Sexy Moms, Little Golden Books and The Truth About “Perfect”

by Amy on January 21, 2015

kids

I used to want to be a “perfect mom.”

Before the 3 you see up top, I’d fantasize about life with kids. I could smell the fresh baked cookies as I pulled them out of the oven, my hair perfectly coiffed. Somehow, I managed to look motherly yet sexy wearing a ruffly apron and high heels (red).

Sort of like her (except picture her with a tray of cookies):

1940s vintage illustration of a woman in an apron carring a dish of food, homemaker_thumb[3]

My children would be well groomed, always. They’d have impeccable manners saying things like “may I be excused,” so that other adults would look upon me with admiration. “Why your children have such good manners,” they’d praise. At home, my adorable children would sit quietly for hours entertaining themselves, paging through Little Golden books.

See how these children play? Kind of like that…  (Except omit the dog. We don’t have a dog):

doctor-dan-cover

7 years, one set of twins and another surprise later, let’s just say things didn’t turn exaaaaactly how I imagined.

Perfectionism.

We compare ourselves to an idea of “perfect” in our heads – perfect mother, perfect child, perfect husband, perfect ass.

Then we set ourselves (and the other people in our lives) up for failure over and over again because (duh!) it’s impossible to EVER measure up to this idea of perfect in our heads.

Straight out of the gate, I was confronted by the fact that I didn’t measure up to my image of “perfect mother.” Nor did my babies for that matter.

After the twins were born…

Home from the hospital, sleep deprived and surrounded by breast pump equipment, bottles, feeding schedules, diapers, formula, nursing pads, pacifiers and books titled things like What to Expect the First Year, I sat there staring at these two flawless beings.

And it hit me.

A “perfect” mother would be happy gazing upon these babies. But the truth is I didn’t feel happy.

I felt tired, overwhelmed and ashamed. Plus, nobody told me these little people would cry SO much!

So for the first few years, I tried like hell to measure up to this happy, sexy, motherly, cookie baking, lipstick wearing idol in my mind, constantly falling short — silently resentful when those babies didn’t sit quietly with their Little Golden Books.

Until I realized that this “perfect mother” in my head, along with those “perfect children” of my imagination, were a product of too much talk radio, too much “Brady Bunch” and “Leave it to Beaver” combined with an unsolicited subscription to Victoria’s Secret magazine.

Once I realized that the “perfect mother” of my imagination was just one person’s arbitrary blend of cultural memes , I felt liberated to throw her away and just be me. Once I released my attachment to the idea that my children should look and behave like Doctor Dan, I gave them the space to just be them.

Perfectionism is based on the assumption that YOU don’t cut the mustard, as is. But when you allow an arbitrary blend of cultural, political, religious and family standards to define what matters, you run the risk of always being disappointed — in yourself, in you kids, in your body, in your life.

The truth is you do cut the mustard. You came out of the womb cutting the mustard (well, not literally).

Nowadays, I’m fully aware that I’m not much like the “perfect mother” in my head. Some days it’s fun to wear red high heels anyway. Some days I rock the mom thing by being the opposite of my “perfect mother” fantasy, other days I could stand to channel a little more Carol Brady when interacting with my kids.

The bottom line is it’s all good because I don’t have to fit any mold. And my kids don’t have to either. Nor does my ass for that matter.

Which ends up being kind of perfect, doesn’t it?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pamela @ Nutrition to Heal Yourself August 1, 2017 at 3:45 am

Such a great thing to remember. Although at times when I am out with my three boys ages 7, 6 and 3 I can feel like such a failure. For example doctor appointments. I do not ever recommend bringing my three boys to any appointments. Every fiber of my being is tested and I usually fall into a failure funk for at least 48 hours before I remember they are 3 little boys and doctors are always running so far behind. We got this, it’s just not going to be easy.

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