Does a perfect routine or a perfect parent exist?
I was reading something on a mom group I am a part of on Facebook where one of the moms was asking advice on a usual day of activities and routine for a toddler.
It made me think of my daily routine and all the things I had wanted to do for a daily routine that didn’t end up happening. While we do try to follow a routine every day of naps and he has the same bedtime and nighttime routine, everything else was hard for me to put into words.
Before I had my baby, I had so many grand plans about all the things I was going to teach him and what kind of mom I would be. After I had my baby, all that went out the window and 90% of those aspirations never happened. And that’s okay.
I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for a full year. It took over a week for my milk to come in and that made breastfeeding very challenging. I never made enough to not supplement with formula and ended up stopping altogether when we moved at 6 months. And that’s okay.
I wanted to teach my baby healthy sleep habits. I ended up rocking him for the majority of the first 4 months of his life and frequently let him nap on me. And that’s okay.
I wanted to teach my baby sign language and do early learning activities every day. Although I do try and do some learning activities every day most of this didn’t happen either. And that’s okay.
I wanted to make my own baby food from scratch from only organic produce. I ended up buying the packages of baby food. And most of the time it wasn’t even organic. And that’s okay.
I wanted to only give him healthy foods and never anything with sugar. I gave him a graham cracker today and goldfish. But I also gave him fresh fruit, an organic veggie pouch, and scrambled eggs. It’s all about moderation. I’m okay with feeding my kid a little treat every now and then.
I wanted my kid to have zero tv time. Clearly that did not happen. Sometimes I do let my one year old watch TV so I can use the restroom or make us a snack. *gasp*
Some days we have a great schedule and we are playing on the floor all day while I teach him letters and colors and he giggles and smiles at me. Other days, I use the TV to distract him more often than I should. And it’s okay.
At the beginning, I had put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. Be the perfect parent, the perfect wife, and still make time to pursue my own goals in my schooling and career. It just was not feasible and the pressure of it all was suffocating. I still have to remind myself to give myself a break.
Because in life, no one is perfect. Perfect does not exist, it is simply one person’s idealistic image that is in forever evolution. You can spend your whole life chasing perfect and you will never attain it. So stop. Let it go. Give yourself some grace and let yourself have some slack.
You may not have the perfect schedule or do everything you wanted to as a parent and that’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad parent: it makes you human.
To one imperfect mom to another, you are doing an awesome job whether you are like me and let your kid watch TV and eat goldfish, or if you feed your kid organic veggies and and only do educational activities. Parent on my friend.