Perfect Mommy Syndrome
January 24, 2013
I was planning on writing a business focused blog this week, about how to get your dayhome expenses and income in order for tax time, but then I read another blog that really affected me (ok, pissed me off actually). As a result, I felt I really needed to write about that instead. The blog I read is co-written by a number of stay at home moms who are really child led and passionate about what they do. A lot of what they do is amazing, and inspiring. However, they ALWAYS seem to be super chipper and happy and amazing, and it sets Moms, who are struggling just to get through the daily grind, up for failure.
The blog post that I read in particular was actually about how one of the moms in this group managed a really bad day. I thought the blog itself was beautifully written, very honest and insightful. It was the comments that upset me. Many of the comments were saying things like “thanks for writing this, I feel like I can never be as perfect a parent as you are, and its good to see you have bad days too” (not a direct quote, I’m summarizing). SERIOUSLY???
NO ONE CAN BE PERFECT ALL THE TIME!!! And it’s unfair to promote this perfect parenting to the rest of the world. Parenting is a damn hard job, and we ALL need to be honest about this and support each other in it. Historically, it really did take the village to raise children. People were out and about much more, and everyone just accepted that keeping an eye on all the children in the village or neighbourhood was just what you did. This is not the case anymore. I live on a street where there are maybe 2 other families with children, and we hardly ever see them. We all live in insular little cocoons, and are expected to be all things to our children at all times. Not possible.
I think I’m a pretty good Mom, and most days, I have my crap together. But, I also have a VERY sensitive DS who makes me completely bonkers some days, I suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder, and a group of teenagers that I teach, who sometimes drive me straight to the bottle of red wine in my cupboard. On a day when all those things add up, do I have the patience to sit and paint or bead with my kids? Probably not!! Honestly, those are the days when I am incredibly thankful for the T.V. or the iPad.
We, as parents, and as a community of parents, need to be honest with ourselves and with each other. Share the hard days, ask for help, and give yourself a break. Its ok to have a bad day – we allow the kids to have them, why not us too? And when you’ve had a great day, tuck that into a little pocket in your brain so you can pull it out when you need it the most.