My Daughter Needs Me to Stop Striving for Perfection

Originally published Friday, 01 November 2013.

Ty: Hey.

Me: Hey.

Ty: Remember when you use to blog everyday?

Me: Vaguely. 


You'd think, a three-hour napper would give me some space and time to sit and pound out a couple of the posts I have bouncing in and out of my head all day. But sometimes bills, laundry and sleep take precedence. 


I've always had a hard time not being the perfect housewife. I hate cleaning and when I attempt to cook a meal, I'm easily distracted; resulting in something burning, overflowing, or disgusting. I frequently have to rewash laundry because I forget to switch it over. My counters don't sparkle and it's a good day if the bed gets made. 


Every January first, at least one of my resolutions consist of changing this part of me. 


Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started to get anxious about the extra responsibility motherhood was going to put on these areas of my life. If I can't get these under control now, how am I going to do this and take care of another human being? Pinterest didn't help.


Perfection was my goal and meeting that goal wasn't looking good. 


"Striving for excellence motivates you, striving for perfection is demoralizing." -Dr. Harriet Bralker 


Striving for perfection is disheartening. Discombobulating. Discouraging. 


There have been moments in the last three months when I've felt just that: demoralized. Not because I have a difficult baby or even lack of sleep, but because of giant monster we call "comparison." Between "Supermom's" Facebook posts and the self-burdening expectations I put on myself and my sweet baby, comparison has gotten the better of me on more than one occasion.


I've quickly realized perfection is unattainable, because perfection is a mirage. (You know someone needs to hear that! Tweet, tweet?)


If there's one thing I've learned so far, in my short stint of this marathon, it's that motherhood isn't an end goal, it's a journey (Click to tweet). The failure, the struggle, the joy and exceeding expectations are part of it all; or so I hear. 


I may not be as perfect as I'd hoped to be, but I'm learning to accept that right now, at this point in my journey, to my baby girl, I'm as good of a mother as I can be. 


"There's something better than perfection," and it's authenticity. I need it, my daughter needs it, my husband needs it, my community needs it. 


*If you are on Facebook, you saw the picture that rocked me into this whole thing. Sure, it may be messier, less squeaky and more wrinkly. But it's worth it. 


Maybe, you've been struggling with the mirage of perfection too; in motherhood, in academia, in the workforce, in marriage. Maybe you've felt like your end goal is unattainable. Unreachable.  You don't feel like the best ____________________. Me neither. But right now, in this season, as learners and seekers, we are the best we can be. And sometimes, that's good enough. 

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What's a stand-out lesson you've learned about "mirage of perfection" so far? It can be from your own experience or from observing someone else's experience. 

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