I wish we all knew.

I have a wish deep down inside. With complete unison of thoughts and feelings, I wish that every mother truly believed she is enough. Enough; meaning plentiful, abundant, ample, competent, sufficient, the right amount. Have you ever heard a mother say, “Yeah, but I want to be more than enough”? Well, it’s impossible. She simply does not exist. Unfortunately, many will make themselves miserable trying to attain such perfection.

What you should know about the perfection plague ruining our motherhood, by paige christian, a joyful nest, breastfeeding world

This is a serious sickness that is plaguing mothers in Western Society.

Striving is certainly nothing new. And it often comes from a place of good intention. But parents are almost constantly bombarded from Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They are influienced with images on ‘How to Have “a Perfect Life.” Because of that, many mothers are burdened with surmounting pressure. Either they become paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy, or they get catapulted into an unhealthy frenzy of chasing an illusion of perfection. It truly is a chasing after the wind, and this is eroding away at the well being of genuinely good and excellent mothers. Mothers who are simply amazing, and who are enough for their children.

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What you Need to Know about the Perfection Plague Ruining ou Motherhood

Donald Winicott, a British pediatrician and psychoanalyst of the 1950’s observed an interesting phenomenon with thousands of mothers, their babies and children.

He came to the conclusion that babies and children actually benefit from imperfect parenting. Imagine that!

Children do really well when their mothers fail them in ordinary ways. The point is that as children grow, they need to learn from their mother or primary caretakers. The lesson: that they live in an imperfect world. And so they learn that that world doesn’t revolve around them. Winnicot coined a phrase called “The good enough mother” in honor of this process. It’s an important process. One which every child must go through in order to be resilient enough to withstand the dissatisfaction, disappointments, setbacks, and trials that will inevitably come their way throughout their lifetime.

So, the next time you’re struggling with that mommy guilt, or wondering if you are enough for your children, just remember that your short comings, your weaknesses, and imperfections do serve a purpose. Repeat aloud this mantra to yourself “I am a good mother.” Kids will be good enough adults if we give our good enough selves to them now. It’s not perfection, but it’s real and that is enough.
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Paige Christian

Paige Christian

Certified Social Worker & Blogger at My Joyful Nest
I'm a proud midwesterner who loves the simple and beautiful things in life. I'm currently a SAHM and loving this season in life where I am privileged to be with my two precious toddlers all day and night. My career focus is in social work. I received my MSW from Asbury University in 2012 and am a licensed social worker. My passions are counseling, writing, researching, teaching, inspiring, and encouraging others, especially mothers. My mama style consists of breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby led weaning, baby wearing, and some positive parenting approaches. I'm also a mama blogger at My Joyful Nest where I like to encourage mothers on their own journeys.
Paige Christian

1 Comment on What You Should Know About the Perfection Plague Ruining our Motherhood

  1. Anne Kathryn Rice
    May 1, 2017 at 1:10 PM (6 months ago)

    This is so true. The world is not perfect so why should mothers be? Perfection would actually be doing your kids a disservice. They have to see us lose our balance and then get it back. Thanks for this beautifully written article!

    Reply

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