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I am a perfectionist, but I am not a perfect mother.<br><br>
Sometimes I put a video on for DS so I can have a half hour of peace.<br><br>
All the food I buy is not organic.<br><br>
I use commercial cleaner in the bathroom.<br><br>
I let him play with toys that are plastic.<br><br>
I use disposable diapers.<br><br>
Some days I don't talk with him enough.<br><br>
Sometimes when reading some posts on MDC, I feel like all the other mothers are “perfect”, spending all their time interacting with their children, teaching them while they eagerly learn and become model children, with no TV in sight, playing with their PVC-free wooden toys and feeding them 100% organic food. I’m not a “perfect” mother, but I aspire to be better.<br><br>
I’m not trying to start anything by posting this. I felt a lot of intimidation when first coming on here as a first time mother, that so many other moms seemed to do everything so… well, “perfectly”. Being the perfectionist that I am, I felt bad and questioned everything. But now I have (somewhat) accepted that I am doing the best I can, I really am, even though I still do things that may not be 100% the “best” thing.<br><br>
I also admit that “perfect” and “best” are relative and unrealistic.<br><br>
I guess by posting this, it is a written testament to myself that what I am doing is okay, even if it’s not “perfect” and that I will continue to learn as I go. Please don't be offended by this post if you are one of the types of mothers I aspire to be... I am trying...<br><br>
...and I am still learning from all of you.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I think everyone belongs to this tribe. It sounds to me like you're doing great!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Hey mama- I've so been where you are. I'm sure everyone here feels that someone else is the "ideal" mother. Honestly- as long as you love your dc and do the best you can at that very moment for your dc and yourself *THAT* is being the ideal mother.
 

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when i start feeling insecure about my parenting compared with other MDCers i stop reading about parenting stuff & browse around elsewhere!<br><br>
i also remind myself that we're all human & have our flaws....it's just easier to sound "perfect" in writing, kwim? one who plays more with their children might also yell more than you do. one who cloth diapers might drive more than you. you never know the whole story & it's hard to lose sight of reality online, isn't it? and IMHO, it all balances out if we love our kids & at least try.<br><br>
someone once told me about a book called "the good enough parent." i never read it or even looked it up but i just love the title. we all need to be good enough according to our own standards & pray everything turns out ok!
 

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when you read about those perfect mothers think to yourself, you are not there all the time and she has to get mad and lose it at least once. We all do the best we can for our kids, you are doing great. Being here shows how good you are!
 

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Oh mama, no one out there is perfect. Just because some mamas don't believe in TV, or non organic food does not make them perfect. All of us out here are human, and we're all here to learn. From life, from our kids, from the world around us.<br>
Heck I do the same in regards to the but my DH is totally Against it...it happens!<br><br>
*hugs*
 

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Moving to Parenting Issues. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
None of us is "perfect" - I don't believe there even is such a thing. What draws us all together at MotheringDotCommune are our values, our ideals; although they may mean different things to each of us, we are all, for the most part, here to learn and support Attachment Parenting and Natural Family Living. If you believe in or wish to learn about those goals, no matter where you are in your parenting or life journey, you are welcome here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Not perfect here, either. I laughed my butt off one morning about 2 1/2 years ago when I noticed that I had just given my youngest DS a breakfast of frosted cocoa puffs, over which I poured organic oat milk. What, do I think they cancel each other out or something? I do my best. Sometimes I fall way short of my ideals. I love my kids to pieces regardless.<br><br>
Kids need lots of things, but mostly they need love. I feel pretty confident saying that you're doing a great job, even if your kid plays with a plastic toy while sitting on a disposable-diapered butt because you love him.
 

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Well, I stive to be a "good enough" mother. My kids know I am not perfect, they know I make mistakes, get stressed and lose it once in a while. I would actually hate for them to have to live up to a perfect mother.
 

