As I write this I laugh at the irony of my topic. The irony being that as soon as I typed this heading I thought to myself – what if I’ve already done this topic? What if it’s no good? That my friends is perfectionism. It’s a nasty parasite that lives in me at in the guise of a helpful friend. But it’s not really helpful it’s a fiendish friend who tells me I could do things better. I could be better. In other words it’s a friend who hangs around my neck like a noose. Because ‘being better’ is another way of saying you’ll never be good enough.

I may sound dramatic but perfectionism is a real problem and it’s infested my parenting. What made me think about that. Well I was just flipping through my diary and I saw all the different lift schemes I needed to arrange (HEAPS anyone willing to help?!?!) and my mind was running through the kids and I just felt like such a failure. Like I needed to somehow live up to this fantasy of Super Mom, who does all the lifts with a smile and manages to be in two places at the same time. (It would make a cool comic book series. Anyone up for the idea.)

It’s more than the lifts though – it’s the school lunches where if my 7-year-old doesn’t like the food, I tell him ‘Too bad.’ (That’s the good, strict mom) but then I feel guilty. So I make a special effort to figure out what to make for him.

None of this by itself is good or bad. It’s great to make nice lunches and make an effort for my kids. BUT and it is a big BUT it’s unhealthy to feel not good enough no matter what you do. For what is enough? What defines enough? And who defines what a good mother is? (Don’t leave the definition to you children you’ll never win. Unless your kids are like Prince No. 2, whom I overheard saying earnestly to Prince No. 1, ‘She’s the goodest mummy.’)

We can’t leave it to society to define us. They just want us looking like skinny models with motherly smiles, and a brief case in hand. We can’t leave it to those around us because they just want more. Whatever we give, more is always better. No it’s up to us to set our own definition, our own boundaries, and this isn’t just for moms. It’s especially for moms.

It helps to feed ourselves. Yes a repetitive theme in this blog, but one I’m only slowly getting to understand. I get it intellectually as I’m sure everyone does, but to feel that real deserving, worthy feeling in my heart and in the deep recesses of my bones (yes the marrow). That takes lots of repetition.

So my nurturing self is telling me now that it’s time for bed. And so it is especially since the 6 am alarm tolls for the first day of school for Prince No. 2. (You get a lot of first days of schools with the more kids you have. And my cousie is right the first day of school is exciting and fun! Especially when you like the teachers. Which I really do. I almost, almost wished I was back at school myself when I saw my son’s grade 2 teachers. [Yes a very tenuous almost])

So that’s it. I am going to post a delicious Patrick Holford soup recipe. Really, really yummy and healthy. Part of my delicious health kick which I think I’m eating more on than I usually do. I’ll do another blog on food deprivation, especially coffee deprivation. ¬†And yes I think a lot more can be said for the right not to be a perfect mum. So next time…