Perfectionism

Definition of perfectionism:  a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.

Perfection is my middle name!  I demand perfection with everything in my life.  Cleaning probably takes me longer than most! Everything needs to be perfectly clean with no spots. My clothes need to be folded perfectly. I want everything I cook to come out perfectly (and get so frustrated when it doesn’t)! I read my blog posts over and over again…they HAVE to be perfect before I publish them!  Being perfect has always been a way of life for me and has made me work hard in everything I do.  Some people might say that working towards perfection is unhealthy.  I think it has pros and cons.  First, I see it as something to work towards and helps me to do my best.  I know that it’s not possible to be perfect in everything I do.  I make mistakes as every human does, however, I try my best in everything and I don’t see anything wrong with that.  It can also be a major con for me!  I worry way too much about what others think.  I want people to think I’m perfect.  I compare myself to others who I think are perfect and wish I was more like them.  Talk about unhealthy!  I’m getting better at being myself and worrying less about what others think (major work in progress).

Perfectionism has definitely carried over to “mom life” and this is something that I need to work on avoiding.  I’ve looked too much at what other children do.  When is Jackson supposed to be sitting up?  When do most children start crawling?  I’m ashamed to say that I’ve wanted Jackson to be ahead of the game, be advanced for his age, and do everything sooner/better than “most” children.  I would assume that’s common among many parents, but I’ve learned that it’s overwhelming and stressful.  Not too long ago, when Jackson was sleeping horribly, I was endlessly Googling trying to find out why he wasn’t sleeping and what we should do differently.  Every article I read told me that at his age he should be sleeping through the night.  I was blaming myself and thinking I was doing something wrong.  When reaching out for support and reassurance, I was reminded that not all children fit a certain mold or follow all of the research.  Low and behold, he started sleeping through the night a couple weeks after I stopped Googling!  I’ve been the same way with Jackson’s new adventure in the solid foods world.  I wanted him to be eating everything and liking everything right away!  I’ve learned to have patience and go at his pace.  He’s already developing into a great eater.  It takes time, which is perfectly fine.  I need to stop worrying about where Jackson is supposed to be and focus on where he is now.  My son is perfect in my eyes no matter when he reaches his milestones.

The past 7 months have been a whirlwind of emotions.  I worry so much about being the world’s best mom.  I wonder if I’m making the right decisions or if I need to be doing a better job.  I look at what other moms are doing and wonder if I should be doing the same thing.  I’m realizing slow but sure that I am doing a good job.  I’m learning that if I want to be a good influence for Jackson that I need to be more positive about myself.  I’m not a perfect mom, but no mom is perfect.  It’s okay to work towards perfection, but I’m going to accept the fact that I will make mistakes.  I will work hard to provide the best life for Jackson so that he learns what hard work looks like.  I want him to know that it’s okay to be imperfect, but want him to have a good work ethic and to know what hard work means. I want him to see me as a confident mom, so that he learns to be confident.  There are so many qualities that I want him to have and I think it’s important to be a good example and exude those qualities myself.  As a teacher, I see firsthand that children are the product of their environment.  The best way to raise Jackson to be the best person he can be is to be the best person I can be.

With everything said, I’m making the promise to worry less and stop comparing and striving for perfection. I will focus on how awesome Jackson is and how much I love being his mom!  I will focus on the fact that Jackson is healthy, SOOO happy, and thriving, which tells me we’re doing just fine!

P.S. I will definitely continue my OCD tendencies of perfect laundry, perfect food, and perfectly clean house.  That’s just a part of me! It’s okay to be perfect in some ways!!

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Lou Holtz

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