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I'm with you. I don't post all that often because I feel that I have to be a VERY VERY certain way to be accepted here. But you know what, my son is happy, healthy, loved, and well cared for. I think that the end result is far more important than how you get there. All kids are different and need different things. One certain parenting style will never fit every child and could be down right bad for some.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>uccomama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7323734"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, I stive to be a "good enough" mother.</div>
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A long time ago, I came across the "good enough" mother in a book. I can't remember the book, although I think it may have been about healing your inner child. The book was my mom's (who had many, many more childhood wounds than she ever passed on to me). That Mother's Day, I gave her a card, addressed to "a good-enough mom". That was at least 15 years ago - maybe more like 20. Two days ago, she told me that she's never received anything else from any of us that touched her as much as that did.<br><br>
If I'm a good-enough mom, I'm happy. Sure - there's part of me that wants to be the perfect mom...but what is that? I can guarantee that even if I'd been the "perfect" mom for ds1, I wouldn't have been for dd or ds2, because they're all different people, and no matter what else I am as a parent, I'm still me. I can't be someone else.
 

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As perfect as some may seem, I promise you that they're not. No one is the perfect mother.<br><br>
I do many (or all) of the same things as you. I also have a tendency to yell at my super-smart, spirited DS, although I'm improving that more and more each day.<br><br>
I think it's great that you posted this. It will be especially helpful to new posters who might be intimidated by all that AP entails and the fact that they're not doing everything perfectly.
 

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Nobody is perfect!! I felt so much guilt for a long time that we didn't co-sleep (my son would NOT sleep in the bed with us, only play after about 3 months) but just realized that part of being a "natural" parent was doing what was best for your family and your child so I am not so hard on myself anymore!
 

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I'm right with you! We have a house filled with plastic toys, we don't eat much organic, we eat sugar, meat, etc. I work full time. I use 'sposies. I've spanked my DS (less times than I can count on my hand and always, always regretted deeply). Sometimes I speak too harshly. I use bribes. etc. etc. etc.<br><br>
But I try so hard to be a good mom, to be loving and kind. To apologize for my child for my mistakes, to always try to do better. I love him to the very best of my ability and try to grow that ability every day.<br><br>
In my work, I see the very worst of parenting and I have faith that DS will grow up okay with my parenting. I think we can lose the moment when we concentrate to hard on being the perfect parent instead of being content with trying our best. Besides, each child is unique, so there can be no perfect parent. What would be perfect for one child wouldn't be perfect for another child...
 

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The thought of transitioning everything at once is daunting to say the least. What is important to you and to your children? What is feasible to change based on your set of life circumstances? Every time I log on here and read I learn something. I take some of this new information and try to apply it to my life and the lives of my family and community. You cannot be all things to all people to all causes. No one is. Change isn't an over night thing. It's not always the end result....most times it's the journey where the true work and change is. I think that by realizing you crave something or someway to do something different, is admirable. Just don't get caught in the cycle of comparison and do not give up.<br>
No one is perfect. That's why pencils have erasers. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
DC
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dallaschildren</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7344704"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The thought of transitioning everything at once is daunting to say the least. What is important to you and to your children? What is feasible to change based on your set of life circumstances? Every time I log on here and read I learn something. I take some of this new information and try to apply it to my life and the lives of my family and community. You cannot be all things to all people to all causes. No one is. Change isn't an over night thing. It's not always the end result....most times it's the journey where the true work and change is. I think that by realizing you crave something or someway to do something different, is admirable. Just don't get caught in the cycle of comparison and do not give up.<br>
No one is perfect. That's why pencils have erasers. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
DC</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: (And yes, you were making sense, at least to me! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> )<br><br>
One of my favorite sayings is "It's about progress, not perfection."<br><br>
I don't think it's ok to say "well, there's no such thing as being perfect, so I'm not even going to bother trying" as an excuse to not do better. But I do think it's ok to say, to know, that you're doing the best you can in any given moment. And when you know better, when you have better resources and more practice and more support, you'll do better. And it still won't be perfect, but that's ok! Progress, not perfection. Your children learn more from seeing you strive to better yourself than they would watching you effortlessly be doing everything "perfectly". Because they need to learn; not just the whats but the hows. Not just the specific ideas of Attachment Parenting and Natural Family Living, but the ways of selecting an ideal and working on implementing it ever more fully into your life. And, how to love themselves and accept themselves when they fall short. And how to pick themselves back up again and keep going, keep striving. That's so much more important than presenting any image of a "perfect parent."
 

