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Beth Montgomery: Quitting perfection can be quite perfect

I’m done trying to be the perfect mom

Yup, I’m done, I quit. That load is way too heavy for me to carry, and I will never live up to the expectations. My own or someone else’s.

Notice: I’m done trying to be the PERFECT mom. 

She doesn’t exist. Seriously, hear me out.

For way too long, I’ve compared myself to other moms who seemed to have it all together. You know the type; always on time, perfectly crafted cupcakes from scratch, homemade costumes, and always has their home clean while homeschooling their kids with a full-time career. See also: “Pinterest Moms.”

What I thought a “perfect mom” should be like only existed inside my head, in the little snippets I saw on social media, and sometimes in person with other parents. 

If you’re anything like me (especially as a single parent), I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job with my kids or parenting them the right way – whatever that means

In one moment, my day can go from “wow, life is great” to “oh man, my kids are going to need therapy.” 

Or more commonly: “I’m not doing enough for them.”

Ultimately, it’s robbed me of so much happiness, love and peace.

From what I gather, I’m not alone.

While it’s easy to be preoccupied with how much I messed up or how I didn’t do a good enough job, I have to remember that this isn’t a constant reality. We’re human and humans mess up. That’s how we learn.

I have to consistently repeat the top 3 most important values (to me) of being a parent means, and they’re simple.

I’m here to guide them through life, make sure they stay alive, and love them. That’s it.

I’d like to say it’s that simple but I have to keep up with some bad habits – that I’ve learned to stay on top of – with the comparison monster that lives inside my head. These rules include:

  1. Stay off or limit social media consumption. I deleted the apps from my phone, and I can’t even tell you how much this has helped. The more I see snapshots of other parents who seem like they have it all together, the more I compare myself to them. Turns out, life still goes on even without the apps, and I’ve even noticed my mental health getting better.
  2. Stay realistic. Even though some parents can seem pretty transparent, I have to remind myself that there are moments that no one else sees or knows about. Just like me.
  3. Compliment or appreciate them. When I stopped thinking that this parent was better than or more proficient than me and turned the inner dialogue to one of appreciation or complimentary, there was no room for negative comparison to sneak in. Bonus: the positivity always brough in more positivity, so I’ve noticed my life has changed for the better. 

The world needs more love in it. If that means I have to stop trying to be a perfect mom in order to spread more love, then I gladly quit. 

And if you haven’t heard it today, you’re doing an awesome job. Your kids love you, and so do I.

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