Who is the Imperfectionist Mom?
Just to make it clear off the bat, I’m aware “Imperfectionist” is not a word…at least it wasn’t, until now! I wanted to post about how I came up with the name of my blog, so I can help you better understand who I am and why I created this website.
As I mentioned in my “About” page, I had a really difficult postpartum journey. With a postpartum surgery, breastfeeding issues, chaotic family life & Lily being colicky… I felt like I was drowning. Andy and I decided to reach out to a psychologist to help us communicate better and to help him understand what I was going through and how he could support me better. After a few couple’s sessions, I decided to continue to speak with her on my own. I explained to her how breastfeeding was the hardest thing I had ever done and how the constant tumultuous nursing and pumping sessions were making me depressed. So, she asked me, “why don’t you just stop?” After explaining to her that I know nursing is best for the baby, she made it clear that a healthy mom is what’s actually best for the baby. I knew that I was pushing my body and my mind past a healthy point, but I just could not stop. It was like the world would end if I didn’t nurse or continue to parent with 100% effort.
She suggested something to me that I would have never thought of on my own: I am a perfectionist.
“A perfectionist?!” I barked. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” She asked why I was so shocked. “If I’m a perfectionist then I’m the worst perfectionist EVER. I mess stuff up all the time!” She actually laughed out loud and went on to explain that was exactly the point. No one can do everything perfectly and that is the whole curse of perfectionism. Perfectionists don’t want to do anything at less than 100% effort and if it’s something they don’t know how to do, they either avoid it completely or work so tirelessly at it that it totally drains them. Imagine every time you can’t give something your 100% effort, even something as simple as cleaning the kitchen or getting ready every day, you feel like you’ve failed. The next time you may not even try.
After some thinking about it, I totally started to see a perfectionist is, indeed, exactly who I am. With my dogs, with my marriage, with fashion, with cooking and especially with Lily. I either give all of my effort to something or the very bare minimum, there is no in-between. Even with this blog, it was SO hard for me to actually start it because I’m terrible with technology and photography side of blogging. Instead of just learning how to use the website and social media better, I just wanted to quit and not even try.
So, it was that conversation with my psychologist that I thought of when I was brainstorming a blog name. I am a perfectionist who is constantly falling on my face and trying to get back up again. The name, The Imperfectionist Mom, is a reference not only to me but to every mom. We are all imperfect but desperately trying to be the best mother we can be. It is that perfectionist “diagnosis” that is driving me to push past my fear of falling on my face so I can do something meaningful. There is going to be a huge learning curve here. I have to learn how to balance spreading myself a little thinner in every aspect of my life so that I can do something I am passionate about.
This blog will give me the outlet I’ve been craving since I gave up my job as a journalist to move across the country to be a football wife. If I don’t take the risk now, I don’t know that I ever will again. It’s time for me to learn that everything can’t and won’t be perfect all the time. But, this blog could help other women like me who are trying to survive the biggest life transition we’ll ever go through. My hope is that we can all grow a little bit, learn from each other and realize that perfect moms aren’t real. It is in the trenches of sleepless nights and endless trial-and-error learning that we grow as moms and as families. Thank you for coming along for the ride with me & welcome, again, to The Imperfectionist Mom.