Friday, June 29, 2012

The Perfect Mother

How many of you have met the perfect mom? The one who cooks and feeds her kids only organic food, have children who never have meltdowns in public (or at home for that matter), have children who never struggle in school, moms that never raise their voices, wake up early to work out, shower and have a full face of makeup on and ready to take on the world at 8am?  I am here to tell you one fact:

The perfect mother does not exist.

And if you think she does exist, believe me, she has you greatly fooled (or she has a maid, a personal chef, a personal trainer, a nanny and a butler to do it all for her).

It seems like we are all expected to be supermoms these days.  But if it looks like that mom pushing the grocery cart with 2 small smiling children and carrying her newborn in the baby bjorn has it all together, you are greatly wrong.  What may look so great on the outside, may be falling apart on the inside.

As mothers and women in today's society, we are expected to keep a house running, manage the kids and manage our husbands :) And what exactly does that look like? Well, here are just a few of the small things we have to do daily:

-Washing clothes, folding them and putting them away

-Grocery shopping, keeping the pantry stocked and the family fed, which includes meal planning, cooking, baking and serving food, as well as doing the dishes

-Taking care of the kids, and if I listed out what 'taking care of the kids' meant, we would be here all day, but let's just say it involves diapering, potty training, playing with them, organizing their social activities, school related things, making sure they are fed, hygiene care, etc........

-Organizing the family social activities and date nights

-Family finances, and paying the bills (it seems like most moms end up doing these)

-Cleaning the house

-And about a zillion other tasks that would fill up this blog post and don't have time to put, but you get the idea

A lot of moms out there look like they have it all together, but in real life, they are getting the syrup off the sofa, the poop off the towels in the bathroom, and at 6pm when they are about to feed the kids, look in the fridge and see it empty with just a frozen meal sitting in the freezer.

Real moms realize this and accept it and embrace it. Real moms know it's okay to have frozen pizza for breakfast.  Real moms watch their toddlers have a temper tantrum and will sit down and cry right next to them.

As a child counselor, I feel like sometimes people expect me to have it all together.  That I am the model parent and when I am out in public with my child throwing a tantrum, that I should know how to respond perfectly and everything will work out exactly as the books say.  Well, I am here to say that it couldn't be farther from the truth.  So please don't look at me to do everything perfectly right and have perfect kids.

Yes, I do practice everything I preach and I follow the counseling tools I have learned over the years, but sometimes it doesn't always work.  All discipline techniques and parenting guidance tips are just that- tips.  Sometimes you have to do what you think is right in a situation.  Or sometimes you just have to react with your gut and instincts as a mom.  Believe me, I will not judge you at all if I see you having a meltdown right next to your screaming 3 year old, or screaming teenager for that matter.

As an example of this, I took my newborn and toddler out for our real first outing by myself the other day.  It was Kindermusik class and normally my family or husband will watch the newborn so I can drive 5 minutes down the street to class with my 2 year old for some quality mommy and daughter time.  But I didn't have anyone yesterday, so in the car we go, both kids crying.  I get them in the stroller, both still crying.  We walk down the hall and I get out my toddler but she refuses to come inside the class.  She growls Exorcist style, 'No!' so I just leave her there and steer the stroller in the classroom and wait for her to calm down and come inside. She finally comes in, doesn't want to do anything, then the baby starts crying so I push her a little in the stroller. (This is the point when I probably should have just left and called it a day). Then we are good for 5 minutes, baby cries again, I take the carrier out into the hallway to calm her, my 2 year old follows me crying, I decide to nurse the baby and sit in class to do this. My toddler refuses to do any of the music activities and sits in my lap as I nurse with the shawl on me.  The baby still cries, so I take both kids in the hallway and we just left and went home.

Yep, I totally didn't have it together.  Most moms are able to bring their new babies to class and they sleep all the way through it. Maybe I should have just taken them home at the first sign of tantrums and called it a day, instead of pushing them to stay.  I realize that my older child is also probably regressing with the birth of a new baby, and I am sensitive to that but still wanted to see if we could have a nice time together in class.  Oops, but you know, that's part of being a mom and learning as you go.

I read some great advice the other day that about sums up what I feel.  It said to, "rest easy real mothers, the very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already ARE one."  I couldn't agree more!


  1. LOVED this post, couldn't be closer to the truth.