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The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

As I sat down to brainstorm my first blog topic, a deeply insightful conversation I had with my naturopath, while I was pregnant with my second child, came to mind. As I lay on her table during my treatment while baby #2 kicked away in my belly, an eye opening discussion came up on the pressures women, and moms in particular, are faced with these days and how we cope.

Us women throughout history have not exactly had the easiest time fighting to make our mark on society. Only 50 years ago, we had the professional option of becoming a secretary, a nurse or teacher. Times have certainly changed, as today, the world is our oyster, but that pressure to strive for better and to become our ultimate self, has only evolved through time. It's as if we haven't stopped trying to prove ourselves to the world and society. We can show them that we can make it and be everything to all.

In today's society, women are subjected to this unwavering need to be perfect. The perfect mother. The perfect career woman. The perfect wife, daughter, friend, and so on. With images of pristine homes featured on Houzz, healthy recipes made from scratch and perfect DIY projects for kids on Pinterest, and smiling, travelling families on Facebook, the pressure on women is rising. This is leading to feeling that we're never good enough or even burning ourselves out to achieve that perfection, leaving us out of the equation.

The dictionary defines "perfection" as " the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects". But aren't those so-called "flaws" or "defects" what make us human beings? We're so focused on perfection that we've resorted to becoming human doings instead of what we're meant to be: human beings.

We can be suffering and burning with misery inside, but as long as the world sees us smiling and put together, everything will be fine. Be positive, see the glass half full, but piling positivity on top of garbage doesn't amount to anything. As one of my favourite teachers Louise Hay once said: "If you are going to clean the house, you have to see the dirt." Unfortunately, everything is not fine. Our kids feel our energy and regardless of how "perfect" we seem, they know and feel that mom is a complete mess. They need to see us cry and break down, and they need to witness how we handle life. How we react to situations speaks volumes. We are weak and powerful at the same time. We are human beings.

As I watched the movie "Bad Moms" a while back, I couldn't help but smile when Mila Kunis' character said: "I'm so tired of being this perfect mom. I'm done!".

I think every mom reaches that breaking point when we say: "fuck it!, screw the dishes, who cares whether my kid's outfit matches and if she has cereal and grilled cheese for breakfast (and this is a health nut saying it so it says a lot!), will the world end or will I cause my children permanent damage if their hair is not tied up in a perfect ponytail or their breakfast doesn't look like something out of a Pinterest post? Obviously not. But what will cause them damage is a sleep deprived mom who woke up 30 minutes earlier than she was supposed to to make that breakfast and also cleaned the kitchen so that it sparkled like a post out of Houzz. Children don't care and neither should we.

"There are so many fuckin' rules"

And this one. Don't punish your kids. Don't nurse them to sleep or they'll get used to it. Don't let them sleep in your bed. Never yell at your kids (bahahahahha that's a good one). Don't rush your kids. Don't let them watch too much TV...and the list goes on and on and on. As a yogi in training, a meditator and believer of mindfulness parenting, I am guilty of all of those. Scratch that, I'm not guilty of anything right? (wink, wink).

You know what I say to that? Screw it. Do what you feel is right for you and your kids. The rest of the world can follow suit and everybody will just go on living their merry life.

"We work so hard to make our kids lives amazing and magical"

"Their lives already are amazing and magical." And you know what contributes to that magic: a happy and fulfilled mom who will not put up with the useless pressures of society, who will live her life up to her own standards and will do what she thinks is right for her and her children. We can spend hours and days and years teaching our kids to be happy, respectful and mindful, but we are their greatest examples, and if we can embody and live that truth, our teachings are more convincing and impactful than you can ever imagine.

I don't want to be the perfect mom. I am enough just the way I am.

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© 2020 Carine Sroujian