Reflecting on Mom Imperfectionism Again

Reflecting on Mom Imperfectionism

Life’s ever-changing circumstances push me into a self-reflection mode once again…

Several months back, I wrote this post about embracing my mom imperfectionism. I talked about how the imperfect mom has become the new Stepford wife. And I called it a movement.

I took a tiny bit of heat for using the term “movement” from a few who still believe themselves to be perfect, but I stand by my statement. It’s a movement. You can change the word — substitute another if you like — but that won’t change the fact that moms worldwide are indeed making an organized effort to represent motherhood as it truly is; fantastic, but challenging and imperfect.

I’ve talked about how the princesses of legendary fables never became moms. Maybe Snow White and her prince charming did have babies later but not in the story as we know it. And again, even these great writers of old seemingly knew selling the perfect mom would be pushing it.

I think I threw something into that post about comparing perfect moms with men that give back rubs without sexual expectations. We know neither exists.

And because I know you totally want this particular update, the UPS delivery guy and I have come to an agreement. He won’t peep through the little diamond shapes of clear glass on my front door and I won’t shop online quite as much. Vacuuming in my bra is still non-negotiable.

If you don’t believe me about the imperfect mom movement, just read the posts on nearly any blog written by a woman who is a mom. It doesn’t even have to be a so-called mommy blog—you’ll still find bios with women authors describing themselves as imperfect moms and countless posts with the same message. I absolutely adore how one of my favorite bloggers truly owns her mom imperfectionism and uses her own unique term, “Kludgy Mom.”

I know many are thinking enough is enough. Move on. It’s getting old. And I agree on some level, but only because I too have noticed of late many blogging moms flaunting the now popular title “Imperfect Mom” while not genuinely embracing it.

Embrace it, sisters. Take the pressure off. Our mistakes remain in the past, though we’ll make more in the future. Do the best you can and accept who you are.

Wait. Did I just quote a portion of the valedictorian’s speech from my son’s graduation commencement ceremony last Sunday? Well, my point is: enjoy motherhood and womanhood just as you are.

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  1. Anthony says

    It’s funny that you write this today after the conversation my wife and I had this weekend. My wife is a working professional. She is at the executive level and runs a division with about 200 people that report to her. She is also a part time professor and a perpetual student. At this time of year, every year, the pace is insane and myself and the kids have learned to just, “fly low!” This college term, she was asked to teach a class at the last minute and of course, she felt obligated through some sort of self imposed guilt that she ties back to her “red cape” that she wears. At the same time, she is also having to “take” a class in order to maintain her professional licenses. Between the three things, she has been putting in 70 – 80 hour weeks.
    I have always been of the mind set that there is no such thing as a 50/50 marriage. At times it’s 20/80 and others it’s 80/20. Lately in our household, it’s been 97/3. The 3% that she has been doing lately is the fact that she has put her dirty clothes into the laundry basket. And I’m okay with that.
    This past weekend, she broke down crying and told me how guilty she felt about not having seen the kids all that much or me all that much except for when we both happen to be sleeping in the same bed. She told me how she was a bad mother and a bad wife. I shook my head and asked her why she would feel this way? I knew the answer, but I also knew that she needed to actually verbalize this. She said that because she’s been working so much, she’s barely seen the kids and when she has, our toddler has been acting up and being sassy as a form of her toddler-esque protest. She also stated how she felt guilty about not seeing me and how we haven’t had sex in a few weeks.
    This conversation really made me think about it. I work out of our house and am home 3 out of 5 days. I am quite capable of running the household and getting the logistics of our kids completed and on time with them dressed appropriately, clean and fed.
    It’s amazing how women hold themselves to a much higher, unrealistic standard. I think over time, it’s been socially acceptable for the man to work like a horse and see the kids when they can. But for a woman to do this? I personally think it’s okay. Granted, I do miss my wife terribly!! I know the kids miss her as well. But I also know that this is temporary and it too shall pass with no one injured, permanently scarred or needing a great amount of therapy. And by the way, I do offer back rubs. Do I expect sex? No…..but I’m always hoping!! Lately, we’ve decided that only one of us has to be awake! :)
    The Realistic Mothers Movement is a wonderful thing! I have seen my wife drive herself insane with these self imposed expectations. She holds the gauge against her mother who was a stay at home mom and expects herself to be able to accomplish the same things that her mother was able to. I’ve watched her “over-think” absolutely everything or wonder what the other mothers think and I do not understand why anyone would care what someone else would think? What matters is what you think.
    There is nothing sexier in a woman than confidence, intelligence and most of all, a sense of humor. The time and energy spent in the vain attempt to be the perfect mother will leave nothing but an empty shell, a resentful marriage and a life spent living up to a unattainable goal. Make sure your kids know that you love them and teach them how to laugh. They will be fine and so will every mother out there.

