No More Perfect Moms [Guest Post & Book Giveaway]

Apr 11, 2013

Earlier this year, on a particularly frustrating day, I wrote a letter “To the Mom Who Can’t Keep Up.”

I felt exhausted, overwhelmed. No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t seem to stay on top of all the to-do’s. I wanted to either scream or cry. Maybe both. Instead, I wrote this letter.

Before lunch the next day, it would become (by far) my popular post. Thousands of readers commented or shared, expressing similar angst over the never-ending expectations and failures of motherhood. To my great relief, I was not alone.

Jill Savage, Founder and President of Hearts At Home and author of nine books, recently released a new book that speaks to this wrestling with imperfection: No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life. Jill has been a dear friend for more than twenty years. What I love most about her? She’s imperfect, just like you and me. At the end of this post, I’ll tell you how you can get a free copy of her book. For now, welcome my good friend, Jill: 

***

When child number one threw a fit in the grocery store one day, screaming at the top of her lungs in this very public place, I was so embarrassed. I’d witnessed a scene like that before I had children, and I swore my kids would never do that. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found myself in all kinds of situations I never thought I’d be in.

When the kids didn’t sleep much, I found myself beyond weary. When they didn’t potty train as quickly as other kids their age, I was discouraged. When they grew older and began to have a mind of their own, I found myself exhausted from the conflict.

I’m less patient than I thought I’d be. I weigh more than I want to. My children are more strong-willed than I expected. At times, my marriage isn’t the “happily ever after” I dreamed it would be.

Inside I think thoughts like: I don’t measure up. I’m failing as a mom. My kids don’t act like her kids. My house doesn’t look like her house. My body doesn’t look like her body. My husband doesn’t help like her husband does. What is wrong with me?

Have you ever felt that way? Have you wondered what is wrong with you, with your family, with your kids? The truth is that nothing is wrong with you or your family—or me and my family. We are all normal. Our frustrations are normal. Our disappointments are normal. Our struggles are normal.

When you and I compare our insides to other women’s outsides, we always come out short. We’re comparing our struggles to their masks.

There are no perfect moms (just women who make a good outward appearance). There are no perfect kids (just kids who are dressed well and behave well just when you see them). There are no perfect houses (just ones where the clutter is cleverly stored!) There are no perfect bodies (just ones who know the beauty of Spanx!)

Perfection doesn’t exist…but unfortunately we waste a lot of time and energy pursuing the elusive mirage we’re just sure can be found. While we’re pursuing perfection, we’re missing out on the most precious parts of life: the laughter of silliness, the joy of spontaneity, the lessons found in failure, and the freedom found in grace.

Let’s give ourselves—and our family–the gift of grace to make mistakes. We can’t be perfect moms, but we are the perfect mom for our kids.

Where do you most often fight feelings of failure: mothering, appearance, housekeeping, marriage, or ???

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY: Today I’m giving away one copy of Jill Savage’s book, No More Perfect Moms. If you want to be included in the drawing, make sure you leave your name, email address, and blog comment below. And don’t forget to use the share buttons below to link this post on Facebook and Twitter.

WANT THE SUPPORT OF OTHER IMPERFECT MOMS? Jill is leading an online, Facebook study beginning Tuesday, April 16. Hundreds of moms have already joined. You don’t have to do this alone! Find out more information and join the group by clicking here.


 

35 Comments

  1. Dena Neely

    I would Love one of your books….:0) Thank you & God Bless!!

    Reply
  2. MyPeaceOfFood

    Ummmm….all of the above? I struggle daily with feelings of failure surrounding my marriage, my parenting skills, my appearance AND the upkeep of my home. How sad and exhausting! But I may not have realized it if you hadn’t asked.

    I wish I knew what to do to immediately stop it, but I guess all I can do is pray for the guidance and help to do so. We are made in the image and likeness of God. No mistake goes unforgiven. No flaw is seen as such in the eyes of our Maker. If we are doing our best to be obedient to Jesus’ teachings, there is no reason why we should feel like a failure.

    Thanks for writing this book, Jill! It helps us all let our guards down a little bit and be more authentic with one another as moms, friends and wives.

    Reply
    • Michele

      I’m with you … All of the above! It’s taking me a while, but I’m slowly learning that my limited capacity does not equate with failure. That’s the beauty of grace.

      Reply
      • Candie Pittman

        Grace… yes, I need to have more of it for myself. I am great at extending it to others, but when it comes to myself, my perfectionism and critical/negative thinking comes in. I need to remember that we are all doing the best that we can… even myself!

        Reply
  3. Sarah

    I feel like this daily. Never measuring up, always comparing to other moms.

    Reply
  4. Carrie S

    Encorangement for the mom who’s not perfect- that’s just what I need! I love the quote we compare other people’s outsides with our insides. That’s true perspective.

    Reply
    • Michele

      I do too, Carrie. It’s such a powerful quote.

      Reply
  5. Karen M

    I NEED this book! lol Thanks for the great giveaway!!

    Reply
  6. heather stanley

    this would be such a blessing! thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Jennifer Gentry

    How timely! I can SOOOOO relate!!! Been a tough “mom” month for me so far and I feel like I’m failing miserably!
    Love the encouragement! Us moms NEED a reality check on what a true mom is and does and we need to kick “fantasy” mama out the door! Thanks for the chance!

    Reply
    • Michele

      Yes! Kick her out! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Beth McLaughlin

    What an awesome book, at such a perfect time for so many of us right in the thick of it. Thank you for doing the giveaway.

