Well, before I go into that, this whole concept of the perfect mother was why I created my blog Unique Mums in 2020.
The idea for the blog came about when I noticed that in the world of motherhood there was a lot of judgmentalism, comparisonitis, and perfectionism.
While the former was apparent in my daily observations of interactions between mums on social media, the latter was evident to me in media portrayals of the elusive perfect mother, and the inner goddess approach encouraged by lifestyle gurus.
The Elusive Perfect Mother Approach
Films and TV shows portrayed the perfect mother in the main protagonist: fun, beautiful, sociable, trendy, artistic, BPA-free plastic devotee, sensorial play enthusiast, green smoothie advocate.
Of course, sometimes these shows and movies portrayed several model mums, but these mums all had one thing in common. They were stereotypes!
One was the thin, health-conscious, and zen mum. The other was the round, funny and quirky mum. The other was the intelligent, serious, businesswoman mum. And the other was the sophisticated, fun, and with-it mum.
Not only that, but there was this subtle message that this last mum was better than all the others. Sound familiar?
So in essence, the judgementalism, rivalry and perfectionism in mummy culture came from the perception that there was a perfect mother model.
The problem? This perfect mother model was unachievable. Why? Because she wasn’t real!
Indeed, the only women I ever saw fulfil these standards were actresses! 🤣
Then there was another approach to perfection in the media.
The Inner Goddess Approach
Otherwise known as the “you’re enough” approach.
The culture of self-help where – cashing in on women’s insecurities – certain gurus would say that every woman was enough, on her own.
(I’m looking at you Melissa Ambrosini!)
Indeed, the reason her life was a mess was that she wasn’t manifesting her true self.
So, the ironic solution, according to said gurus, was for the woman to unleash her inner goddess, her perfect self, by doing X, Y, Z.
Rather odd, that she who is enough on her own, does in fact need to follow a checklist! Again, the culture of emphasis on works to achieve perfection.
Like I mentioned before, I believe many mothers are insecure about their ability to fulfil perfect mother standards, which are unrealistic, limiting, and slave-forming.
When they do feel like they manage to fulfil some of the standards, this leads to judgementalism of those who don’t.
Then when they feel like they’re failing to meet the standards, this leads to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and rivalry with those who seem to be doing better.
I believe this because of my observations of others, but also because of my own journey.
It was precisely when I was a young, insecure mother who believed she had to fulfil certain standards that I was most insecure.
When I did manage to follow the standards, I judged those who didn’t.
When I failed, I despaired, and guilt took over.
My approach changed completely, however, when I came to see on a deeper level how God alone set the standards of perfection.
And every single person on the face of the Earth fell short!
Every single mother fell short of God’s holiness.
So, in answer to the original question: no, the perfect mother does not exist.
At least in the sense in which we use the word – the mother that never fails.
But there’s hope!
He came and fulfilled God’s standards without fault.
So in Jesus’ redemption, God offers mothers a clean slate, a fresh start as children of God, and a hope for the future.
And God’s heart for mothers is not uniformity, rivalry, or self-made perfectionism.
His heart for mothers is uniqueness, unity, and God-made perfection.
He wants mothers to live in the freedom to be the unique creations He calls them to be while becoming more like His son – Jesus.
No more. No less.
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