Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I'm not perfect

There, I said it.

I am a perfectionist. I discovered pretty soon after Ez and Fonz were born that being a mum and a perfectionist does not a happy mummy make. Now I'm finding out that being a perfectionist and a working mum is even worse.

I'm not content if I don't do things well, if I'm not achieving the best possible results I can. I work and work and work and work to get everything just right. Anything less than 100% makes me lose sleep. But right now I'm struggling to balance that with all the other demands on me. I need to be able to switch off when I'm with in mum mode, and just enjoy spending time with my babies. I only have this one chance to see them growing up and I feel like I'm throwing it away. I'm going to have to lower the unrealistic expectations I have of myself and my work or I'll self-combust with stress and anxiety.

I need to get to know the new, post-babies, working me.

Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? A recent survey has shown that mothers are much harder on daughters than sons, and suggests that it could be why women are much more self-critical than men. I know I've always given myself a hard time about most aspects of my life – I'm not thin enough, not exciting enough, not witty enough, not articulate enough, not creative enough.

But I want to stop. This isn't a legacy I want to leave to my children.
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