    Reply
  9. Esther

    I am reading this right now already! I’m on the leadership team of a moms group of about 100 and we are looking to do this book in the fall. So far I’m loving it 🙂

    Reply
    • Michele

      Wow! That’s great, Esther. Can’t wait to hear what you end up doing. P.S. Thanks for leading us moms so well. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Amanda Jensen

    Sounds like a great book! I struggle with all the above feelings of failure but feel the most guilt with mothering. I need to accept more grace and give more grace to my family. Love the quote “Let’s give ourselves—and our family–the gift of grace to make mistakes. We can’t be perfect moms, but we are the perfect mom for our kids.” Thanks for such a great blog post!

    Reply
    • Michele

      I’m with you, Amanda. I feel competent in just about everything BUT motherhood. Ugh. As for grace … I used to think I was gracious with everyone but myself. Now I realize I can’t really give grace generously to others if I can’t give it to myself.

      Reply
  11. Michele Elliott

    I appreciate that their is finally a book to help us guide the guilt out of our lives and homes! The honesty of being an “imperfect ” mom is a kind of freedom for me. Thanks!!

    Reply
  12. Adam Granger

    My wife is perfect so not really sure why I am even trying for the
    free book.

    Reply
    • Michele

      1,000 bonus points for Adam Granger. 😉

      Reply
  13. Amanda Wallace

    Ummm all of the above! Ha! I have a four year old, a four month old, a giant hairy dog & my husband! I try keeping up with the housework, the never ending laundry & dishes, all while maintaining my sanity among meme & meal planning, nursing a baby, & staying patient with a crazy (in the best way) 4 year old. It’s a challenge everyday! I really want to do the Facebook book study with this book, but while waiting for payday, the price has jumped a few dollars on Amazon and I’m not sure I can justify it anymore 🙁 I’d love to win but regardless, thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  14. Clever Colleen

    This is a message that we all need to really, really learn. It is so easy for us to compare ourselves to others. So easy to feel overwhelmingly inadequate. What a great message, great article, and great book subject! Would love to win this! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Pam

    I have a copy already, but I’d love to bless another imperfect mama with this great book! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Stephanie

    Good to know I’m not alone!!! :o)

    Reply
  17. Cori

    I agree with all of the above. And this is specifically an issue that I feel God has been placing before me to work on. This book sounds like something I need to read.

    Reply
  18. Jeanne

    It never fails. I work all week long on a hard but neat project and someone drops by unannounced and for whatever reason we end up in the room that got neglected for the project. The kitchen with it’s dishes piled to the ceiling or the kids room where my daughter just dumped out all of the clothes from her drawers and all of her brother’s too. Never fails. A reminder that I don’t have to be perfect would be great!

    Reply
  19. Jessica

    I am a single mom of a five month old boy. I’m constantly feeling like I don’t measure up! I need this book!! Thanks for the give away:)

    Reply
  20. Virginia Prodan

    I would love to have the book. Hope I will be one the winners! I am a speaker and this subject is very important to so many people. I also raised 3 kids and now I am a grandmother of 7 grandkids. What a great resource you are sharing with us. I am wondering if you would like to translate your book in Romanian language – as I speak it and I am originally from Romania. Churches would love to have it there too.
    Thanks so much.
    Virginia

    Reply
  21. Amy Thedinga

    OH how I wish I had learned this earlier! Truth be told, I still struggle with it from time to time. I have noticed that it can work in the reverse too. Sometimes (ever so seldom) I will see a mom who is struggling and quietly congratulate myself for doing better than her. That is pride and just like Jill pointed out, I am comparing my best parts with her worst parts. Not fair, and totally unproductive. Thanks for posting this Michele.

    Reply
    • Michele

      Me too, Amy. Took me way too long to figure this out—and I’m MUCH older than you. 😉 I love your reminder about the flip side … I’ve done the same. True grace leaves no room for either extreme.

      Reply
  22. Meagan

    I am constantly reminding myself to stop the comparisons to others…it only hurts me! Love Jill Savage!

    Reply
  23. Rachel

    Would love a copy of the book! I have so many friends who tell me so many stories about motherhood, both good and bad that I sometimes fear being a mom after I get married. This post is really enlightening!

    Reply
  24. Michele

    ANNOUNCEMENT: Thank you, from my heart, to all of you for dropping by this here blog and participating. I’ve loved getting to know each of you a little more.

    Now. I’m happy to announce that the winner of the FREE copy of Jill Savage’s book, “No More Perfect Moms: is … (insert drum roll here) … AMANDA JENSEN! Congrats, Amanda! Shoot me your mailing address via email and we’ll get that book to you ASAP!

    Reply
  25. Jada Smith

    Sounds like a much-needed book! 🙂

    Reply
  26. Marlo

    Several years ago when my firstborn was a toddler I knew his Sunday school teacher was going to be serving cupcakes that morning. He was a little bit shy but certainly polite with his please’s and thank you’s, so I don’t know why I felt the need to extra-mother and say something to him that morning before he went to class. I mentioned to him that there would be cupcakes and to make sure he told his teacher thank you when she gave him a cupcake because if we aren’t thankful we shouldn’t take a treat. It was more so to give a lesson as to why people were always grateful when he was polite…that he was being a blessing to them. Anyway, the teacher asked me when I picked him up if he didn’t like cupcakes and I realized what had happened. He wasn’t as familiar with this new teacher (it was just into the school year) and therefore knew he couldn’t bring himself to talk to her, so he opted for no cupcake. I apologized to both of them and explained my mistake and he and she enjoyed a cupcake together and the start of a great friendship. I felt just awful, like things would have been better had I just kept my mouth shut and let well enough alone. Who care if he’s not always saying thank-you at three? His smile would have conveyed that, and I guarantee he would not have been the only one not saying an audible thank you.
    And thanks to Jill and Michele for the encouragement to keep pressing on. Also for the opportunity to win a copy of Jill’s book.

    Reply

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