Today I want to share an article I recently wrote for SouthlakeMoms.com. It touches on the pitfalls of perfection. I will admit, I have spent way too much time chasing 'perfect'---only to find that it is something that can never be obtained. I am sure many of you can relate to my story and I hope you find comfort in my words.
Remember that mom? The one with the perfect outfit, fantastic hair, and well-behaved children. She baked homemade cookies and recycled everything. I think we all called her “SuperMom”. Her home was cleaned spotless each day and her husband always came home from work to a nutricious gourmet meal. She ‘showed’ us that we could have it all. And in between working out, carpool, and having a deliriously happy family- she made time to volunteer and run her own small business. Looking at her, we just knew if we worked hard enough, maybe we could ‘do it all’ too. If we were ‘good enough’, we could control our lives and perfection was just around the corner. Nothing was out of reach, if we only tried hard. Motherhood, homemaking, working, everything according to plan. It could all be obtained.
I don’t think I ever really liked that woman.
But, she showed up at my home one day. Such an exhausting ‘friend.’ Always urging ‘you can do it all yourself’-- full calendar and a big happy smile. I think every woman has met that “SuperMom”. Whether in real life or simply a figment of our imagination. She is the standard we set for ourselves. The woman we strive to be, so that everyone will be pleased. It is exhausting. Working alone to do it all, it is lonely. And in the end, it is empty. Because there is never an end. Enough is never enough. So after trying to please her, I have finally decided it is time for her to leave.
The era of SuperMom is over. Turns out you can’t have it all. Something has to give. And when you spend your time working hard to create an image of perfection in everything, you find you don’t really enjoy anything.
And I’m not the only that feels this way. It seems a new trend in mothering has happened upon our culture. Or maybe I am just taking notice. Recently I have seen more books such as “Grace for the Good Girl” and websites like “Proverbs 31” that are advocating the woman that says, “I cannot do it all.”
In fact, by trying to do it all, we are missing out on what God has planned for us. No matter your religious beliefs, a life of working alone to create an appearance of perfection is not a happy or healthy life. A woman who is striving to do it all ends up miserable. She misses out on the beautiful life right before her.
But the good news is ‘what we are’ is not ‘who we are going to be’. We are a work in progress. And by acknowledging that SuperMom is not a fulfilling life, we can change. In the words of Pastor John McKellar, our life is like a garden. It takes daily work and struggle. We cannot simply plant a pretty garden with neat rows and fancy lattice. We must water, weed, and nurture it. We must work together with others- employ the help and companionship of friends and community. Life is not to ‘accomplish’ with a smile and cute outfit. It is a chance to grow, love and enjoy.
So if SuperMom is staying in your guest room, feel free to kick her out. Make some space on your calendar, ask others to help you, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’, and just let yourself be still. Remember all that grace and love you show others? Now is the time to show it to your self.
Sharing my story at Serenity Now
All images found here: http://pinterest.com/craftytexasgirl/read-it-fun-with-words/