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I think the striving for perfect parenting is actually dangerous - many people who strive for perfection are implicitly assuming that with perfect parenting, we will churn out perfect kids. And if our kids are less than perfect, we, the parents are at fault.<br><br>
Talk about creating unrealistic expecations for our children and for ourselves? In fact, this concept of perfect parenting is no different than upper-middle class mainstream overscheduling perfectionism. The parenting approach may be different but the goal is the same - perfect kids.<br><br>
My kids are not perfect. They are far from perfect, because they are human. I am human too. And all things considered, a pretty decent one. I am reasonably mentally healthy (neuroses aside), try to show love and joy and gratitude to those around me, and am more responsible than not (most days). I can always do better.<br><br>
But the question is - should I do better for all things? Every attempt to do "better" needs to be evaluated - what is the return on investment? How does this attempt measure up in my overall values? We have finite resources of energy, time, money, and space - and I need to allocate those resources the best way I can to meet many different needs. Those resources are shifting as are the needs.<br><br>
So while making food from scratch may be seen as "best", if you take time (dh and I work full time), energy (I have two children under 4 years old), money (did I just get paid), and space (my kids will be in the kitchen and underfoot while I cook) all into account, it makes perfect sense for us to periodically order a pizza instead of making everything from scratch.<br><br>
I tell myself this because I do have a running monologue of all the things I am not doing well, and I fail to notice the things I do do well. I beat myself up for the times when I am too tired or too busy or lacking in creativity to attend to all the "musts" I have on my to do list. When in reality, I think many of those "musts" are not real, but rather ideals that few can live up to.<br><br>
Remember that people who seem perfect - they are giving up something for what appears to be perfection. And that may work for them. But their priorities aren't going to be yours. And they may well look at your life and think yours is perfect.<br><br>
My 2 cents.<br><br>
Siobhan
 

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That's why I don't strive for "perfection" - it isn't possible. I strive for "better", and better is always possible (and almost always achievable; it doesn't have to be all the way better, it can just be a teensy itsy bit better, and I'll have succeeded). But yes, there is always a trade off; by making one choice, we are limiting our other options, and we may be neglecting an important aspect of life if we put too much energy into one thing, one goal.<br><br>
I don't know why this philosophy leads some people to contentment and some to despair. It may just be an optimist/pessimist thing. I COULD choose to look at all the ways I could be doing better (therefore "should" be doing better), and beat myself up because of it. But what I see is all the ways I AM doing better, all the ways I am doing well. Maybe next week, next month, next year I'll do even better, or I'll have improved some other aspect of my life (or I'll have had to cope with some unexpected difficult event, in which case my life will just be different, and there will be no point in comparing the two). But right now, I'm doing better at so many things than I was last year; I could look around and see what I still have left to do, but there will always be more to do, so that's pointless. I find peace in never finding perfection; contentment in knowing there will always be more I can do. Every past moment is enough, and every new moment is an opportunity to do better. I don't know why I don't feel overwhelmed, and I wouldn't be surprised if another person saw it that way, but I don't. I make a habit of reminding myself what I have done well at.<br><br>
(And in case anyone is even thinking of looking at this post and thinking I'm too perfect for my own good, I have struggled my entire adult life with depression, and have worked really, really hard to get into that mindset. It is, literally, a lifesaver for me. And I'm not always as good at it as I could be - I definitely have moments of beating myself up about not doing good enough/better/"perfect"! But that's ok, 'cause I'm working on that, and it's about progress, not perfection. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Arwyn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7345396"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know why this philosophy leads some people to contentment and some to despair. It may just be an optimist/pessimist thing. I COULD choose to look at all the ways I could be doing better (therefore "should" be doing better), and beat myself up because of it. But what I see is all the ways I AM doing better, all the ways I am doing well.</div>
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I don't think I'm exactly a pessimist, although I wouldn't really call myself an optimist, either. What I am is my own worst enemy. I have <i>no</i> ability to cut myself any slack at all. I'm getting better, with a lot of support from dh. I know some of where this comes from, but not all of it, and it's something I've been working on my whole adult life (I'm 38), with minimal success. I can look at dh and the kids and see such a bright future for them, and see them all as such wonderful human beings...but I look at me and just see a...schlub.
 
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