Practically Imperfect In Every Way

The first thing you should know about me is, I come from a long line of PERFECT women. My Great Grandma Fergie was smart, hilarious and almost regal in my eyes. She lived to be 96 and stayed fabulous til the very end. My Grandma JC is one of the hippest grannies I know to exist. She has the perfect ensemble to wear to any event. And if she can’t find it in a store, she just makes it! She’s a homemaker who has always kept a magnificent home. I love her dearly. My Mom can do anything. I mean it…ANYTHING. You name it. She can sew window treatments, discuss politics, cook a mean Thanksgiving dinner, build you a shelving system for your laundry room, diagnose and nurse you back to health, and always conjure up the perfect words to say when you need advice. That’s an impossibly high standard to live up to.

That brings us to me. I’m a stay-at-home mom of 3 trying to maneuver my way around Mother’s guilt. I feel so lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to stay home with my kids and not miss a moment of their lives. It’s such a privilege. But I’m constantly struggling with the expectation that since I’m a SAHM I have to be THAT mom. You know, the PTA president, the woman who bakes amazing treats and delights in cooking a fabulous meal for her family, the mom who throws elaborate and extravagant birthday parties for her kids and 293 of their friends. Since staying home and raising my kids is my primary responsibility in life I should be doing it to the extreme…right? Not even close. I tried the PTA and it wasn’t exactly my scene, I can cook…I just hate doing it, and the thought of throwing huge and expensive birthday parties for my kids gives me anxiety. In short: I do NOT keep up with the damn Kardashians. I find myself agonizing over doing what all the other moms seem to be doing, and what I feel is best for my family and my sanity. My husband is constantly reassuring me that I’m a great mom and telling me to have more confidence in myself. (How lucky am I?) But I never let his words sink in.

I’ve said to myself several times in the last year, “If I had a blog I would TOTALLY be writing about this right now.” So…after another one of those ‘mom fail’ mornings…trying to get my boys ready and out the door to school, completely losing my temper, and beating myself up about it afterward (*in my defense: there were scrambled eggs launched at and stuck to my kitchen ceiling this morning)….here I am. Blogging!

I am only now learning that I have to let go of my need for perfection and just enjoy this beautifully imperfect journey. That’s what makes it all so fun. I’m proud of my little family. My kids are happy and smart, amazing little people. We don’t live in a Pottery Barn catalog, we fight, we make mistakes, and we learn as we go. But we love each other deeply and unconditionally. I’m done competing for the Supermom trophy…it doesn’t exist. What if we could all let go of striving for perfection? Can we find the humor in our messy houses, our sassy kids (who launch scrambled eggs onto the ceiling), the awful cooking we’ve put on the table, and all the rest of our insecurities? Starting today I’m owning this: I don’t have to be THAT mom in order to be a great mom.

Comments

  1. You’re a great mom! I sure didn’t have a perfect mom, and I turned out all right. (I may not be the best example.) All you can do is your best, which I bet is something you tell your own kids, amiright?

  2. I love you Marie!!! I think you are one of the most fabulous women I know. Your kids are so unbelievably lucky to call you Mom:)

  3. Trust me, Marie, your mom is far from perfect. Most days she just does her best and makes it up as she goes along too. The one thing she does best is love her kids and her grandchildren. Signed, Your Imperfect Mom.

  4. You are an inspiration Marie!

    • Thanks Sarah! I’m SO not an inspiration…just tired of running in circles trying to achieve Super Mom status. It’s more fun to relax and be me.

  5. HAPPY SITS DAY….perfection is boring and useless….I have more fun being us….and my son learns that mistakes and silliness are great

  6. Living in a Pottery Barn catalog made me smile – we don’t live in a catalog, either. Letting go of the need for perfection is very liberating – I am not THAT mom, either! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Whoever THAT mom is. . .I bet your kids like you better than they would like her.

  8. Amen! I love this! Happy SITS Day.

  9. I’m guessing the amazing women achieved that amazingness over the course of a lifetime. I am learning not to compare myself to women in different stages of life than me. I have a baby and a toddler and some days getting a shower and brushing my teeth makes me amazing. I also have been through 3 birthday parties that you describe (the last one being last week for my 1 year old) and have made the executive decision that until they can ask for a party, birthdays will consist of a big fun day with 1 or 2 friends and family. Mom is not going to have an anxiety attack over a birthday party they can’t even fully understand. So I think you rock and we are in the same boat! Happy SITS day!

    • So you’re saying that over the course of my lifetime, there’s a possibility that I could become amazing too? Here’s hoping! ๐Ÿ™‚ And high five to cooling it on birthday parties. I swear, it feels like I’m the only one sometimes. Nice to know I’m not alone.

  10. Stopped by from SITS – loving your blog! Happy SITS Day and Happy Holidays!

  11. Hey, great blog!! Sending you love from SITS!! I’ve been there trying to raise my children as a stay at home mom. It’s never easy. I think previous generations DRANK, A LOT, and just seemed perfect because nothing bothered them!!

  12. Oh how much I love it when I find a GREAT blogger through SITS!!! I love you already and I have only read one post. I can tell we just may be real good friends!!! You and I think alike, write alike and well, we are both SAHM’s who blog and struggle and attempt to be the best mom in the imperfect journey of motherhood. SO nice to meet you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. The Supermom award is SO overrated. Good for you for doing what is important to you! It sounds like you have some awesome women in your family. I bet if you talk to them, they will tell you plenty of the trials they dealt with. Happy SITS Day – I enjoyed your post!

