are actually doing at life. Stifling perfectionism takes away our capacity for relaxation & enjoyment. It is essential that we aim high in life, with self love, not self criticism.”

Meredith Gaston, The Art of Gratitude

It left me wondering – what would happen if we stopped striving for perfection?

What if we could let go of trying to be ‘enough’ for everybody?

What would it mean if we could shift our focus from always doing to just being?

What if, instead of being always run off our feet, we walked in the rain or lay the sunshine? Or we danced in the kitchen with our babies, made blanket forts & had pillow fights? 

What would happen if we let ourselves be vulnerable? Leaned in to deep, authentic conversation? Laughed until we cried? Or cried because we needed to? 

What if we tried something new, just because? What if we found the time & the confidence to back ourselves & follow our dreams?

What if we filled our days with more of the things that make us feel alive?

What would happen if we let go of the idea of the perfect mother and partner? Let the dishes and the washing sit a little longer? 

What if we reached for joyous instead of perfect?

What would it mean to give ourselves the gift of saying ‘no thanks’ to those arbitrary standards we’re held to?

What would it mean if we gave our children that gift?

You see, Mumma…

I ask only because I know it’s hard to be all the things, do all the things and remember all the things. I feel the weight of not being ‘enough’ often… and I know you do too. It’s hard to keep your head above water in a society that expects so much of you, yet has few solutions in place to support you.

It’s hard when you’re being pulled in all directions, when you’re trying to tick things off the to-do-list and be the Mumma you want to be too. It’s hardest when you don’t meet your own expectations, when you think you’re failing. 

So there’s something I want to tell you. Something that I know deep in my soul, but I tend to forget as I get caught up in the hustle that is life with little ones, and I think perhaps you need this reminder too.

None of us know what time we have left on this earth.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, not for any of us. Someday, all our family will have left of us is the memories.

You know what parts they won’t remember? They won’t remember if the house was sparkling clean, if our hair & make up was done, what size was on the tags of clothing we wore.

They will remember how they felt when they were with us, how fiercely we loved them, how we laughed with them & cheered them on. That we were there for them and we delighted in them. They’ll remember that we were the centre of their universe, & they were ours.

So, even if it’s just for a little while, let’s forget about perfection. Forget about all the expectations placed on us, & those we place on ourselves. Let go of the fear of failing to do it all.

Let’s choose joy & connection, love, hope, laughter & the precious little time we have together.

The dishes can wait. 

To read more motherhood musings – click here

To find your own copy of Meredith Gastons beautiful book: The Art of Gratitude – click here(not affiliated)

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