Most parents nowadays are filled with guilt and notions of not being ‘good enough’. Usual conversations amongst stressed out moms involve common anxieties and worries about their children’s upbringing, many times feeling that there is something they are not doing right, or many things they do get wrong. Sounds familiar?

Well, although it is absolutely and totally normal for us moms to always worry about our little ones and try to make sure they have everything they could possibly want, feeling inadequate is not OK. We will never be the perfect moms we always imagined we would be and that is fine, no one is perfect and that’s the way it should be. Perfection is the lowest standard any human can have, according to Heather Forbes and that goes for parenting also!

To be honest, the idea of the ‘perfect mum and dad’ has been fed to us through the media for many years. Some parents with a non so ideal parenting lifestyle end up feeling incompetent and powerless. Psychologists, though, tend to argue; children don’t need a perfect parent! Children need unconditional love and emotional stability. It is more important to improve yourself as a mom a little bit every day and learn from your past mistakes than trying to achieve the impossible which will make you and your children miserable. Let’s just see some of the ways we can make this happen.

Bounce back from perfectionism

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Do you usually find yourself encircled by thoughts such as: ‘I wish I was a better mother’, ‘If only I had done this in a different way’, ‘I am not good enough for my children’, ‘I am such an idiot for reacting like that’, etc? You should change that way of thinking as soon as possible. Surrounding yourself with negative, bad feelings and thoughts of incompetence will only push you further away from your children and the key to making them happy. You will never be perfect and that’s the way it should be. You are only human and your children don’t need to see you empowered with guilt every day but they want to see that you are able to forgive yourself and start over again.

Reassure yourself

Transform that inner critic into your own guardian angel. Take things one step at a time, constantly reassuring yourself that things will be fine, mistakes are human and every day is a new beginning. Remind yourself that you are not going for perfection but for love. Repeat in your mind phrases such as: ‘I can do this’, ‘My children need me to be forgiving, to love and respect myself so I can give back the same to them’.

Choose love

Life is all about choices. We make choices daily about every single thing that involves us and our children. Should you really be harsh on your children in fear that if you are not they will never learn? Is it important to point out to your husband that you were right about something? Should you spend many hours cleaning the house when you could have used this time bonding with your children? Should you have a few days off in the month to look after yourself rather than cooking? It’s all about the choices we make and you should try to choose love as often as possible. The past is there to learn from and not to try and fix or waste all our time thinking about it in guilt. Every day is a new opportunity to make things better and create a better future for you and your family.

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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