Imperfectly perfect…


These days, mothers are put under a critical microscope of perfection. We are expected to have Pinterest-worthy homes; be perfectly groomed daily; have the most obedient, well-mannered, top-of-the-class children; fit in every extra-mural activity we possibly can; and hold down a job.

image

More and more, I personally feel the pressure of trying to live up to the image of the “perfect wife and mom”.  I am guilty of this in more ways than one.  Not only do I hold myself to this high level of expectation, but I too easily judge those moms who don’t get it right…even though the plank in my own eye is blurring my vision.

This is all one big lie.  Can we please just call “bullshit” right now?

I am a mom. I work a 9-5 job. If I get to tidying my house, I consider that a triumph. Dinnertime, bath time, dishes and laundry are enough of a challenge for both my husband and I to get through.

We are simply not capable of doing it all. We are never going to be able to pull off gourmet meals that Gordon Ramsay would be proud of, in a spotless kitchen, with our angel children perched perfectly on the ends of their chairs, waiting ever-so-patiently for dinner to be served on matching crockery.

image

I am never going to look like I’ve stepped out of the latest issue of Vogue after spending a day with my 1 year old. More accurately, my “designer” outfit will be designed for comfort, and be decorated with the stains of at least 3 different foods. And spit. There will most definitely be spit on most of it.  Heels?  What are those?  I’m pretty sure they went extinct a couple years ago…

If you find yourself brave enough to venture into our natural environment, expect it to look like a hurricane moved in, undetected, and honed in on our home and our home alone. Expect to have to tread carefully through our lounge in the case of a sneaky lego block that may be waiting to ambush the next unsuspecting victim from it’s hiding spot underneath the rug. Expect to find things hidden in the most interesting places – this includes food. I have no idea where or why he hides this stuff, perhaps he’s storing up for winter, but I regularly find our baby boy chewing on something that wasn’t given to him that day. Search as I may, I simply cannot locate the secret location.

image

Expect all of this and probably much, much worse!  But, don’t expect an apology.
This is our little piece of paradise where we exist…as chaotic as it is.

So, when you see me with makeup on – compliment me!
When you see my hair looks like I managed to get more than 10 seconds of drying done before I left the house – compliment me!
In fact, if you see my hair in anything but a messy ponytail – compliment me!
If you see me looking haggard and as if I may explode from the pressure of the day – find something to compliment me on!

image

As women, we are far too hard on each other. We all need to lighten up and stop competing for first place in this soul-destroying, anti-depressant-inducing competition that Motherhood has become. Let’s actually try being nice to each other for a change, uplifting each other when we can see someone needs it most.

You are imperfectly perfect. The type of mother you are is unique to your style. Shrug off the negativity and critism that is thrown your way and stand up proudly for the way you decide to do things. Own it.

17 Comments

Add yours
  1. 5
    Sula

    Ah if you had a time machine you could have submitted this for the POWA book last year, the theme was “Perfectly Imperfect”, I was invited to be a mentor for a group of participants and would have found this perfect :)! I totally agree with your sentiments, facebook etc. always allow people to project an often false impression of their lives. Once I wanted to go around my house photographing all the stuff that people shouldn’t see, the messy drawers, the tears in the lounge suite etc. but my husband was not keen on my flash of inspiration. Regarding compliments, last week in Woolies a stranger said to me “That colour really suits you” that totally made my day

  2. 8
    Vern

    Keep it reall, Ang – so important for us to be real and live honestly. Love your honesty, love that your home is lived in and not a showhouse, love that you’re trying so hard to cope with all the demands of this phase of your life.
    Want to encourage you to hang in there …. it won’t always be like this. It definitely does get easier as your little ones grow and become more independent and more helpful. And there will be time to try one or two of Ramsay’s recipes and take on some new adventures and still cope with the juggle of every day life. Enjoy this season …. it too will pass, take great memories with you xx

  3. 11
    Janine Venter

    What an excellent piece. I put myself on this pedistal plenty of times, and reading this, today I today I take on the day with a sigh of relief. Its aint so bad, and considering all things, we have it pretty good. Keep up the good work. High 5 to being an Awesome Mom!!!!

    • 12
      Angela Ellett

      Thanks Janine! It seems that so many moms are relating to this feeling of not living up to expectations (our own and other people’s). Put your feet up (wherever you find a space) and let’s drink to not being so hard on ourselves anymore!

  4. 17
    Ryan Nel

    Hey Angie, Veronica and I feel the same way, she is the bread winner and I do the cooking, not the most “macho” thing to admit but there I said it :) I guess everyone has their own unique ways of dealing with things, and what works for them may not work for us, so why must we compare ourselves to others?! Now I must let Veronica read this, she will enjoy it a lot! Thanks!

+ Leave a Comment