How many times do you question whether you are good enough?
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly striving to do more, give more, and be more? Not just as a mother, but across all the many roles you play in your life.
But let’s be honest, does enough ever really feel like enough?
I’ve had conversations with countless women, and I know this struggle all too well myself – the word “enough” seems to have become a more palatable way of saying perfect.
This version of “enough” has been shaped by impossibly high standards, often ones we’ve set for ourselves. These standards would be challenging enough to meet in just one aspect of our lives, never mind across all the competing devotions of modern motherhood.
Yet so many mums seem to be caught in the perfectionism trap at a huge cost to their well-being and their sense of enjoyment in motherhood.
Chasing perfection in motherhood
1. Fuels guilt
Trying to live up to our ideal versions of ourselves comes with a heavy burden of guilt. When perfection doesn’t allow for any mistakes or slip-ups, it’s inevitable that we will stumble. And in those moments, we can’t help but feel like we’ve failed, or worse, that we’re bad mothers.
2. Creates overwhelm
Let’s face it, there will always be something else we could do. But that doesn’t mean we have to do it all. However, the pursuit of perfection leaves us feeling like we’re never doing enough, even on those days when we’re exhausted from the motherload.
We push harder, do more, and the cycle continues, leaving us overwhelmed.
3. Sucks the joy
Perfection is rigid. It doesn’t leave space for creativity or embracing the messy beauty of motherhood. But here’s the truth: Motherhood isn’t a paint-by-numbers, it’s a big, colourful Jackson Pollock splatter painting.
When we learn to accept and appreciate things just as they are, rather than constantly trying to turn them into our ideal image, we begin to discover joy in the imperfections.
Breaking up with Perfection
Letting go of perfectionism in motherhood takes practice, but trust me, it’s worth it.
If you do find yourself slipping into feelings of inadequacy or frustration when things don’t go as imagined, here are a few things you can try:
1. Challenge black-and-white thinking: Remind yourself that one dropped ball doesn’t mean you’ve failed, and it doesn’t override all the great things you’ve done. Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
2. Be mindful of your self-talk: Don’t let that inner mean mummy voice shame you into thinking you’re not enough. Become aware of the way you speak to yourself and choose words that you would use if you were speaking to your best friend.
3. Write, journal, or try positive affirmations: Need a mantra to lean on? Here’s one that has personally helped me time and time again:
“There is no room for perfection in my motherhood.
I will never be a perfect mother – and that’s okay.
There’s always room for learning and growth.
Today, I believe in my heart that I’m a good mum, and that’s more than enough.”
Remember, no matter what the challenges, you will always be the perfectly imperfect mum for your kids. So, try to embrace your journey with all its imperfections because that’s where the true beauty lies.
This article is by Katrina Court, one of our partner coaches.
Katrina is a certified coach who specialises in matrescence – the transition women go through in becoming a mother. She works with women in the early years of motherhood to help them feel empowered and equipped to redefine what it means to be a modern-day mum.
You can find out more and book a free discovery call through her profile page.
October 1, 2023