Parenting

Why Millennial Moms Need to Let Go of Perfectionism

I often find myself wondering how my mom did it.

I grew up in a house that was always spotless, with clean, properly ironed clothes in my closet and dinner on the table at precisely 6 p.m.

I don’t recall us ever being late for appointments, and important dates or tasks were never forgotten. And yes, my mom also worked five days a week.

Millennial working with her baby

So, why does it seem like my life as a mother is always frantic? I always appear to be struggling — struggling to keep up with everyday chores and life organization. My house usually resembles a war zone, we frequently run out of milk, I’m ALWAYS late, and I continually battle to keep up with our laundry (ironing definitely not included!)

And I’m not lazy. Far from it. I never feel like I stop actually.

And perhaps that’s what my problem is.

Do we have it all?

This generation of millennial moms grew up in an age where we were taught to dream big, work hard and achieve our goals. Being a ‘house wife’ wasn’t encouraged. We weren’t taught needlework, or home economics.

We were taught that we could have it all.

And that’s exactly what we have. It’s not a choice we’ve made, it’s the age we live in.

There’s so much opportunity that didn’t exist back when my mom was in her thirties. So much so that it’s virtually impossible for moms today to sit back and ‘enjoy’ maternity leave, or being a stay at home mum, whilst the rest of the world continues to race on around them.

A 24/7 world

mom shopping with her baby

We’re bombarded by a constant stream of new information, new developments, new trends. We can’t sit and finish a cup of tea without alerts, updates and requests pinging from our mobile phones, all requiring our attention.

We’re constantly exposed to pretty selfies and the expectation that we need to look after ourselves, keep fit, eat healthily and complete Pinterest-worthy crafts with our kids.

Life moves at such a fast pace these days and everything needs to be done yesterday.

And I’m not for one minute discrediting the last generation. They did good (my mum in particular of course). But they definitely had a more simple, more straightforward, less chaotic way of life.

Opportunity vs. overwhelm

We have so many choices! Choices about how we do our shopping, our cooking, pay our bills, source our insurance, sell our houses, make our payments…choices about what we study, how we work, how we raise our kids.

And choice is a great thing as it means we have more opportunities. Success is there for the taking and there’s never been a better time for the entrepreneurial amongst us to grab it with both hands – moms included.

But at times it can all be extremely overwhelming for me to have that constant feeling like I’m missing out on something, or I’ve forgotten to do something, reply to someone or check something.

I have several conversations I need to reply to on my phone across WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and Snapchat (that’s not true, I draw the line at Snapchat). On the top of it, I have four email accounts, all for various purposes that I struggle to keep on top of.

Read also: 4 Simple Steps to Stop Being Overwhelmed With Your Life

And yes, I choose to be a blogger and so my phone probably sends me more notifications than most. And I’m aware that I spend a lot of time writing this blog. The hours I pour into it are hardly worth the money I earn in return (and I could be doing something far more ‘productive’ like ironing my husband’s shirts)…

But I’m a millennial and I can’t seem to help myself from striving for that illusive work-life balance.

And spreading ourselves too thinly

mom on phone

More than anything we risk feeling like we’re never quite good enough. We’re spreading ourselves so thinly that we feel as though we’re failing in every area. We want to be perfect parents and wives, yet we can’t let go of that need to achieve something more for ourselves – which we’ve been brought up to believe is our prerogative.

And when I say moms, I mean dads too of course. My husband doesn’t have the luxury of getting home to dinner on the table each day and being able to sit down and put his feet up once he gets in from a long day at work. Yes, sometimes I have dinner on the table. But most days he’s bombarded by the evening routine as soon as he walks through the door – helping to get the kids, bathed, fed and ready for bed.

We’re both constantly running around, rushing back and forth and trying to live up to our own version of the parents we want to be, whilst creating the life we always dreamed of. Usually it’s gone 8pm before we both fall back on the sofa and breath that sigh of relief that we can finally relax and have some ‘us time’.

We wouldn’t have it any other way of course. We chose this life for ourselves.

Read also: 5 Ways To Deal With Motherhood’s Never-Ending Work

Your best is good enough

One thing I’ve come to realize is that in this fast-paced, 24/7 day and age, it’s virtually impossible to do everything perfectly (and I hold my hands up and admit I’ve never been the most organized of people). But nobody is superhuman.

Sometimes something has to give.

On some days I don’t make our beds until well past midday, on other days bath time for the kids doesn’t happen. I can go for days without responding to a single email, and it’s not uncommon for me to go silent within a WhatsApp group (sorry friends!!)

Read also: 14 Ways to Make Yourself Feel Happier

Oh and I don’t beat myself up when we run out of milk.

I’m okay with not being perfect.

Because when it comes down to it, we’re doing everything right. Our absolute best. The best for our kids, our family and for ourselves.

And although life can feel chaotic at times, a millennial mum of course wouldn’t have it any other way.

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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