    • says

      Love this. It’s endearing to have a man’s point of view and support. Well said. I’m certain your wife is very proud to have you!

  2. Anthony says

    It’s funny that you write this today after the conversation my wife and I had this weekend. My wife is a working professional. She is at the executive level and runs a division with about 200 people that report to her. She is also a part time professor and a perpetual student. At this time of year, every year, the pace is insane and myself and the kids have learned to just, “fly low!” This college term, she was asked to teach a class at the last minute and of course, she felt obligated through some sort of self imposed guilt that she ties back to her “red cape” that she wears. At the same time, she is also having to “take” a class in order to maintain her professional licenses. Between the three things, she has been putting in 70 – 80 hour weeks.
    I have always been of the mind set that there is no such thing as a 50/50 marriage. At times it’s 20/80 and others it’s 80/20. Lately in our household, it’s been 97/3. The 3% that she has been doing lately is the fact that she has put her dirty clothes into the laundry basket. And I’m okay with that.
    This past weekend, she broke down crying and told me how guilty she felt about not having seen the kids all that much or me all that much except for when we both happen to be sleeping in the same bed. She told me how she was a bad mother and a bad wife. I shook my head and asked her why she would feel this way? I knew the answer, but I also knew that she needed to actually verbalize this. She said that because she’s been working so much, she’s barely seen the kids and when she has, our toddler has been acting up and being sassy as a form of her toddler-esque protest. She also stated how she felt guilty about not seeing me and how we haven’t had sex in a few weeks.
    This conversation really made me think about it. I work out of our house and am home 3 out of 5 days. I am quite capable of running the household and getting the logistics of our kids completed and on time with them dressed appropriately, clean and fed.
    It’s amazing how women hold themselves to a much higher, unrealistic standard. I think over time, it’s been socially acceptable for the man to work like a horse and see the kids when they can. But for a woman to do this? I personally think it’s okay. Granted, I do miss my wife terribly!! I know the kids miss her as well. But I also know that this is temporary and it too shall pass with no one injured, permanently scarred or needing a great amount of therapy. And by the way, I do offer back rubs. Do I expect sex? No…..but I’m always hoping!! Lately, we’ve decided that only one of us has to be awake! :)
    The Realistic Mothers Movement is a wonderful thing! I have seen my wife drive herself insane with these self imposed expectations. She holds the gauge against her mother who was a stay at home mom and expects herself to be able to accomplish the same things that her mother was able to. I’ve watched her “over-think” absolutely everything or wonder what the other mothers think and I do not understand why anyone would care what someone else would think? What matters is what you think.
    There is nothing sexier in a woman than confidence, intelligence and most of all, a sense of humor. The time and energy spent in the vain attempt to be the perfect mother will leave nothing but an empty shell, a resentful marriage and a life spent living up to a unattainable goal. Make sure your kids know that you love them and teach them how to laugh. They will be fine and so will every mother out there.

  3. Sue says

    Thank you for this post.  I am constantly reminded of how un-perfect being a mom is.  I’m my worst critic, of course and I always feel guilty about something!  This was the best thing for me to read on a Monday morning, thanks!!

    • says

      Sometimes we need that reminder… I know I sure do! This post was a reminder to myself and I’m so glad it’s appreciated by other moms, too. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you here again! :)

  4. Sue says

    Thank you for this post.  I am constantly reminded of how un-perfect being a mom is.  I’m my worst critic, of course and I always feel guilty about something!  This was the best thing for me to read on a Monday morning, thanks!!

    • says

      Sometimes we need that reminder… I know I sure do! This post was a reminder to myself and I’m so glad it’s appreciated by other moms, too. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you here again! :)

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