Think: I Don’t Have to Be Perfect!

This is a most freeing thing to realize for people like us who have always striven in some way to qualify for being perfect.  We understand that we can’t control the things we can’t control (like what features we might have been born with).  And we understand that any abilities or intellect or talents are gifts.  We were born with them, too, and we understand the responsibility (obligation?) that we have—to use our gifts well and to never use tiredness or laziness as an excuse to not try hard at everything we do.  We understand the weight that we carry.  And so perfection has always seemed to be a logical “goal”—something that seems reachable.  If only we just try hard enough.  But now is the time to stop associating with the perfection myth.  It is a waste of our time, energy, and efforts to keep striving to be perfect at everything, parenthood included.  Excellence and effectiveness, yes.  These things are attainable.  But perfection, no.  It is an illusion.  So just remember that we don’t have to be perfect in order to be good parents.  We only have to keep trying and keep working towards excellence in our practice (are we doing a consistently-good good job?) and effectiveness in our approach (do our children feel loved, appreciated, respected, accepted, cared for, and thought about?).  What a freeing thing to understand what it means when we say, “I don’t have to be perfect!”

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