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.