As mothers we often try and be everything to everyone all of the time: the perfect mother, the perfect wife or girlfriend, the perfect employee or businesswoman, the perfect friend, the perfect colleague, the perfect daughter, the perfect neighbour, and so on.
In addition to this, the pressure to look perfect is huge, as we see or read about the latest celebrity shedding all their baby weight within a couple of weeks, or hear about how the baby weight just melts away when you breast feed.
Dictionary.com cites the word ‘perfection’ as:
1. The state or quality of being or becoming perfect.
2. The highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art.
3. A perfect embodiment or example of something.
4. A quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.
5. The highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.
6. The act or fact of perfecting.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
I have friends who seem to manage to dedicate a huge amount of time to themselves but my definition of ‘me time’ is managing to go for a wee by myself, or possibly hop in the bath without an audience.
There has to be a way to balance things up, surely. Or is this about priorities?
Dictionary.com cites the word ‘balance’ as:
1. A state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
2. Something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
3. Mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behaviour, judgment, etc.
And the word ‘prioritise’ as:
– verb (used with object)
1. To arrange or do in order of priority: learning to prioritise our assignments.
2. To give a high priority to.
– verb (used without object)
3. To organise or deal with something according to its priority.
We can prioritise some things. For example, when we think about our workload, or perhaps tasks and chores at home, what is most and least important?
If, however we prioritise every aspect of our lives, we run the risk of some aspects of them suffering. So perhaps you decide your business is really important to you, but that then succeeds at the expense of another area of your life, or perhaps you prioritise your relationship, and then your friendships suffer.
Maybe then ‘balance’ is what we should search for?
We may not be able to be the perfect mother, wife, girlfriend, friend, businesswoman, employee, neighbour or colleague all of the time, but what about being a ‘good enough’ one? Anyway, perfection means different things to different people right?
Perfection and the search for perfection can be exhausting. As mothers we are often exhausted anyway, so why would we want to increase this pressure on ourselves? Let us instead aim to be ‘good enough’ mothers, wives, girlfriends, friends, businesswomen, employees, neighbours and colleagues, and take the pressure off.
Perfection is subjective and striving for it keeps you from appreciating all that you have achieved; you become blinded from acknowledging all of the wonderful things you’ve already done because you’re not satisfied with good, or even great; you wanted perfect – whatever that is!
There may be times when we feel the need to excel in one particular area of life; this is fine as long as we can return to a good balance later on.
When I think about my own life I think about myself as spinning lots of plates all at the same time.
The thing about plate spinning is that you have to keep all the plates going otherwise they will stop spinning and smash to the ground.
I’m getting much better at the concept of balance, and in actual fact I’m finding that the more I strive for balance, rather than perfection, the better the outcome anyway. That said, my priority is always the children, and I’m good with that.
How about you?