I always thought my mom was perfect and I aspired to be just like her. She kept a spotless house, always cooked family dinners in the evening, got “dressed up” even when she didn’t leave the house, and could sew anything.

Growing up I would always measure myself compared to my perception of my mother. I would push myself to do more or to be “better.” I beat myself up over my shortcomings. There is dust on my furniture and I sometimes order takeout instead of cooking. I feel guilty if I feed Ethan store-bought baby food instead of making it myself. I cried over the fact that I was only able to pump breast milk until Ethan was eight weeks old before switching to formula. I even thought that with any future children I may skip trying to breastfeed at all — before feeling like I should at least try.

It took me actually being a parent to realize that there is no perfect when it comes to parenting.

Now that Ethan is a year old, he shows no ill effects from drinking formula. He is healthy even though he ate Gerber baby food.


My house may never be as clean as my mother’s house, I may not cook very well, and I may wear yoga pants if I am not planning on leaving the house. What I do know is that my son is healthy, happy, and extraordinarily loved. Of course, I will probably continue to wish my house was as clean and organized as my mom’s, but when I am playing with my son, that doesn’t really matter.

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