How To Be The Perfect Mother

Remember when you imagined you’d be the perfect mother? (Or father!) Well, raising kids is a bitch. Social media can sure help us look like we’re doing things just right, or that EVERYBODY ELSE is! But by all means, let’s take a moment to read between the lines.

My kids drive me crazy. On the daily. Admittedly, I set the bar pretty high for myself. From a very young age, I conjured up a list of all the ways I’d be an amazing mother, and my kids and I would be besties, and surely their friends would want to be my besties too…it’s the signature of every cool mom.

How To Be The Perfect Mother

How To Be The Perfect Mother

  • Always say yes.
  • Be funny. (Check!)
  • Clean up after everyone.
  • No curfew.
  • Supply junk food.
  • Listen to cool music.
  • Host all the parties.
  • Anything goes.

Note: You’re going to be disappointed!

how-to-be-the-perfect-mother-2

And while I thought my plan was pretty flawless, turns out my parenting goals evolved as I started adulting, aaaaaand kids can end up Effing up every plan ever created. I didn’t factor in sibling rivalry, puberty, bratty behavior, homework, anxiety, ADHD and general defiance. I suspected they’d be perfect, like…nevermind.

Being an actual parent is a rude awakening. I, in fact, no longer care if my kids or their friends like me. It’s a PERK, but not a necessity. So to the many who profess that there’s nothing more important in life than your child’s happiness:

I call B.S.

Being healthy is my number one goal for my kids. If they are physically and mentally healthy– I promise, happiness will follow. That goes for us, too.

My second goal: not raising assholes. This is harder than it looks!

  • I have a Master’s Degree in Education
  • I’ve taught and coached first through eighth graders
  • I ran a school for almost a decade
  • My mind operates much like a child’s
  • My primary job is to raise my kids

As someone who was once considered an expert in the field, I’ve done wonders for other people’s kids, but sometimes feel shortchanged when it comes to trying to raise my own well-balanced, non-entitled little buggers! If I can’t do it, You. Are. Screwed.

But alas, there is hope. Given the credentials I’ve built up as a PARENTING GODDESS, there are a few nuggets of wisdom that I can offer to assure you that you and I are on the right track, even when it doesn’t quite feel that way. Here’s a new, more modern recipe for How To Be The Perfect Mother, and raising healthy children along the way!

Ingredients:

LOVE
BOUNDARIES
FORGIVENESS
BEST OF INTENTIONS

Recipe For Success:

Be real.
Use humor.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Apologize when you’re wrong.
Be a role model.
Forgive them.
Forgive yourself.
Listen.
Share.
Be present.
Let them fail.
Be there when they do.
Have support.
Practice self-care.

Total Time: A lifetime

Be patient enjoy the ride.

Other Nuggets of Wisdom:

  • Difficult kids often make the most progress. I promise they’re trying. If you take notice, the progress is there and the most challenging of kids can give the greatest return.
  • The kids who need the most help, often ask in the most unpleasant ways.
  • All kids want to be happy. If they’re not happy, something bigger is going on. It can be social, academic, something at home/school, anxiety, growing pains…and they often don’t know what it is.
  • Kids love to hear about your mistakes growing up! It helps normalize theirs.
  • Kids want you around. Simply being in the house (but out of their hair and business) is a hidden comfort to them.
  • Share cheesy movies and music from your youth! It’s the perfect bonding experience.
  • It’s okay to tell your kids that you don’t have the answers. It shows that you’re human, and still learning.
  • All kids are good.
  • You’re doing a great job!
perfect mom recipe

I leave you with my perfect vision of my kids. A moment I cherish and blindly store in my head as what daily life is really like. And it’s okay. Because at the end of the day, I love them warts and all, and this is exactly what I want to remember. I’m doing it right. And so are you.

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30 thoughts on “How To Be The Perfect Mother

  1. This is such good info! As a soon to be FTM, I enjoyed reading this! 🙂

    Kendra | http://www.helga-marie.com

    1. OH, congratulations– it’ll be great!

  2. Oh this is so lovely! There is no such thing as perfect! Being present and caring and doing our best is what truly matters. Thanks for sharing ♡

  3. It’s hard. But sometimes you will see the work you have done and it’s the most beautiful thing.

    Keep up the amazing work you are doing.

  4. Isn’t everyday sunny with you, Elease? You’re very funny!

    I loved this. Truth be told, parenting is something else in the world we are in today.

