Recently I messed up our schedule and my daughter missed her only chance to get professional ballet photographs in her recital costume. It’s honestly not a big deal to me. However, to my theatrical seven-year-old it’s a catastrophe! Part of me feels really guilty, but the guilt is less about this one scheduling mix-up and more about my everyday struggle to keep our family organized.
Perfection is an impossible ideal, but somehow it is still something we aspire to be. We want to be “Super Parents” that can “do it all!” While we know there’s no such thing as perfect parenting we seem to worry a whole lot about what isn’t perfect.
With kids we can’t always be on time, or have all the laundry done, or go to every birthday party. Bedtimes are variable, baths get skipped, homework is forgotten, and somehow everyone survives. Why worry so much??? Why expect perfection???
In my experience the “mommy guilt” I put on myself is usually from an unrealistic expectation, not a true failure on my part. Even if I make an actual mistake that I must fix, like apologize for overreacting to my children, I believe the apology a good lesson in itself.
It occurred to me recently that I need to be kinder to myself, I need to worry less, and I need to consciously shut off the “mommy guilt.” Because what does it teach our kids when we ruminate on our imperfections? What if they pick up on our obsession to be “super” at everything, and what if they think we expect them to be perfect?
If we can’t forgive our own imperfections how do we teach our kids to forgive themselves when they fall short?
To all the parents out there please give yourselves a break! The reality is that being a “super” parent isn’t about being perfect. In my opinion it’s about being loving, consistent, and forgiving… and sometimes admitting that we are regular humans who can’t “do it all” all the time.
“Better beginnings, better balance,” is our catchphrase at Harmony Children’s Village, and balance is another thing that we can’t get perfect. Like most other parenting challenges it’s something to work at every day.
So the next time you’re late tucking the kids in bed or digging through dirty laundry for the shirt your child needs, just know your’e not alone and remember to go easy on yourself! I’ll be doing the same.
How do you cope when you can't "do it all" as a parent? Please share your insights by commenting here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and ideas for more blog topics!
Thanks for being part of the village,