If you’ve arrived here via my parenting blog, Mothering Mushroom, you’ll know that imperfect parenting is a bit of a theme for me. I’m not a perfect parent. And, despite being a recovering perfectionist, when it comes to parenting I always knew there was no such thing as perfection. At the start, I wasn’t always ok with that. I’d listen too much to other people and worry I was coming up short as a mum. Over time though, as my son really started to grow into the little person he now is, I realised that the way I parent, while far from perfect, is just right… for us as a family. I do still have my moments and a negative comment on a bad day can occasionally hit me hard but on the whole I now rarely question the principles and values that lie behind any parenting decisions I make.
In my coaching practice, I find I often talk to mums who worry about their parenting style, concerned that what they’re doing isn’t ‘right’. I still have to check in with myself when I start saying “I should/shouldn’t have…” Ok, sometimes I could have made a better choice but is the occasional ‘mistake’ the end of the world? No, it’s not. This year, I decided that I really wanted to address this and help even more parents to let go of the notion that there is a ‘right’ way to parent and find the value in their individual, imperfectly perfect parenting styles by developing the Proudly Imperfect Parents series of workshops, which kicked off last month with a Working Mums workshop.
On the day, a small group of working mums came together to share challenges and frustrations – including the desire to be the best we can be both at work and at home, how to manage everything on little sleep and ways we can switch from ‘work’ mode to ‘mum’ mode at the end of the day. We also talked about the idea of the Good Enough Mother and how that could be good enough, maybe even better than aiming for perfection, as we give our children permission to also make mistakes and know that it’s ok, before moving on to talk about how we can reclaim our identity beyond motherhood. As a more creative exercise, we let go of the ‘perfect’ ideals we’ve placed on ourselves (literally – watching as our perfection balloons whizzed across the room as they lost air, and their power) and made cards to take home, as reminder of how we’re Good Enough.
How are you good enough.. and what can you let go of today..?
I’ll be tweaking the content of the Working Mums workshop in the coming months before running another one in London later this year but I also want to serve parents across the UK and beyond, whether you’re working, a full-time parent, a single parent or anything in between! So, if the idea of letting go of parenting imperfectly appeals to you, would you mind sparing five minutes to answer a few questions to help me develop future workshops and an online programme? Pretty please?
If you’re interested to know more about the Proudly Imperfect Parents series, do sign up to the mailing list below. Everyone who signs up will be first to know when new dates are released, will receive special offers and occasional freebies first and will be given full access to the closed Facebook group, where you can find like-minded parents sharing resources and supporting each other.