Looking Back at Perfect
In the midst of decorating the high chair for my daughter’s first birthday party I ask my friend “Does this look ok?“
“It looks great!” she replied.
I let out a sigh of relief and said “I’m clearly not a Pinterest mom.“
With that statement came an entire conversation that we moms are all too familiar with.
Too many to count. We place them on each other as well as ourselves and in fact, we place them on every person we have a relationship with. The expectation that family will show up to the party, that a good friend will offer help, that everyone will enjoy and have fun.
Some expectations are healthy. Like the expectation that your partner will help with what needs to be done. And others may not be so healthy, like the expectations we place on those that often let us down.
But furthermore there is one expectation I’d like to explore in more detail. The one that we can control. The one we place on ourselves to be the ‘perfect mom.’ The mom that captures the perfect photo, has the most beautiful cake and decor at her child’s birthday party and all to show her friends and family how much she’s got this.
That expectation is one we can choose to do without. We place it on ourselves, therefore we can remove it if we simply set it free.
Imagine the brain power you could free up, the money and time you could save, and how much more you could enjoy being a mom without this silly expectation.
Yes…that homemade cake may not be as pretty as the one from the store, but it could taste better and at the very least the memories you’ll have if you let your littles help you will be worth it. And don’t worry, that mess can wait till bedtime. You’ll get to it. Just breathe.
And yes those beautifully staged photos of your child in a nice outfit, alone, surrounded by cute props are so pretty to look at and maybe hang on your wall.
But in the future when my daughter asks to see photos of when she was little, I imagine she’ll be looking for her memories, as I do.
Memories of how her mumma held her hand that first time down the slide, or how her papa hugged her when he got home from work or maybe how she played with her friends at her birthday party.
Those candid real life shots, those are the memories worth coming back to. So capture them and let the rest go. Give yourself grace and spend that precious time and energy on either working on yourself for your family or with your family. Don’t worry so much what your friends and other parents will think of you if you don’t do all those things you’re expected to do.
Just do you.
Our only true judges are our littles. And they’ll be happy to declare you the title of “perfect mom” if you let them.
You got this.