Just to be clear, I am far from perfect. We usually get to school ‘just’ on time, it often gets to 5 o’clock and I wonder what on earth we will have for dinner and I’ve been known to pass my own crafts off as my children’s they are so poorly made.
Before I had children I wanted to be the perfect mother. I had an image in my head that I would cook, play games and read books all day long, my patience would be everlasting. In reality of course being perfect is impossible and what is perfect? Is perfect an immaculate house and smartly dressed children, or children running around covered in paint and chocolate or is perfect just everyone being happy and content? Does perfect even exist?
Lately my house has been so messy that I’ve stopped inviting people round, arranging to meet at the park or soft play instead. It seems pointless tidying up when two minutes later someone will be squishing a banana into the carpet or flinging LEGO around. I feel like somehow I am failing if I can’t even keep the house tidy.
I try be involved with school and nursery so I’m on the PTA for both, because I feel like thats what a stay at home mum should do. I also try and help in Z’s class when I can, and I’m doing an OU degree because I want to have a career when the children are all at school. I try to read with Z everyday, and do activities we can all enjoy, but is all that too much? In trying to be perfect I wonder if I am actually becoming less of a good mum. Z and S don’t know or care that I go to PTA meetings, I think Z likes it when I go in school to help, but that time uses up part of one of the two mornings a week I have alone with H, so it is her who misses out. Would my children rather I just spent quality time with them rather than run around trying to do everything, and doing nothing very well? For example, while Z and I painted our eggs for school, S was much to my horror wiping her bum with a dettol wipe. Is perfect an illusion I will never reach and am I foolish to even try?
All I want is for my children to grow up feeling safe, secure and able to talk to me. Perhaps I should stop trying to be perfect and just be my imperfect self.
This post is linked up with the Britmums Carnival at Mummy From the Heart.
I so relate to this post- I am a SAHM too, and have felt the same pressures/ obligations- I am on the PTA and was on the Children’s Centre Advisory board and working as an NHS peer supporter, but I had to reasses and put the last two on hold as I felt it was taking too much time. My eldest is at school, my youngest is at preschool once a wk and I use that time to frantically mop and clean and answer emails from our business. I may go back to NHS work when youngest is at preschool more but for now I want to breathe and take time and not try to be everything to everyone, and just be calm. X
I am trying to breathe and be calm! Thanks for your comment. x
I think you came up with the answer right at the end there! If it’s any consolation I feel just the same, last year I was trying to work from home as well as do all the childcare and housework myself. And do it all perfectly. I was also on our pre-school committee too doing the fundraising. I realised that was too much and stopped it. Then when I fell ill, I had a bit of a wake-up call that I couldn’t do it all and I didn’t have to do it all amazingly. So I’ve now dropped a lot of the work, it means less money but it’s not long until all the children are at school. And I’ve got a cleaner which I’m embarrassed about. But when I was ill I had to have one and now I’ve got used to someone just helping out here and there. I’m sure your children think you’re perfect anyway, although they all like to have a good moan about their mums too! : )
Thanks Emily. I do know I do too much, but at the same time feel I don’t do enough if that makes sense?
Ah thank you for your kind words, you are right. I am not sure why I do it, sometimes it’s just to prove that being a SAHM is worthwhile, I know it’s the most worthwhile thing ever, but I have had criticism, direct and indirect. As the years roll by, I am feeling more confident in the role I chose and no need to screm and shout to the world about what a supermum I am being when it’s like spinning plates when at least 3 are dropping ready to smash right before my eyes! Don’t feel embarrassed by having a cleaner, if I could I most definitely would!! And an iron-er too as I can’t stand that either! X
Good to see your honest blog standing up for being just us and not being an expert in everything to everyone. Thanks again x
jane @ northernmum
Emma, I am knackered just reading. I managed one pta meet then realised I couldn’t commit to the extent needed.
You are a wonderful mum, don’t worry about clean homes etc, be house proud when they more out.
ahhh, thanks Jane. I fear being house proud has already been beaten out of me though 🙂
I can really relate to this, I work part time and still take the kids to and from school every day, do volunteer work at school when I can and I too am doing a Psychology degree with OU. I try to do so much making and baking and spend a small fortune trying to fill weekends from start to finish etc that I wonder if I try to hard and if I should be a bit more relaxed and just learn to love and enjoy more simple things. Stay in and just watch a film or play hide and seek more often. I find it hard to reach that balance at times x
To me you are perfect, you do so much with your kids & they are happy and lovely children so I’m sure you are perfect to them too. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to do everything & make sure you take some time out for yourself. I know stay at home mums who have kids all in school & they spend the day in the gym,shopping & drinking coffee with friends – I bet they don’t beat themselves up about not being perfect!
You do a great job!
Blimey reminds me of when my boys were younger (they are both in their late 20s).
You are not imperfect at all. If your children are happy, feel secure and are fit and well then I think you’re doing a ‘perfect’ job of being a mummy.
I was once told that no child notices if their clothes ironed but they will know if you haven’t hugged them or made them happy.
So keep on doing what you’re doing – stop and count your blessings. 😉
mum of all trades
I stopped trying to be perfect a good few years back! As long as everybody is fed, clothed and gets plenty of hugs then the rest just has to wait. I know some people would be horrified if they saw how little ironing I do for 7 people. But that’s one of the corners I’ve learned gladly to cut. There are many others too!
Michelle Twin Mum
Definately dump the perfect gene, it has a lot to answer for. I used to put so much pressure on myself, it is crazy. I ended up with late onset PND. I am now much more relaxed and I even let epopel come round when it is messy and you know what? No one cares. You are suepr fab Emma.
i can really relate to wanting to have everything perfect and do ‘lots’ for the kids, be at all the meetings and be ‘seen’ to be involved. When my first went to school i did all of that and then i realised i was going to run myself into the floor with the commitments the school/nursery would happily lay at my feet. So i backed off.
Its funny what we think the kids will remember and what they actually do remember. One day i was talking to my daughter about what was the best part of her day. I had expected her to say when i had taken her to some grand event thing that the school had been running that had taken everything i had to arrange and she said ‘my favourite bit was when we jumped on the trampoline and we had cheerios in snack bowls outside!!
I dont think there is a ‘perfect’ parent, there are just ‘real’ ones. your kids are lucky to have you, you are doing a great job
Thank you. xx
I bet your children think you are perfect and that is all that matters. My Mummy is perfect to me becuase she gives me lots of cuddles. She would tell you that she is far from perfect and has lots she can improve on but Mummies do such a great job – you are all perfect in our eyes. 🙂
Awww thank you. xx