Every mother wakes up in the morning and before her feet hit the floor, “the list” appears in her head. You know the list. It goes something like this:
Pack healthy lunches with a fruit, vegetable and protein (perfect moms don’t let their kids eat cafeteria food), get the kids to school on time (perfect moms are always organize and on time), get to work either at home or the office and start motoring (we need to perform very well at our work), show up for playground duty (perfect moms always volunteer at the school, pick the kids up and be in a really good mood (perfect moms are always nice), drive them simultaneously to each of their activities (perfect moms make sure that their kids have every opportunity to excel), have a healthy dinner on the table at a decent hour (good moms don’t do takeout more than once a week), do homework, spend quality time with them before bed, then spend quality time with your husband (and be pleasant when you do it), and if you have a few spare moments at the end of the day, don’t eat ice cream because disciplined mothers are always working on those last ten pounds. Finally, collapse in your bed and get your seven hours before you start all over.
No wonder we feel like we’re toppling over the cliff of sanity!
So here’s my question for every mother out there. When did we decide that we are in charge of making sure that our kids are: happy all the time, healthy all the time, have every opportunity to do every great thing that comes along and never experience failure, boredom or frustration? Add to that our need to constantly diet, work out, be nice to everyone and be kind, gracious and courteous to our husbands all the time? Now, I’m not saying that these things are bad. I’m simply asking when we made the list to be the perfect mother so outrageously long?
Mothers in the US are exhausted and feel tremendous weight on their shoulders and many are ready to collapse. The quest to be a more perfect mom than our friends has driven us to the point that we have turned into crazy people. Not only are we miserable, but so are our kids. They don’t want perfect mothers, they just want us to love them, protect them and want our company.
I have a challenge for every woman who feels driven to be the crazy but perfect mom. Dial down and ask what your kids really need from you. If you are brutally honest, you will discover that kids need mothers who love them, value them and adore them. When they leave home they need to have a deep sense that they are valued and loved for who they are. They don’t need us to perform for them; they need us to love being with them. The truth is, 99% of all kids don’t care if we buy store-made brownies, make brownies from a box or make them from scratch. Kids just want to eat brownies with us.
And you don’t have to be a perfect mom to do that.