There is no room for perfection in parenting. I grew up as the type of perfectionist that was so obsessed with everything being “just right” that most of the time I didn’t bother even trying. If I knew I wasn’t going to be great at whatever new thing being presented to me to try was, I had plenty of reasons why I couldn’t do it. Now as a mother of two, a six year old girl and a two year old boy, perfectionism has taken a back seat and is placated with the accomplishment of if I got in the shower that day. However, that has not stopped the burning bright perfectionist beacon from taking it’s place over my daughter’s sweet head.
In her defense, I was a frickin mess when she came around. I remember the day I picked her up from daycare when she was only three months old and saw that the wonderful woman caring for her wrote my daughter’s name in black sharpie on her bottles (this was both legally necessary and sweet of her to do for me). It took every ounce of self restraint I had at the moment to not unleash my fury of perfectionism on this completely loving and kind woman who
happened to have handwriting that I considered less than perfect. I’m such a jerk, I asked her immediately how to get it off. I promptly went home, removed all evidence of non-perfect handwriting from my daughter’s bottles and
proceeded to rewrite her name on all of them in PERFECT handwriting. I am not proud of my actions but at the time, as a new mother, I was just holding on to any morsel of control I still had in my life. So, is it any wonder that my
funny, witty, lovable daughter is plagued with the fear of not being perfect? No, not at all. When your mom is a perfectionist nut case for the first, oh I don’t know, 5 years of your life, I think you can only blame nurture for that one.
So now what? How does a perfectionist dropout help her daughter see the magic in just “showing up” and trying something new even if it won’t go perfectly, even if she’s scared, even if she might fail? Well, it turns out in order to not be a complete and total hypocrite, I have to also “show up”, be scared and fail and to top it off, I have to make sure she sees me doing it and then getting back up, finding gratitude in the experience and starting again. Holy buckets, I mean I was prepared for sleepless nights, temper tantrums and poopy diapers but “being brave”? Ugh. So here I go, being brave, writing about the things that mean the most to me, hoping my experiences might lighten you in some small way on this insane journey called parenting. Cheers!