  5. I remember the day my oldest was born and they just kind of hand the child off to you and “here we go”. There is no manual, and all kids are different. I 100% agree with your ingredients. Even the toughest kids deep down want some boundaries and they do find comfort in your being around. I always try to relate my mistakes growing up to theirs or let them know how not to make the same mistake I made. It keeps you normal and human in their eyes and they understand that they are not the only one who made this mistake or who is going through this struggle. Great new recipe for parenting.

  6. Honestly, I think caring and trying is perfect! But it sounds like you know the necessities and have those down…and the funny should definitely count as extra! 🙂

  7. Excellent post. I have to let you know, your line about not raising assholes had me laughing. My wife just purchased a mug on Amazon that says that exactly. LOL. You are on the right track with where you are focusing your energy.

  8. Another lovely post. Nowadays, social media must put so much pressure on parents to get it ‘right’. The aim is for perfection. But you’ve got it right. You want happy children. You want them to love, be good kids and enjoy life. I think you’ve got the perfect recipe.

  9. I often wonder if any mother ever feels like she did it right? My kids were happy, wanted for nothing, were athletic and involved in everything, I was present and worked as a night shift RN to make sure I didn’t miss a beat (although I think I sleep-walked through most days)…yet still, they will find things to complain about that I did wrong. At the end of the day, you have to know and accept that you did your best and let them think what they will. Once they are parents, only then will they realize how good they had it.

  10. I love your humor. Parenting is hard work if you’re doing it right—at least at the beginning. You need to set clear expectations for what is acceptable and what isn’t.

  11. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this post. I’m 18 months into my motherhood journey and everything is expectations vs. reality. As you said, it’s important to raise healthy and happy kids. That’s my primary obligation. Everything else will fall into place.

  12. This is a great reminder! It’s so easy to look at other people’s kids and say that you would never do x, y and z that they do as parents, but once you are actually a parent, you quickly learn it’s a lot harder than you realized.

  13. Once again you are leaving me misty eyed! I just love your writing and posts so much. These are the perfect tips on parenting. I especially like how you mention to talk about your own childhood.

    There is nothing my kids love more than snuggling down in bed with me and hearing me tell all of the weird and wonderful stories of my own childhood and upbringing!

  14. This is totally relatable, girl! You made me cry! But since you had me laughing at first, I’m cool with that! I always say, “I was the perfect mother until I became one.” Raising little humans is no joke! But I love your perspective and it’s 100% the truth! Totally sharing this!

  15. That’s it! The parenting gig can be hard, but im sure it’s worth it!

  16. though i am not a parent myself, i imagine that parenting can be really challenging. even just taking care of two dogs and a few lizards stresses me out on most days so i can’t really imagine myself with human children hahaha! i will definitely be sharing your post with my friends who are parents and parent-to-be’s! xx

  17. I think you hit it dead on when you talked about our expectations of motherhood…It’s just like with romance…We are chronically unhappy because we continue to compare real life to movies and social media so nothing can ever meet our unrealistic expectations. Excellent new recipe.

  18. These are great tips. We live in a world where many parents shield their kids from the real world just save a face only to end up raising kids that are bitter, rebellious and incompetent.
    Thank you for the post.

  19. Excellent advice. So hard to remember when you’re in the middle of it, especially forgive yourself. We all make parenting mistakes. Great post!

  20. I agree with you our parenting strategies keep evolving at different stages. I don’t think there is no one size fits all solution in motherhood. Being open minded, and positive are two important keys to raise happy and confident kids. Loved reading your post. It has so many valuable information.

  21. I always tell people if they want to be the perfect parent to never have children 🤣. But seriously this article is so relevant and relatable! Kids are hard but as long as you love and grow it all falls into place

  22. This is a great post with great tips. As someone trying to start a family I constantly worry about raising a well-balanced child.

    1. The Sunny Side April 9, 2019 — 1:01 am

      Good luck to you!

  23. Parenting is not for the weak, that’s for sure.

  24. This was such a needed read! I’ve had a difficult week with my toddler and this was a great reminder that real life isn’t always picture perfect.

    1. The Sunny Side April 9, 2019 — 6:08 pm

      Glad I could help in some small way. Here’s to a week that’s looking up!

  25. I don’t have kids yet but my goal is definitely to not raise ass holes haha. Thanks for the great tips!

  26. Ha! No easy job being “perfect” but I think imperfection helps our kids know that we are just human. Because they are too. Cute post!! 🙂

    1. Thank you!

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