Imperfect Parenting in an Imperfect World

I used to think I was a crap mum.  I used to feel that my family would be better off without me. I do not say these things for people to counter with “no you aren’t” or “no you weren’t”.   The fact is that I really did feel this way and I truly thought that MadDad and the boys would be better off without me. I suffered with Post Natal Depression, I bullied myself, catastrophised everything and was filled with terrible anxiety.  I couldn’t separate rational and irrational thoughts.  I received fantastic treatment including cognitive behavioral therapy over five years ago now and it changed the person that I was and helped make me the mum and person I am now.

I was reading Kate’s post earlier in the week about how scared parenting made her feel and it brought all those feelings back to me, but rather than let them take over me, I remembered that I am parenting in an imperfect world and my imperfect parenting skills are just preparing y boys for the road which they will travel.  This is one of the biggest things that CBT gave me, it helped be put things into perspective and process them.  I am not a perfect mum, but I am the best mum the boys could hope for, I am their mum and I love them with all my heart and every fibre of my being.

I have two quotes that help me navigate the waters of perfection, for as soon as I realised that I didn’t need to be the perfect mother, that it was OK to give shop bought food and not beat myself up about formula feeding and ensured that if I was happy so would the boys be, things started to come together for us all.

“There is no one way to be the perfect Mother, but there are millions of ways to be a good one!” – Jill Churchill

“Being Happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect,  It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way

So on those days when I am screaming like a fishwife at my boys or wondering how to find the words to tell them about challenges that life may throw at them, I hope that I can remember that it is OK to be an imperfect parent in an imperfect world and give myself a break, for this parenting lark is the hardest, unceasing, but most rewarding job I have ever done or will ever do.

I have also vowed to be in the picture more, this was something that I did a lot more after my mastectomy.  So I will be passing the camera to other people more often and instead of being the one behind it taking the pictures, I will be the one in THAT picture with my family.

 

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12 Responses

Kate | 10.09.12

Such a brilliant way of seeing things & the quotes make perfect sense. I’m taking a leaf out of your book & reminding myself that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. And good enough is good enough.

Thanks Jen x

allotmentmum | 10.09.12

Thanks for sharing such an honest and brave post, and a beautiful photo. Keep them coming! x

Kate | 10.09.12

Totally agree, Jen. I’ve blogged along similar lines before. I think lots of people unnecessarily beat themselves up that they are not doing more with their children, doing everything for them etc and look at everyone else and think they’re the perfect parents when the truth is that everyone is struggling in some shape or form.

I am not perfect, I cannot be perfect, so why even try? I try to be the best I can be but I also accept there are times that will go wrong too. I am also not fazed if the kids tell me they don’t like me, because you do know better than them and have to make tough unpopular decisions sometimes. And because 10 minutes later, they will probably come back to me and say “I love you Mummy” and all is forgiven.

Julie | 10.09.12

Hear, hear! Anybody who says they are perfect at anything is lying…

Wendy | 10.09.12

yes definitely get in the pictures!

Great post, thanks for sharing and such a lovely picture. :)

That’s a lovely picture. You so much should be in the forefront. None of us are perfect and never will be. It always amazes me when I’m talking online about Amy and her autism, how so many parents simply don’t understand what I’m saying because they just assume their kids are perfect – and that they are perfect parents. It’s one reason why I continue to raise awareness that no one is perfect in the grand scheme of things. Though in the eyes of our loved ones, perfection does exist.

CJ x

Peggy | 10.09.12

That’s beautiful Jen! It brought back the reasons why I called my blog Perfectly Happy Mum. It is because in a world totally imperfect what matters is to find what makes us perfectly happy, even the most imperfect things of all.
I very often beats myself up for the same reasons as you: ready meals, shouting at them, forgetting about the house cleaning every now and then, some days watching daytime tv when other stuff needs to be done… There is so much to add pressure.
Thank you for sharing xx

wendy | 10.09.12

thank you for such a honest post. I think we all feel like this at times and there are lots of times just recently I feel a failure as I can’t due much around the house, go out etc.

Please share more photos its lovely to see you and your handsome boys xx

There is no such thing as the perfect mother… most of us are just doing the best we can! It’s a damn tough job and quite frankly, the tougher we find it, the more energy we’re putting into it… If our kids feel completely loved then they’ll pretty much forgive us anything x

Itsybaby | 10.09.12

Prefect parenting if every there was such a thing. Parenting not some thing your learn inadvance or train for its more on the job training. Your so brave to share your experience I am sure other parent can share your feelings.

Mairi | 10.09.12

Love your pictures! Thanks so much for posting, I can really relate. Like many other mums who have suffered through PPD, I have also been down that dark road, and when your on it you really not sure you will ever get to a sunny spot again. So I will take your 2 quotes and add them to my arsenal, and I am getting back into the photos too.

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