What does perfection look like to you?
Perfection is different for each person. Each of us handles it differently. What is perfect to one person isn’t to another. There are so many different stories about perfection and how we deal with it. I wanted to share some of them with you. Below are a few stories from moms who have dealt with perfection and know what it feels like to have that doubt and fear of failure creep in. These stories are suppose to let you know that you are not alone. We all have struggles and there really is no such thing as the perfect mom.
Nina Simmons from Facebook Formula for DS Success:
“Failure. Fear of failure was the root of my perfectionism. It had creeped into every area of my life. My marriage, being a mother, having a career. The demands of being a new mom is when the visible cracks started. I remember coming home and telling my husband I felt like I was drowning. He would beg me to let him help me, but he didn’t do things my way. My perfect way.
The final straw happened three years later. I was on my way home from the grocery store, I was working full time, starting a new business on the side and we were having people over that evening. The car in front of me was driving too slow. I got mad, then I started to cry hysterically and couldn’t breathe. I was having a panic attack. I was able to pull over and call my husband. He calmed me down and I was able to get home safely. I was ashamed. I had failed to keep it all together. I wasn’t perfect. Perfect people don’t have panic attacks.
I went to a therapist. This is it. I had failed. Perfect people don’t need therapy. Until I realized that the fear of failure was driving my perfectionism. And it’s okay to fail.
I quit my full time job and went full time in my business. And I failed. Again and again and again. I’ve failed more this year than I can remember and it’s not so scary. In fact, I kinda like failing because it means I’ve tried. I take each failure and I learn from it, which to me means success.
I still struggle with perfectionism, but I’ve chipped away at it. I’ve embraced failure and sharing my failures to help combat it. Letting go of that fear of failure has given me the power over my perfectionism and the power to accomplish so much more.”
Michael Custer from MMMCUSTER: helping moms take back their lives
“As the mother of teenagers, I decided that having a perfect life was impossible and unnecessary a long time ago. As a new mom, I started out believing that everything could be and needed to be perfect. I would run myself ragged trying to work full-time, take care of the kids and take care of the house. I would worry about everything that they ate, drank, played with and that they were always happy. I would finally break down from the stress and then start the whole pattern all over again, thinking that I could do better this time. This went on for a couple of years. I would beat myself up for not doing everything just right.
Then as my kids got older, I learned that they did not really care whether or not everything was perfect. They would want to eat their favorite foods, have toys to play with and hopefully get enough sleep. I did decide though that if I was miserable from the stress, then everyone around me was miserable too! I decided that messy and imperfect, but less stressed was a much better choice. I stopped worrying about the little things and started paying attention to how we were feeling and getting along. When I made that mind shift, I started to enjoy life much more and so did the rest of the family. Life does not have to be perfect to be great and we are the perfect example of that! ”
Jenni Schubring from Jenni Schubring LLC
Lisa Wise from Wise Mama Owl
I am a perfectionist. I’ve scrapped more than a few craft projects and started over because I made a mistake. I have anxiety of whether completed projects are “good enough,” though sometimes I’m a lazy perfectionist and I’ll just let go whatever is worrying me so I can fret over something new. But I still want to be perfect.
My house knows two states of cleanliness – absolutely spotless and utter disaster. If the sofa cushions are out of place or a stray crayon isn’t put away, I call it chaos. (Just ask my husband, who will also be happy to tell you that I rarely get my house to actually be spotless. We don’t share a definition of disastrous, though, and his tolerance for clutter is higher than mine as long as the floors are clean, the trash is emptied, and the dishes done). I’m a perfectionist, but I live in a world with 24 hour days and I’ve got a toddler and a preschooler. And I just started a business. Striving for perfection is like trying to find the end of a rainbow.
But in spite of the fact that I am a perfectionist, I’m nowhere near perfect. None of us are, and we don’t have to be. Motherhood is, dare I say it? Messy.