Stop trying to be perfect

January 12, 2018

I had a horrendous virus this week and had to spend lots of time in bed resting and sleeping. My children (7 and 12) did a good job looking after themselves (most of the time) and doing more of what I usually do for them. It was not perfect, I could not even try to make it perfect, but it was good enough.


And then, just to drive this point home, my daughter came back from her school with a head teacher’s award. When I asked what she got it for, she said: ‘I got it for standing the straightest in the line.’


Needles to say, my first reaction (which I kept to myself) was ‘Whaaaaaat???!!!’


I could have had a massive rant about the education system that celebrates children for standing the straightest in the line, but... I had a chuckle instead.


The thing is... She is happy at school. I know her teacher and her TA are pouring their heart and soul into nurturing her. She’s got friends she loves playing with. She comes back home inspired by what she learned and wanting to know more about it.


Here is the point I am trying to make: there are so many things that are working well in her school and that isolated incident did not shake my trust that it is a good place for her to be in.


How does this apply to parenting?


I know that there are so many things that are working well in your parenting, and if you are like most parents, you are taking them for granted and focusing on what you think you should be doing better instead.


I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to relax into being beautifully humanely imperfect.


Why is that important?


The anxiety to get it right or to perfectly follow a particular parenting approach might stand in the way of seeing what your child needs in the moment. It can keep you stuck in your head, working so hard to achieve something your child might not even need.


The easiest way to befriend imperfection is to look at yourself through your child’s eyes.


To your child you already are the most important person in the word, beautiful and precious just the way you are.





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