I want to parent with my own rules. Accept only the expectations that suit me and my family. Define motherhood as I see fit. If I stray from societal norms and cultural expectations, does that make me a bad mom? What if I choose to parent to the beat of my own drum, does that make me a bad mom?
We hear a lot about supporting each other, each doing what’s right for ourselves, and having things in moderation. But the reality, at least the way I see it, is extreme expectations, picture-perfect lives, and constant competition.
Although unwritten, North American society is pretty clear on what the perfect mother is.
The perfect mom is a woman who is fit, cooks healthy meals, works a fulfilling job, volunteers at the school, does crafts and plays with her kids. She is confident and energetic, put together, and always on her best behaviour.
I’m Not Her
I’m doing my best to fit the mould of the perfect mom. As a result, I feel overwhelmed all the time. My actions, thoughts and experiences have been littered with the expectations I place on them based. Expectations set for me by society, without my permission.
All of this leaves me doing little that resembles my own idea of motherhood. I feel paralyzed by the fear of failure and being labelled as a bad mom.
But what if I’m done?
Done with killing myself trying to live up to the overwhelming expectations of perfection. Done with silently following along with rules that don’t feel right to me. Done with keeping up with the Jones’s.
The implied expectation is that I need to focus intently on my kids. That I need to place them at the centre of my world no matter the expense.
The underlying message is that my kid’s success is based on me putting me aside to make them my everything.
My children’s health and happiness are on my mind all the time! However, I believe that I need to be mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy to be the type of mother my kids deserve.
What if I choose to follow some of the rules and make my own? What if I openly challenge accepted expectations in the name of authenticity? What if I embrace prioritizing myself over my kids? What if I allow myself to define motherhood apart from any outside influences? Does doing these things make me a bad mom?
I’ve been conditioned to believe the only way to be a perfect mom is to perform at extremes. Fitting into a preconceived mould of motherhood and live up to unrealistic standards would prove my worthiness as a mother.
Motherhood by My Standards
I’m breaking the mould of the perfect mom. It doesn’t align with who I am or what I believe is important for my kids.
I truly do want to parent with my own rules. Accept only the expectations that suit me and my family. Define motherhood how I see fit. I’m ready to stray from societal norms and cultural expectations. I’m choosing to parent to the beat of my own drum.
I believe I need to be a role model for my kids. To me that means stopping, thinking, and deciding how I am going to BE. It’s not allowing autopilot and fear of being labled a bad mom to control me.
Does creating my own definition of the perfect mom make me a bad one? Absolutely not! In fact, I think it makes me the best mom possible for my kids and the one that they deserve!