The day I left the hospital with my first born I couldn’t stop crying. It wasn’t just a case of the baby blues. It was an overwhelming sense of my own imperfection and the many ways I would fail her. We all know none of us are perfect mothers, and over the years I’ve had to learn that being ‘good’ is perfectly okay!
Refocus self talk
My daughter is now ten, and I’ve since had two more children. I’m still not a perfect mum. I fail on a daily basis; I say the wrong things, react the wrong way and let distractions steal me from the present.
Often, after a busy day of imperfect mothering, I’ll crawl into bed and entertain an unhelpful dialogue of self-talk…
‘I’m never enough’
‘No matter how hard I try I always fail’
‘I can’t seem to juggle everything’
‘Why did I say that?’
‘I’m damaging my kids!’
‘I hope they know I love them’
This continues until I feel like I’m drowning in my own imperfection! Thankfully, I’m slowly discovering the simple yet profound solution is to simply focus on the times I am a good mum.
When I stop striving for perfection and instead look for all the good, my internal dialogue changes to…
‘I am enough’
‘I didn’t fail’
‘I can juggle a lot’
‘I deserve rest’
‘I spoke love’
‘I reacted with wisdom’
‘I focused on the moment’
American author Jill Churchill says it like this; ‘There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.’
So, when your internal dialogue is less than helpful, try to focus on the millions of ways that you are a good mum, and tell yourself that good is perfectly ok!
Hanna Udy lives in Tasmania. She’s married to Abe, has three kids, loves her local church, is involved in their family voice over business and in her spare time she downhill mountain bike rides and drinks coffee.