I’m an ex-perfectionist.
The expectations I placed on myself were always so high that I had a difficult time enjoying a moment or connecting because I’m distracted by minutiae. I so deeply wanted to be a good mom and to be thought of as a good mom that it consumed my thoughts and how I cared for my children. I wanted to measure up to the fabulous examples of amazing mothers that I’m blessed to be surrounded by.
But, I realized that the focus on perfection would never allow me to mother my children well.
Not only that, the Lord showed me that if I was the perfect mother, I would have nothing of any value to offer to my children. After that realization and thinking on the freedom and grace found in Christ, I’m desiring to mother well rather than mother with perfection.
Perfection doesn’t allow for any type of growth or relatable human-ness. Being a perfect mother now seems robotic and alienating; wouldn’t it be lonely being unable to relate to and with others?
My goal is to put Christ at the center of my relationship with my children and allow myself to embrace the freedom and grace that the Lord provides. I want my children to see someone who makes mistakes and apologizes, a woman who is fallible but strong, someone who is able to guide them through life because she’s got some dirt under her fingernails. How can I comfort, depart wisdom, show grace, patiently lead, and connect with if I’ve never experienced the need for any of those things? How much would I be lacking if I was perfect? How could I, as a sinner, show them a need for the Lord and lead them to Christ?
For me, mothering well looks like putting forth all the same major effort to be prepared, organized, and never forgetting to pack my cape. It includes being who I am, covering myself with an incredible dose of grace each morning, and accepting mistakes as life. I still want to do my best; the difference is in not allowing my mistakes or the perceptions of others to control how I live or view myself. Perfection is just insecurity masking itself -- worrying if I’ll be accepted or seen as good enough has less to do with perceptions and actual tasks than me not seeing myself through the eyes of the Lord.
When I accept myself as the woman the Lord created me to be -- a mama covered with grace and wholly accepted, loved and forgiven, perfection is null and void.
The struggle with desiring to be “perfect” in our roles is tough. As adults, while we have to work to see beauty and perfection in a mess -- our children see the “best day ever” when we see epic-ly ruined.
Let’s choose to remove the pressure of being an epic mama from our shoulders and place them on the Lord’s. Then, live freely in His grace.