A guest post on the importance and upsides of imperfection, by Talya at Motherhood: The Real Deal
In today’s world, we have very high expectations of ourselves. We’re always shooting for the stars, obsessing about this, that or the other in that everything-has-to-be-just-so kinda way. Yet how many of us have uttered the words “there’s no such thing as perfect” time and time again?
It’s no wonder that when embarking on motherhood, so many women put such great amounts of pressure on themselves from the very outset, and as a result become a walking neurotic blob. After all, it’s probably the greatest challenge of our life so far, and we want to do it 100% right… right?
From breastfeeding, to trying to fend off that seemingly constant explosion of crap everywhere, to nurturing your ickle one with only the best homemade food (only to have it thrown back in your face in utter disgust); trying to keep things running in a seemingly perfect fashion is a one-way ticket to nervous breakdown-ville in my book. Hey, I’ll see you there in a while – we can grab a coffee while we’re at it. Or maybe not…
Fuelled by a conveyer belt of books, we worship at the alter of those gurus whose schedules, advice, meal plans and other regimes you lap-up every detail of, leaving you whipped up into a strung-up tizzy, as your better half does – for once – look better in comparison to your neurotic self. Until slowly but surely, it all gives way to a lot more shoulder shrugging, as the knocks and challenges of motherhood gently beat us into submission, exhaustion and boredom of trying to be…. well, perfect.
Yup, screw the toothbrush, stock up on the ready meals and switch on Sesame Street for an hour – ah now doesn’t that feel better? Us first time mums can get so het up over “doing the right thing” or “what’s best” that we can become a bit deranged in our motherly mission. I blame perfect mum angst on today’s information and product overload – you can thank the Internet and all those lovely product marketing people for that! If in doubt, just remember our own mother’s knew diddly-squat and we turned out just fine… didn’t we? They say ignorance is bliss, after all.
Shaking off the shackles of perfect motherhood comes with time, experience and a lot of mind-boggling “why do I bother?” moments, but when you get there, it feels damn good – liberating even – making everything so much more enjoyable, and giving you time to focus on the important things, like enjoying your little one.
Yup, submission is so sweet and corner cutting never felt so good. So move over “perfect” mum – everyone will be much happier, including you!
And now, 10 signs you are on path to enlightenment as an imperfect mum:
1. You find mouldy bits of snacks glued to the inside of your bag – you have no idea what they are or how long they have been there for
2. You’re little one wants to bounce around like a bunny while eating dinner – you don’t give a crap so long as they are actually eating for once
3. While they nap, you’d take a mummy nap hands down over prepping tonight’s dinner
4. You can’t remember the last time you bothered to have a power struggle over: teeth brushing, sitting down for dinner, wearing socks, hats… or pretty much anything for that matter, and life is happier for it
5. This is the third night in the row they’ve had a Heinz ready meal… but that’s ok because it’s Mum’s Own Recipe anyway!
6. CBeebies and more specifically, that God awful programme In the Night Garden, is your new best friend
7. In your attempt to be organised, you bring out a packed lunch but open it at lunchtime only to discover its contents are solely olives
8. You appear to have developed a compulsive lying habit – everything is always chicken, has closed or has gone to sleep. It’s amazing what the odd white lie does to keep the peace these days
9. You don’t wait anymore until they’ve gone to bed to have that much deserved glass of wine. Who can wait til 7pm anyway?! That feels like a lifetime away…
10. You lose your patience on a regular basis, and remind yourself that – hey, it’s ok – because nobody’s perfect
So are you on the road to being an imperfect mum?
Motherhood: The Real Deal is a bold, authentic, no shit-talking and hilarious blog run by Talya, a mum to a very intense, amazing little toddler gal who most of the time specializes in driving her round the bend. Having given up the working mum role when she hit 12 months (she was the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief for an online lifestyle platform) she’s sat on both sides of the fence as a working and then stay-at-home mum and like many, have grappled with the issues which come hand in hand with both scenarios.
A big thank you to Talya for contributing this funny and oh-so-true post, I am happy to say I tick off most of these daily! You can read more about guest posting on Big Trouble in Little Nappies HERE, or contact me via Twitter or Facebook.