This is part 1 of my Progress, Not Perfection Series. Read through the post to learn more and join us in this challenge!
Before I had kids, like many other people, I envisioned what my life would be like. I imagined a spotless house, home-cooked meals at least 3 times each day, cabinets and closets that were not only organized but also labeled, and knowing when my head hit the pillow at the end of the night, I was the best.mom.EVER.
My life has been…similar, in some ways. We eat home-cooked meals sometimes. Many of my cabinets are organized but are no longer labeled (we won’t discuss closets…) And, the best.mom.EVER feeling? I feel it. Sometimes. Not nightly. Sometimes, not even weekly.
But that’s going to change.
You see, one thing I often tell my students and my own children is that we should be striving for Progress. Always, always Progress. Perfection is not attainable; when we spend our days recounting each mistake, we are stuck. We cannot go forward and backward at the same time. We cannot consider the future while dwelling on the past. Understand what has happened, accept it, and look for ways to improve so Progress is made.
This is a great song and dance, let me tell you. Kids and parents alike love this, and I know it works. For me, this past year has been difficult, tumultuous, but greatly rewarding. What I realized over the last year is that I have not always been thinking positively. My Growth Mindset had stalled. I began comparing myself to others, and as we all know, comparison is the thief of joy. That’s exactly what happened: instead of seeing what a good mom I was, I saw mothers who were more patient. I saw mothers who made more home-cooked meals, or who did everything around the house and never asked for/required/begged for help. I was no longer the best.mom.EVER. I began to think I never really was. Clearly, these are the better moms.
The little things no longer made me smile because all I could think about was how I really, desperately needed to clean/cook/do something else. Why should I be sitting down when there are ALL THE THINGS TO DO?! I must do them. It is my job if I want to be the best.mom.EVER.
Somewhere along the way, I began thinking about what my kids needed. I wanted to make sure their needs were met, like any good parent would. They need home-cooked meals. They need sandwiches (on home-baked bread, of course) shaped like stars. They need me to be there for them every single
second of every single day because why have kids if you refuse to be there should they decide they need you at any moment?!
BUT–none of these things were what my kids actually needed.
They needed a mom who was happy. Why? Because a happy mom lives [and loves] her life to the fullest. Full of love, and time, and energy, and desire to spread her happiness around to others. They needed accountability, responsibility, and consistency. They needed food, yes, but they did not need me to stop everything to make three home-cooked meals each day. We could dine out or order in. We could have frozen pizza, and their need for nourishment would still be met. While they needed support, they also needed to learn how to pursue in the face of failure or adversity. They needed guidance, love, logic, and hugs and kisses when something was hard. I had to let them learn to love failing and see how it helped us succeed in the end, because we learn far more from our failures than we do our successes.
And that’s when it hit me: the secret to being the best.mom.EVER isn’t a perfectly curated Instagram feed or amazing Pinterest boards. best.mom.EVER status is not only reserved for those whose photos are magazine worthy; maybe those moms are truly amazing, and many are.
But that’s not the only key to this honorific.
Your worth is not measured by your productivity. Being the best.mom.EVER is truly all about Progress, Not Perfection. Best does not have to be a synonym for perfect. Best can mean being the greatest you can be in that very moment.
Wait–if we say “best”, to whom shall we compare ourselves? Compare yourselves to earlier versions of yourselves, only. This version, the person you are right now, this is the latest release, and software updates happen constantly. What are you doing better than you ever have? What can you do better at this very moment than you have before?
Over the next 14 days, we are going to really work on Progress, Not Perfection. You can join us if you’d like by filling out the form below. When you do, you’ll receive our e-book by email. If you already receive my emails, click here instead of filling out the form. .