Healthy Kids    

To the Perfectionist Mom this Holiday Season…"Let it go…"

How to channel your inner Elsa and change your mindset

perfectionist mom letter

If success in parenting is measured by how often our children listen, sit and stay, then I have a long way to go. After listening to Elsa belt out her tune of triumph for the umpteenth time this year, I decided to adopt my own “Let it go” philosophy and here’s why.

You can ask every parent you know- no one has a rule book for perfect parenting.

What I do know is that each moment with my children does not have to be a check list of achievements. As this holiday season approaches, and we barter gifts for good behaviors maybe we should readjust our sliding scale of perfection with a lesson from a recovering perfectionist.

I still cringe when I remember when, what appeared to be, wiser moms and dads would tell me “don’t worry these are terrible twos, they’ll pass”. When terrible 3’s came along, I knew I was tired of the fight but letting it all go was a different story. One day after a particularly long struggle of parenting behaviors that I thought needed fixing, it hit me …why fight it? What are we struggling to be perfect for? Why do we need to win? What’s in this for the kids?

That was when my husband and I agreed that it was time to really pick our battles.

If we are at a family gathering and my child wants to show off his reading skills, great! If we’re in the mall and my son wants to sit still under a rack of coats for a bit - go for it. If my children would rather stay home Saturday morning and sing that annoying song which references poop instead of hitting up the festival I had planned for the day, let them. They have their own sense of humor, their own agenda and it does not always have to align with ours.

READ MORE: A practical guide to a mindful home

I have chosen to embrace ‘letting it go’ (with balance of course) and you can too!

We quickly learned that there is more value in the “take away” for children than the good intentions we push on them. You don’t have to win every battle of the minds and every moment does not have to be a teachable one. You can choose to ‘let it go’. I still have to remind myself of this almost daily, but it can be done. 

I believe that I am building a sense of confidence in my children when I laugh at the jokes that don’t make sense (to me) and refrain from correcting every nonsense story that they claim to be factual. If my kids are tired of the on-going plans I have on the weekends, I try to be at peace with sitting still and doing what they want to do. If they are not socially perfect around family and friends, so be it! There is a time and place for learning, correction and reality, of course, but this is an entirely different category.

So, as cabin fever sets in, channel your inner Elsa and mantra the song....‘Let it go’....

I hope your family will have more moments that end in laughter and smiles, too. Those are the real gifts that will last much longer than any toy this season.

Surviving #Momlife 
Maureen White, Elsa wanna-be and mom of two.

Maureen White is a recovering perfectionist, embracing her inner Elsa and mom to a 2 year old daughter and a 5 year old son currently residing in Wappingers Falls, NY.