The concept that there are perfect mothers is an outright myth. Just like there are no perfect relationships, no perfect children, and no perfect fathers either. The need to be perfect mothers is causing a great amount of pressure, which can be extremely damaging for them. This need has increased due to social media depicting the image that perfect families do exist. There are tons of influencers and content creators who show only the perfect side of family life and never the struggles. However, this isn’t the reality.
A study carried out by WaterWipes found that of 13,000 parents around the world, 55% of them feel that they are failing as parents in their first year of parenthood. Mothers tend to feel this more at 60% when compared to fathers at 45%. This study delves into the pressures parents are facing in today’s times. Thus, the sooner we realise that motherhood is full of struggles and not just perfection, the better we will feel mentally and physically. Motherhood can leave us isolated, sleep deprived, disconnected, and even depressed. With all these feelings, it’s normal that you can’t be the perfect mother.
Here are a few tips to help you to stop trying to reach perfection:
1. Accept your flaws
The first step to letting go of the ideology of being perfect is to accept that you are flawed just like everyone else. Once you can let go of perfection, you will be able to start appreciating everything that motherhood has to offer; all the messiness and mayhem that comes with being a mother. You can see the beauty in all the imperfections.
2. Ask for help
At times, the last thing we want to do is ask for help. This happens because if we ask for help, we feel inadequate. We feel that it gives the message to everyone else that we’re not doing a good job. However, it is when we can reach out and receive help, that we do the best for our children. By not having to do everything by yourself, it becomes easier to better manage your day to day tasks.
3. Be realistic with your goals
There is no point in giving yourself an endless list of things to do in a day, knowing full well that it’s impossible to tackle all the tasks on the list. Thus, be aware of what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not, in the little time available to you. By doing this, you can enjoy your present moments better rather than constantly stressing on what needs to be done next. Be mindful and focus on making special memories with your loved ones instead.
Rather than holding onto the concept of being a perfect mother, instead learn to embrace all your imperfections. In turn, this will also help your children to learn how to embrace their own.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues, such as general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with children with anxiety and day to day stressful problems.
- Firestone, T. (2019). The Myth of the Perfect Mother. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/daring-love/201906/the-myth-the-perfect-mother.
- Kim, A. (2018). There Is No Such Thing as a Perfect Mother. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/perfect-mother-myth?utm_source=blog&utm_campaign=influencer&utm_medium=social#6.
This Is Parenthood Hub | WaterWipes UK. WaterWipes. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.waterwipes.com/uk/en/community/this-is-parenthood.