  14. You’re such a rebel. : ) Just kidding. I’m a teacher and when students try to complain about other teachers I stop them. It’s not appropriate, but I always go on to say, let your teacher be themselves and they will be the best that they can. Everyone is different. I’m sure your children will appreciate your real approach to life. You don’t want them growing up disappointed that they aren’t perfect. Enjoy your SITS Day.

  15. Happy SITS Day! I love this and I absolutely agree! As moms we always try to be perfect when in reality, we can’t. We just do what needs to be done in our own special way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Who wants a Supermom Trophy, anyway? It would just be one more thing to dust and find a place for!!

  17. Dropping by via SITS and I just want to say: You’re my kinda mom! =) I feel the same way and I’m trying really hard not to compare myself to other moms but it can be difficult. I’m going to love reading here, I know it!

    I’m going to catch up with you on Twitter too!

    @jenknox

  18. I am SO with you! I can do a LOT (and I do – that’s why I call it Adrian’s Crazy Life), but I realize that I can’t do it ALL – and I’m OK with that. And if part of what doesn’t get done happens to be cooking and housework, I can live with that. No one has starved to death around here – yet…..

  19. Happy SITS Day and set yourself free from perfection!

  20. Here’s to not keeping up with the damn Kardashians! If the kids are happy, we’re doing it right!

    Happy SITS Day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Stopping by from SITS to say hello!

  22. I enjoyed your posts! Happy SITS day! Keep up the good work!

  23. I love this post and feel exactly like you do! As a SAHM of 2 kids under 3 I feel like most days I am just struggling to stay sane! I may not have it all together but my kids are happy and loved and sometimes I have to remind myself that that is what is most important! Happy SITS day from your newest follower!

  24. Perfection is overrated anyway. Happy SITS day!

  25. I love it! I’m a soon-to-be mom and I’m already overwhelmed with worrying if I’ll be a good mom or not. It makes me feel better to see you say that you don’t have to keep up with absolutely everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Love this!!!

  27. When I first starting reading this I thought, ‘oh no’. I could never live in the shoes of your mother and grandmothers — actually you sound just like me. I find not only cooking a chore but figuring out what to have for dinner a chore too. I’m not as clean or crafty as I’d like to be either, but I love my daughter more than anything in this world, so I’m okay with all the imperfections that come along with being me. Hope you’re SITs day is perfection!

    • …and don’t forget the grocery shopping. I HATE grocery shopping too! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Our real jobs as moms is to love the heck out of our kids. They really don’t care how clean the house is or how fancy the dinner is, do they? Your daughter is one of the lucky ones. Thanks for stopping by!

  28. Stopping by from SITS! I need some comic relief. And I love REAL moms. Considering I didn’t make either of my kids organic, homemade baby food, and I only breastfed the second one til she was 11 months old (not 12–gasp!) it’s a miracle I get to keep them.

  29. I am in the same boat as you. I come from a long line of perfectly perfect women and I used to FEEL like I COMPLETELY fell short of their example all of the time. Shortly before I had my first child, I “got real” with myself. I talked myself through all of the things I wasn’t going to get right the first time, I was going to have to try more than once to get right and all of the things I just wasn’t going to be able to do…no matter how hard I tried, just because it wasn’t possible. It really created a “no pressure” atmosphere in my head starting out that way. The kind of person I was before my son is completely different than who I am now that we have him. The photographer woman that would have cried or yelled at carrots all over the child, his chair…the wall…the ceiling…the DOGS…MY 2k dollar CAMERA!!….laughs and whips out said camera and has a photo shoot instead. I couldn’t believe all of the things I was enjoying that I would have missed otherwise. Stalking my son reading to his stuffed animals if I had been in the kitchen trying to “make a dent” in the dishes from the night before. All these things we do to compete with other people we are NEVER going to be! Kinda makes you feel nuts when you read a comment like that. We are only ever going to be who we are. I’m so glad you don’t expect perfection..or anything close to it…from yourself. You are going to have a happy life, and so are your children. =)

    • I absolutely LOVE what you wrote here. THANKS for the vote of confidence and words of wisdom. And cheers to photographing the chaos rather than scrambling around trying to clean it all up!!! That’s how life should be. I want to be just like you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Oh, sweet words to my soul! I just wrote on my blog that my family is no Christmas commercial! I can’t wait to read more…..

  31. Hi Marie, stopping by from SITS. I wish I had a perfect Mom to take care of me and my family but I am not it either. I live the humor and honesty of this post. Looking forward to reading more. I started my blog too with the eventual realization that I couldn’t keep up with other Supermoms in our day and age. So much pressure in today’s society for women to do and have it all. I just do the best I can for my family, whatever that is on any given day. Have a great day, I need my coffee!

  32. Stopping by from the Ladies Only Blog Share! I am so not that perfect mom either. Our house definitely does not look like Pottery Barn. I have friends whose houses just look perfect and I don’t know how they do it. I have decided it’s all stuffed in closets! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Followed you over from the Ladies Only Blog Share. Love this post. We might be the same person. I too have 3 kids, am a SAHM, mostly suck at it, love my kids, but feel guilty all the time that I am not THAT mom. I am trying to just get rid of stuff… if you don’t have any crap in your house, it’s cleaner! LOL, easier said than done!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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