All moms, as soon as they find out their pregnant, are pressured into a striving for perfection.
We suddenly start thinking and looking around us—deciding what perfection is and who fits that description. And we look at ourselves and determine we don’t quite measure up. Until, we see the truth.
There is no such thing as The Perfect Mom.
I had this friend that I looked up to—a mom mentor who was an older wiser mom, who seemed like she had it all together—until that one day. She messed up.
It was a beautiful morning and I hadn’t seen my friend in months. I tried to contain my excitement as I waited at our favorite coffee shop. A few minutes went by, and then a few more. It started to settle in. My friend wasn’t going to show up. No phone call or text. Just silence.
Grace or striving for perfection?
That day my friend no longer was The Perfect Mom—and to be honest she really disappointed me.
Looking back, I’m really glad it turned out the way it did because it exposed some things in my own heart.
Not only did I place my friend on The Perfect Mom Pedestal, but it revealed to me that I was holding that same high standard for myself—striving for perfection.
You can read more details in my post, Are You Living By a Standard of Grace or Perfection?
I never heard why my mom friend didn’t show up that day. Was she overwhelmed or just forgetful? I don’t think I’ll ever know, and that’s okay.
Sweet mom, we are not perfect.
That’s why we need God.
With His help, we can live by a different set of standards. We no longer have to strive for perfection. On a practical level, we need to replace those inner thoughts of perfection with truth.
Let’s talk about 5 Truths you can tell yourself to overcome striving for perfection as a mom.
5 Truths to Overcome Striving for Perfection
1. You are only responsible for you.
You are responsible to people, but not for people and their actions.*
Others actions and decisions are not a reflection of you. An excellent book for understanding this more is Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
*Please note: I am talking about adults. This has a different context for parents of children that are under the age of 18, but I am not going to go into that here.
2. Life is about balancing, not striving for perfection.
I get asked a lot about “balance in life” from moms who are overwhelmed by all the mom life responsibilities. But you know what? A life of balance actually is a striving for perfection. Life balance simply put is not possible.
Life is always changing and is fluid. True “balance” requires absolute stillness. Conversely, as a mom, we are balancing a lot of things all at once.
As life changes—you have choices. What things will you choose to let go of and what things will you choose to pick up? The key is to choose what you want and to do those things well.
It’s a choice—you can try to do everything, but you’ll become exhausted, tired and burned out as a mom. You can’t do everything well. Ever struggle with saying no? I have in the past, but I’ve learned a little tip that’s helped me out a lot.
Grace Tip: When someone asks you to do something, give grace to yourself and the person asking. Simply say, “Wow, that sounds like an interesting opportunity. Do you mind if I think about that? When would you need to have an answer? I will get back with you by…”
Make sure that you give them a firm time/day that you will give them your answer, and then do it. By handling a situation this way, you get to really take time to think about the situation. You remove the pressure of making a decision in the moment. It honors the person by thanking them and it shows them that your time and their time has value.
3. You are not a failure. Failure is an event.
I learned this from the wise Zig Ziglar. It’s a very freeing realization. We all make mistakes whether it be a wrong choice or accidentally spilling the milk. Again, we are not perfect!
I have a friend who would say to her kids, “Glad we got that over with for the day!” Don’t let your mistakes hold you back or weigh you down. Remember that you either win with your choices—or you learn.
4. Today is a gift.
The past is history. The future is a mystery, but today is gift. That’s why we call it a present! If we dwell on the “What if’s” and the “If only’s” in life, it can paralyze us. It’s the little things we do today as moms that shape and guide our future. Little means as big a step as you are able—it doesn’t have to be big.
Start embracing the gift of the present and crush the overwhelm of being a mom—for good. How can you do this? You can read more about how I overcame being an overwhelmed mom.
5. God loves you always.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, God in His Word says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He will always love you.
I know that as a mom, you probably struggle with the fact that you know you should be reading your bible every day. You want a deeper faith and when you miss your devotions, you probably experience distance in your relationship with God.
However, let me be clear. This isn’t a form of punishment related to “not doing” things for the sake of checking it off a list.
Reading your bible and praying fosters your relationship with God. When we don’t sit with Him, He isn’t angry. This is a wrong perspective of the Righteousness of God. He simply longs to sit with you. He told me that very thing once.
Striving for Perfection and Finding Grace
On that day when my friend missed our coffee date, my heart was so sad. In the quietness I heard a small whisper;
“Sonya, I get sad too, when you miss coffee with Me.”
God at that moment spoke to my heart and He extended grace to me. You see at the time I was so excited about getting up early to meet my friend—but I couldn’t remember the last time I had gotten up early to meet with the Lord.
And you know what? He wasn’t pointing it out to me. No, He was simply saying that He too wanted relationship with me. He missed me too.
You see God doesn’t want us to strive for perfection and He doesn’t demand perfection of us either. He simply longs for relationship with us—our hearts turned towards Him.
What if you took a moment today to say no to striving for perfection and meet with your Best Friend—the only Perfect Friend?
He’s waiting for you to just sit with Him—even if for just a moment. It’s not about checking off devotions—it’s about growing in relationship.
It’s the first step in becoming a healthy mom so that you can truly crush the overwhelm with confidence, feel energized by life, and be equipped to be the best mom ever.
Did God speak to your heart through these words? I would be honored if you would share your story. You never know—it might be what someone else needs to hear to walk more fully in His grace.