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Family Values

Why is it that we humans hold a superhuman standard for ourselves? Every human will confirm "... no one is perfect." We have flaws. We make mistakes. Perfection is unattainable! Yet, somehow, we convince ourselves to strive for it. Has anyone ever achieved it? Then why do we constantly set ourselves up for failure? Perhaps it is our quest for significance, or our ideal of not disappointing, or our desire to not "mess-up" our children.

In our quest, we visualize ourselves to superhuman proportions: Super-Mom or Super-Dad. Then, we frustrate and belittle ourselves because we can't measure up. A study by the University of Washington found, "working moms who accept the reality that they cannot be perfect in all areas of their lives are less prone to depression. " Psychology Today says perfectionism is "a fast track to unhappiness, accompanied by depression and eating disorders." Our perfectionist tendencies are not making us better, they are making us unhealthy.

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one" - Jill Churchill

Parents, let's raise our right hands and vow to...Cast Off Our Capes! We willingly picked them up and threw them on, out of love for our children or the expectations of others. So, we are the ones who must shed them off. It may take some self-talk and esteem boosting, but we can do it for sanity's sake.

Untie the Cape: Release yourself from perfection. Admit you are human and will make errors.

Ease the Cape from Your Neck: Refuse to take in perfect pictures of children and family life. Some social media may make you feel inadequate; most do not mean to suggest perfect households, but we intake their images/words that way. Remember, anyone can appear to have-it-all together in a "snapshot." They may have different strengths/weaknesses than you, but they are imperfect.

Drop the Cape: Accept yourself and your parenting as enough for the children under your roof. A loving parent is most important. If your children know they are loved, however that plays out with your personality and home life, you have succeeded.

When Tempted to Pick Up the Cape Again: Repeat five times, "I will never be perfect, but I am the best I can be for (insert your child's name)."

Then, go love those babies as only you can!

Elaine Stone, mother of three, lives in Spotsylvania County. Write: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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