06 February 2012

perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder

Greetings all,
I love perfection, it's . . . perfect.  However, the things i find perfect are . . . a blooming fragrant rose (nature), correct spelling (academics), fingerprintless windows (cleanliness) . . . tangible objects, 100% achievable, realistic pursuits.  I believe a dessert chef can ice a cake to perfection, a lawyer try the perfect case & an athlete run the perfect race.  So why are we consumed by 'the perfect mother'??  Exactly what is the job description??  Ask your children who is the perfect mother, pretty sure they'll say "you mummy"!!  They don't know human beings are flawed, they just love you despite your hiccups
I was thinking about this perfect mother myth while i was baking cookies tonight.  Lovely Magi's post on ToffeeAppleMama blog was playing on my mind . . . she used the perfect mother reference (Magi is a wholesome & dedicated mama of four who tries as hard as me to make for a lovely happy family life.)  I baked over 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies - the last four warranted their own baking tray.  When they came out i said to the children, "look, these cookies are perfect" & they were in every way - cooked through, crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, the oven was at the right temperature, on their own spacious tray, they had every chance to be the best damn cookies they could be.  But . . . an uber healthy mum wouldn't consider them perfect (sugar, butter, chocolate), the Country Women's Association could bake neater cookies & if they were rolled properly/ equally/ perfectly as Donna Hay's recipe reads, it would have been 2 dozen cookies, on 2 trays.     
My point is, they were perfect to me, as i made them with love for my children's lunch boxes when they resume school tomorrow; i slotted them into an afternoon of mowing lawns, cooking lasagne - sharing the heat of the oven; & ironing uniforms.  Effort, taste & execution, 10/10. 
Now i'm no literary scholar & i feel my cookie analogy isn't flowing as poetically as it did in my head in the oven . . . but this whole perfect mother thing, who exactly are we comparing ourselves with or trying to impress??  Please don't say a celebrity mother.  Or the mum at the school gate/ park/ swimming lesson next to you.  Mother, remember, you got that title by having your children & their opinion is the only one that matters!!  Everyone leads different lives, better, worst, happy, sad, richer, poorer.  It's all relative, it changes constantly, you have every chance to be a winner in this mothering game, it's dynamic & some days you make triumphant cookies, other days you miss a child's concert.  There is alway time to pick up your game when things are rocky, or ease off when things are smooth. 
I am the perfect mother to my own children.  I give them what they need in everything i do from the conversations we have on school runs (an independent mother would have them catch the bus), the way i run their forgotten lunch/ sneakers/ projects up to school in the middle of the day (a hard mummy would make them learn their lesson) & discipline with a home schedule (a hippie mama would let days unfold organically).  Sometimes i'm 1 step ahead of my children & all over their next stage . . . sometimes i'm 2 steps behind & not ready for their new attitude, academic level, what their friends are allowed to do/ say/ watch/ go.  I am the perfect mother to my own children as i never give up trying.  Love Posie

20 comments:

Magi said...

You are right, the only opinion that matters is theirs. And it’s ok to be 1 step ahead or 2 steps behind as long as we keep on trying.

And when I look at those 4 perfect cookies, I think of 4 perfect children, maybe not perfect to others, but given the right temperature and ingredients and space on that baking tray to grow they are perfect to me.

m.e (Cathie) said...

"ask your children who is the perfect mother, pretty sure they'll say "you mummy"!! "
and that is perfect in it's own way.
perfection is definitely something different to each one of us but as long as we are happy doing what we are doing, learning, loving, creating, touching peoples lives in a positive way then that is my idea of perfect.

jennie said...

A perfect post Jennie!
Love it!X

Sandrine said...

Yes I agree best at trying my best :) I am glad I am not the only one feeling behind on what others are allowed to have/do or go I just feel much more normal :)

Mama of 2 boys said...

You are one very clever Mama that is for sure Posie. I love your thoughts and this post conveys them so beautifully. It truly would make any Mama feel better about themselves to read this. It is so hard not to constantly compare ourselves to the world of mothers around us, but you're so right, it's about our own children and what we are to them, that really matters.
Your cookies have made my mouth water and tummy rumble, they DID sound perfect :o) xo

polkadotpeticoat said...

your perfect to us.....What a great post!

Amanda said...

So true!! You are a wonderful mum and a great inspiration to all us mums who read your blog :) x

Bron said...

Well said.....thankfully it is only our children's opinion that matters...not enough hours in the day to please every one. xxx Enjoy your quiet household tomorrow.

Mum on the Run said...

I think any Mum who strives to be the best she can for her kids and invests everything she can in it - is perfect.
Like those cookies - mmmm.
:-)

TexWisGirl said...

although i'm not a parent, i loved this post. :)

Anonymous said...

You are the perfect wife too!

Sarah B said...

I have always believed in the perfection of imperfection. :)

Jen R said...

Perfect post Posie xx

Lisa H said...

All any of us can do is our best. Nice post.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

Here, here!
(and they your bickies look YUM!)

Fiona said...

What you say is so true.. and we are our own worst enemies.. I work full time (my husband stays home with precious 3 yr old girl) and I work from home on Tuesdays when I always try to fit in play time with her.. but today that just wasn't possible.. I was stressed. My husband took her out so I could do my work and I burst into tears.. and when they came home, she just looked at me and said 'I love you'.. where as I kept thinking 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry'...

ally said...

I'm not really into perfect but being the best I can be...yes
I think we mean the same thing anyways
xx

Cath said...

I love it when my 5yo tells me regularly "mummy you make/do/are the best ..." Need to remember this more often. Thanks for the reminder! C x

Felicity said...

What a doozy whopper of a question to ask the kids, 'What is the perfect mother?" - love it, not sure they'll commit to answering it though.

It begets the question "What's the perfect kid like?" and is there such a thing?

Perfection really is in the eye, heart and mind of the beholder and I love your link with the bikkies.

Not so sure about the sentence about your head in the oven though [giggle]!

Happy day Lovely, I'm finally catching up on your posts after our internet connection has returned to regular service = yippee!
xx

Posie Patchwork said...

Children are much more resilient than we realise, they love us, more than what we might do each day, love Posie