Faith Motherhood

If I Were a Perfect Mom

Written by Lisa Mullen

 

Sometimes I wish I were a perfect mom. I tend toward perfectionism, in general, but motherhood has brought it out in me in all new ways. 

I stress over finding the “right” way to do everything. I second guess my decisions. I wonder what other moms think of me. I worry about messing up my kids. 

Yes, I wish I were a perfect mom. It would sure make our lives better. 

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And yet . . . 

If I were a perfect mom, I would know how to do everything. I would know all the right answers. I would never doubt myself or feel at a loss. 

But then I wouldn’t need to rely on God. I wouldn’t need to ask for His wisdom on a daily basis or seek His strength. Motherhood has brought me closer to God than I’ve ever been because it’s brought me to my knees more often than I’ve ever been. And I would miss out on that if I were a perfect mom.

If I were a perfect mom, I would never mess up. I would never lose my temper, say unkind things, or become impatient. I would never need to apologize to my kids. 

But then they would miss out on witnessing those apologies. I would not be modeling day in and day out how to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness. They would not have those opportunities to learn how to extend forgiveness and grace—first to me, and then to others. 

If I were a perfect mom, I would expect my kids to turn out perfectly. Because if I’m doing everything right, then they should do everything right, too. Right?

But then my expectations would be unrealistic. Because kids are their own people, and even when we do the “right” things, they can still choose poorly. There are no guarantees in parenting, so even if I were a perfect mom, that wouldn’t guarantee perfect kids.

If I were a perfect mom, I would never make dumb mistakes. I would never forget their coats and hats in cold weather. I would never fail to take all the baby-proofing precautions. I would never leave things out that they might fall on or trip over. I would never do anything that might lead them to get hurt. 

But then my kids would be weenies. They wouldn’t grow stronger. They wouldn’t develop resilience. They wouldn’t learn from their experiences. They would grow up in a bubble. A bubble bound to be popped upon entering the real world. 

If I were a perfect mom, all the other moms would be impressed. I would never feel the sting of disapproval. There would be no opportunities for judgment or criticism. I would be known as “the perfect mom.” 

But then I wouldn’t be able to encourage other moms. First of all, they would all hate me. But they also wouldn’t be able to relate to me. And it’s hard to be helpful if you’re not relatable. It’s our imperfections that draw us closer together and offer the freedom to share life genuinely with each other. 

Finally, If I were a perfect mom, I would know all the right parenting methods and make all the right decisions. I would be able to meet all their needs—physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. I would definitely notmess them up. 

But then I would take away their dependence on God. If I could meet all their needs perfectly, then what need would they have for God? If I were perfect, I would be robbing them of one of life’s most important lessons—only God can be everything and give everything we need. 

So yeah, sometimes I wish I were a perfect mom. Everything would be a lot easier if I knew all the answers and made perfect choices. 

Or would it? 

Every time I’m tempted to think so, I realize what it would really mean if I were a perfect mom. Resilience never developed, life lessons never learned, dependence on God never realized. 

And I think, maybe it’s best that I’m not a perfect mom, after all. 

About the author

Lisa Mullen

Lisa is a wife, mom of two boys, and blogger. She writes at themerrymomma.com, a blog devoted to encouraging moms to embrace motherhood with joy and intention. When she’s not working or taking care of her growing family, she can usually be found cooking, enjoying their country oasis, and reading her heart out. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.