A Pledge Against Being a Perfect Mom

Erin Britt Working Parent

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I have a lot of responsibilities.

These responsibilities are constantly balanced like eggs on spoons in an old fashion field day race; honestly, I need many spoons. Not to mention the ones thrown at me from the sidelines. Those unexpected eggs that are tossed just when you think you have everything perfectly balanced.

My life is not unique from other parents, working in their home or in the outside world. We all have to multitask in order to have each day run as smoothly as possible. I have been thinking though; I don’t think that it is society or other mothers forcing their high expectations upon me.

I think that I do it to myself. I’m not sure how to fix this about myself.

When I stop and really think about it, I think it is crazy that I don’t have enough time to take a bath. Showers are quicker, baths are a luxury. Reading a book, even a magazine, also seems like a once in a blue moon occasion. If I can’t read it on my phone while I wait for my child to finish a play date or I am in line for my coffee, it doesn’t happen.

It took me months to attempt oil pulling, not because I didn’t have the guts; because I couldn’t find the suggested 20 minutes that I wasn’t talking or being talked to.

By the way, I finally did try oil pulling and while I was forcing myself to breathe through my nose and not swallow the coconut oil, I tried to think of what I could do to not waste that time. I don’t know if it was when I tried to swish the oil around my mouth as suggested or the anxiety about the other household errands that needed tending to, but after eleven minutes, I couldn’t do it any longer. I had to stop.

We have to stop.

Do you think Facebook and Pinterest are the culprits here? Do they present such beautiful pictures, such perfect pictures, of what our homes, gardens, birthday parties, and lives should be? I’m not sure. I actually think that it goes back long before social media.

I remember as a child, the pressure that my grandmother put on herself when she was hosting a holiday party. Everything needed to be organized, festive, and tasty. The true hostess did this and made it look easy without complaining about the hours that she really spent.

No, we do this to ourselves. I think it’s always been this way.

We have such unreasonable expectations and it’s getting worse. How can we stop this? What if we decided to ban together and make a promise?

Something like…

I promise that I choose time with the people I love over worrying about a clean house.

I promise to be honest when I get appetizers at Coscto instead of making them myself.

I promise to share a child’s tantrum or a picture of myself without a shower or makeup on Facebook.

I promise to say “No” just once in awhile instead of “Sure, I can do that” and then regretting it!

I’m not saying that we always have to live by this pledge, most of us couldn’t do that; but we could encourage each other to admit to a bit of slacking instead of holding ourselves, and others, to unreasonably high expectations.

The perfect mother? The perfect spouse? The perfect employee? The perfect friend?

Being all of these things to everyone else all of the time…that’s a big responsibility, so if I’m being honest…

I am currently writing this in my cluttered home, without a shower, and yes…my child is watching tv.


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Erin Britt

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