Updated: Jun 8, 2021
Don’t we all feel some pressure to be perfect? Even if we don’t feel pressure to be perfect in every sense, most of us feel it somewhere. I see it most often in parenthood, where - for some reason - a lot of people think it is perfectly ok to shame and judge other parents, especially on the internet. I try to keep a sense of perspective and humour when I read some of the things that are said particularly about mothers. I love ‘the Truth Bomb Mom’ (as those of you who follow my Facebook page will already know!) as she does perspective and humour in a way that always inspires me. And sometimes I need that because there are days when I’m not feeling as finely balanced as I would like when a little bit of judgement can seem like a lot. Like once, I heard an older child at my daughter’s school criticising my child for not being able to ride a bike without stabilisers. Luckily my wonderful little girl either didn’t hear or didn’t care and carried on her merry way, while I glared daggers at this kid. Seriously, I gave her a look like she was another adult skipping the queue at last orders when I was desperate for a Long Island Iced Tea. That is not cool. And I am still here giving myself a hard time over that. Why should I care at all what a child thinks about my child? But I do, because what I’m really hearing is a judgement on me, as the mother who hadn’t taken enough time to teach my chid to ride without stabilisers.
I find perfectionism becomes especially prevalent around child rearing/childcare. When schools are closed due to health issues or snow, juggling extra child responsibilities with work can really bring out some unhelpful tendencies! I - in common with many of you - put myself under pressure to make sure that things Get Done, whilst also providing Magical Memories for my child of the best snow ever/best holidays/best whatever!
However, the difference between me now and as I was a couple of years ago, is that I realised I was giving myself a hard time and stopped. I recognise that trying to make sure everything is perfect is the most likely thing to lead to be dropping the ball. So what if it isn’t perfect? Will anyone else think that? The question I now ask myself is ‘what’s good enough?’ As that is, by definition, Good Enough.
If you find perfectionism drags you down and your inner critic gives you a hard time over those things that aren’t 100%, I encourage you to keep asking yourself, what’s good enough? And some days if that’s just that everyone is fed, clean and without serious injury, then that’s good enough!