I’ve always been a conscientious person and strive to be the best I can be. I keep promises and adhere to deadlines. I aim to be kind and thoughtful and work hard to have a successful career. In personality tests my perfectionistic tendencies are high. When my son arrived, I naturally wanted to be the perfect mother.
It is the most important role of my life and my conscientious voice reminds me of this every second of every day. But, as the months pass and I adapt to being a parent, my desire to be the perfect ‘Supermum’ is fading fast, and here’s why;
1. People don’t actually like Supermums
Let’s face it, the mum breezing into baby class early with a full face of make up, blow-dried hair and a pristine, well-behaved child is just annoying. This is not the type of mum I am likely to bond with. The mum with vomit in her hair and bags under her eyes, now that is the person I want to talk to. The mum who can sympathise with sleepless nights and screaming fits whilst laughing about the vomit on her Primark jumper.
2. It sets a precedent
I regret starting my parenthood journey with the aspiration to be perfect. Why? Because I’ve already set a precedent. When we leave the house my husband expects me to have packed the change bag. Not because he’s a dick, but because in those early, aspirational days, I already had. I’d also tidied the kitchen, done the washing and had a shower. But it’s not sustainable. I’ve quickly learned that the important parenting acts are the intangible, invisible ones – rocking, hugging, kissing, playing – the value of those acts is immeasurable and often unseen.
3. Facebook isn’t reality
Of course I posted the obligatory birth announcement and several subsequent images depicting wonderful family bliss. Hiding behind those photographs was an overwhelmed and knackered mum. But I wasn’t about to post pictures of the bags under my eyes or the dishes in the sink. Don’t be fooled by what people choose to share.
4. Supermum doesn’t equal Superchild
A parent that never makes mistakes and always gets it right is setting unattainable targets for their child. Failure and learning is part of life. Learning to get things wrong and deal with problems helps a child to grow. If the mother is perfect how will a child learn that being imperfect is okay, and actually normal?
5. There is no such thing as a Supermum
Noel Gallagher said “True perfection has to be imperfect”. How can you argue with Noel Gallagher? Dig a little deeper and you might find that the so called ‘Supermums’ actually have imperfections (gasp) and we are all just trying our best. There is no such thing as the perfect parent, so give yourself a break and enjoy the ride with frizzy hair and vomit stained socks.
First time mum to Harry (March 2017) and doing everything I said I wouldn’t as a parent, just to make life easier. Particular fan of Katie Kirby’s Parenting With Biscuits technique. Dislike judgemental people, every parent will find their own way. I’m still finding mine.