Since my childhood, the only thing that I strived for was being perfect – the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect wife, the perfect professional. And, then the motherhood happened and the pressure to be PERFECT started taking a toll on my life.
I want to share my story with a disclaimer that I love each and every aspect of motherhood. And, my story isn’t about a series of rants about the expectations that family or society have from a mother for raising kids. My story is about a rant about my own expectations of myself and the idea of being the perfect mom.
I am a full-time working mom, who feels the suffocating pressure to pursue “motherhood perfectionism”.
For me, it started with small things like reading numerous parenting blogs and bestseller parenting books. Slowly, it reached to the point that subconsciously I would draw a comparison in my head against the moms at playschool, office, Pinterest, or Instagram and always, found myself short. The ugliness about the game of comparison is that you can never win.
Every day, I wake up with a promise that I would be a perfect mother.
I will do everything that a perfect mother needs to do and will make everyone happy. And then during the day, I make a lot of small mistakes and a few big ones. Every day I fail myself. Every day I go to bed wishing I could have done better. I could have been the mom I wanted to be – the perfect mom.
It is stereotypical to say that being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but the truth is it is.
I never imagined motherhood to be this hard. To me, some days, being a mom feels disheartening. Sometimes in an attempt to mould my kids into responsible and caring humans, I tend to do things that might make me look selfish in the eyes of the perfect moms.
Some dark days, I lose temper with them and then later end up spending my whole night fearing what if I have wounded my kids emotionally and the scars of my tantrums would never leave them alone.
As mothers, we are constantly preparing our kids for the time when they must successfully take care of themselves. Though I want to take gigantic steps in this direction, I feel disheartened every day when I see the footprints of my imperfect baby steps.
And, I go to bed with a hope that tomorrow I might do better.
Quite a few times, I give myself excuses that my motherhood journey is way more difficult than others. But maybe it isn’t. I had to enter into the beautiful world of motherhood through the route of IVF. I had planned on having a child. But I ended up having identical twins.
My doctors and my mom prepared me for everything that I could expect out of motherhood except one thing.
They never prepared me for handling the self-expectation of giving so much of myself into the effort of raising my kids, that I would be left questioning whether I had made the right decisions for them.
As mothers, we expect too much from ourselves – playdates, school volunteering, extracurricular activities, gym workouts, socializing, creating intimacy for our husbands, throwing extravagant birthday parties – all with a smile on our faces. We expect ourselves to be happy moms, who are willingly sacrificing everything for the sake of their kid’s future. And, we do it. Why?
Because we are trying to be the perfect moms.
But, then I guess I am not. I don’t fit in this world of perfect moms – I am a mom who refuses to wear a smile on her face because she is too tired to be perfect. I am a mom who admits that motherhood isn’t as glorious as I thought it would be. There are days when I am a perfect mom, but other days I dislike the whole idea of being a perfect mom.
Some days, I chose to give less to my children so that I can give more to myself.
In case you have started having doubts about my love and commitment towards my kids, I want to make it clear that my love for my kids is so powerful that it could power a rocket ship into space. When I see their beautiful faces, it feels my heart would burst from my chest with the powerful love that I feel for them.
Being a mom has given me immense happiness, and more joy than I could ever have imagined. It has given me an opportunity to feel love so powerfully. It sends fireworks of crazy joy across my body but, some days it deflates my spirit with the possibility that I am getting it all wrong.
So, I hope I will do a better job at motherhood tomorrow. I will try to be a perfect mom tomorrow. But, I know I will fail again. And, I guess I am OK with that.
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