Perfect Mama, Exhausted Mama

We hear this cliche all the time, we say it all the time, but how do we actually apply it to our lives as mothers? “No one’s perfect.” No one’s perfect, we say, when someone makes a mistake. No one’s perfect, we remind them, when they complain about a friend at school. No one’s perfect, we reassure a dejected kid who just cannot seem to understand a math concept.

Most Moms I know pretend to be perfect in front of their kids. We pretend to be calm, logical, organized, decisive, right, knowledgeable, strong, thoughtful, loving, honest, kind, emotionally stable, with it, put together… I don’t know about you, but I’m not all those things even half the times. I am such a flawed human being, I make mistakes all the time. I’m not even sure we realize how hard we are trying to be perfect for our kids, how we try to model the right behaviour for them. It’s exhausting! If we keep it up long enough, we end up blowing up or burning out.

We are all human beings. Therefore we are never perfect. And that’s why we learn, practice, and grow. That’s why our children push us to be introspective, self-critical, and eager to improve.

A wise mama friend said to me: We respect our children’s opinions, we apologize for our mistakes, and we engage them in decision-making. Then they learn to trust us. Pretending to be perfect is exhausting and not sustainable. When they see us do our best and own up to what we can or cannot do, it is much healthier for them and for us. We can develop better relationships with them when we are ourselves.

Signing off today as,

Flawed Mama, Happy Mama

Published by Sherry Yuan Hunter

Sherry Yuan Hunter is a certified trauma recovery coach and certified parenting coach. Taiwan-born American-Canadian Chinese, married, working mother of two, Sherry identifies as a Sandwich Parent, Third Culture Kid, an untigering Mom, and Recovering Shouldaholic. Based in Toronto, Canada, Sherry has been working in student success programs at University of Toronto for 20 years, supporting students, young professionals, new managers, working moms, and new immigrants to success.

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