If you were asked the question:
Are you the perfect mother?
What would your answer be?
I started to think about this the other day when I was in a bookshop and I saw a sign which said ‘ Read how to be the Perfect Mother’ . My first reaction was NO – I dont need anyone to tell me how to be the perfect mother. So . . first this sign made me cross, but then it made me think ‘what is the perfect mother?’ and ‘Is it possible for a mother to be ‘perfect’?’
It made me cross, because here was an author putting forward their views on what they believed the perfect mother to be. Now, who are they to say that, the set of values that they have are right for me or you or more importantly my children?
It also puts a huge amount of pressure on mothers to be ‘perfect’, trying to be supermum, juggling a home, children, work and play.
There are so many schools of thought on motherhood – e.g let your children cry, make them eat every piece of food that is on their plates, always have them in a strict routine. Well I never did any of that!
When my children were babies I never left them to cry, I never insisted that they had a strict routine, I never insisted that they ate every single piece of food that was put on their plates – why? because for me it was right that if my children cried I picked them up, I hugged them when they needed me I let them fall asleep in my arms. As for routine they slept when they needed it and if they didn’t they stayed awake, if they didn’t eat every piece of food on their plates it was because they weren’t hungry.
What I have for my – some would say relaxed approach to motherhood is two well balanced children who enjoy most food, who are doing well at school and know that they are loved beyond anything I can ever tell them.
I appreciate that not everyone has a mother or grandmother to turn to for help, or the confidence to believe in themselves and sometimes they may need reassurance from a book, but it seems to me that there is now a huge industry telling us how to raise our children, it has become a science and many would have us believe that if we do not adhere to the science we will fail.
As a mum and parent we may not be able to give our children everything they want, either because we cannot afford it or perhaps we have to be at work, but that is ok, why? because the world in which we live isn’t perfect either.
So perhaps what we have to do is help our children prepare for the world as it is and that means, helping them to deal with the disappointments, as well as the successes, helping them to accept others and deal with life.
So for me the question should not be ‘are you the perfect mother?’ but should be ‘are you the best mum that you can be?’
and to that I would answer that every day that is my goal and I try to achieve it, perfect in my some would say my imperfections! So what I am really saying is don’t waste time and energy trying to be perfect, enjoy your children as they are because all too soon they will be grown up and off doing their own thing . . . just trust your instincts and be the best you can.
What do you think? I know there are some of you out there who will have a view. . . join me in conversation on my facebook page lets chat . .
Till next time, thank you for reading