I used to be a perfectionist.
And, quite frankly, it was painful.
Not just for me, but for my husband too – who watched me hold myself to an unachievable standard.
I wanted to be a perfect mother.
I wanted to be a perfect teacher.
I wanted to be a perfect homemaker.
I wanted to be the perfect wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend.
Then one day something inside of me clicked.
We were on our first family holiday abroad, playing with the children in the pool, and I thought – what have I been doing?
That moment was pure happiness. That moment didn’t need any help to be perfection.
I realised that I was trying so hard to do and be everything, always busy and rushing around, that somewhere along the line I had stopped living in the moment.
My mind was always in overdrive, always somewhere else.
Life had become a juggling act and I was just desperately trying not to let everything come crashing down.
In trying to be the very best version of myself, I had stopped thinking about what I wanted.
I’d lost sight of what was really important.
As I finally relaxed and stopped, laughing and playing with my children and taking a break from real life, everything fell into place.
In that moment I knew that things had to change.
When we came home from our trip…
I cleaned a little less.
I played a little more.
I said no when things were too much.
And yes to living more freely.
I quit my job and set up on my own.
I stopped beating myself up for feeding my children junk once in a while, or letting them sit in front of the TV in their pyjamas.
I became more spontaneous.
I learnt to stop and relax.
I realised the importance of self-care.
When I stopped trying to be a perfect mother, I became an even better one.
For the first time since my younger years, I felt OK to just be good enough.
I became the role model that my children needed.
I teach my children that bad days are part of life.
I teach my children that whilst thinking of others is important, it’s OK to put yourself first too.
I teach my children that it’s good to be different; to be yourself.
I teach my children that there is so much fun to be had in letting go.
I teach my children to live in the moment.
I teach my children to be imperfect; to understand who they are; to be kind to themselves.
And, whilst I still have my moments from time to time, my family reminds me that there is perfection in every imperfection.
I’m still learning; still growing; still changing – a perfectionist in recovery.
I’m good enough, and so are you.