Thoughts on parenting and perfection
I am not the parent I swore I would be. Before I had my daughter, I had a long list of things that I would and would not do as a parent. I wouldn’t let my child watch TV, we would spend our days outside and doing educational activities, and they would never eat processed foods. I was so dead set on fitting a certain mold, on being the perfect parent you see on Instagram and in magazines.
This morning, I just needed a minute to myself. I grabbed the iPad I swore I would never give my child, and gave it to her. I sat down with a cup of coffee, and my girl and I had cake for breakfast while watching Sesame Street.
You see, I’ve burnt myself out trying to achieve the standards I set for myself. I call myself a failure because I am a stay at home mom and that means I should have it all together, right? I should be filling our days with meaningful activities and maintaining a spotless home, right?
When we hold ourselves to these impossible standards, we are taking that energy away from what really matters. If I’m overwhelmed, my daughter feels that. She deserves me at my best. I can’t do it all, and as long as I am taking care of my baby, I am successful.
As I sit here admiring my little baby, watching cartoons in her banana-crusted jammies, I am overwhelmed with such joy. We worked so hard to get her here. I survived severe preeclampsia, and my sweet four-pound baby fought more than I could ever imagine. Our hospitalizations took every ounce of control away from me, and it made me realize that things aren’t going to always go as planned. Add PTSD and PPD to the mix, on top of my ever-present anxiety and depression, and you can imagine how hard it is so be a good mom sometimes.
I’m not always going to be the perfect parent. There are some days where I just have zero energy, and my kid survives off of Disney movies and Cheerios. My house is far from spotless, and there are at least three loads of laundry upstairs that need to be done. But, all of that can wait. What can’t wait is my child. She is growing every second, and I’ve wasted so much time trying to be perfect that I’ve failed at being present. My daughter is loved beyond belief, and will grow to be a strong and loving woman. She will always know how grateful we are for her.
Mamas, take a minute to breathe. You’re doing fantastic. Grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and eat a piece of cake. Your kid will be okay, I promise.
This post was originally written by me on July 24, 2018 and reposted for this blog.