I love being a mother. As of tomorrow I will be 8 weeks into this new role. And I love being a wife. Although my partner and I were together four years prior to getting married, we have been married for about 10 weeks now. And so there’s another new role… wife.
Add those to the roles that existed already: business owner, professional coach, marriage and family therapist, and multiple interpersonal relationship roles like daughter, friend, colleague, etc.
It seems the newest roles reawakened my inner perfectionist. And she’s a real sadist, that one.
What!? Didn’t get the laundry done or get dinner ready? “BAD WIFE” What!? Didn’t pump (breast milk) on time or the kiddo had a wet diaper for an extra 30 minutes? “BAD MOMMY” And then when those roles clash with the other ones… hmmmpphh! WATCH OUT!!!
Here comes the self-inflicted cat-o-nine tails: 20 lashes for having to take baby to the office, or forgetting the breast pump at home or having to reschedule clients due to last minute change in child care. And then wear the scarlet “B” for BAD ____________ fill in the blank: coach, therapist, friend, wife, mom, pet owner…you name it.
Funny thing is, I thought that perfectionist beotch was tamed. I had her in her place for a long time. I have to remind myself that perfectionism (my perception of it for myself) does not equal happiness. And its a fricking mythical state of existence.
I grew into those other roles. Over time. And there were bumps (ok, sometimes, they were mountains) along the way. But eventually I hit my stride. I let go of the notion of perfection with those roles and learned to be satisfied with doing my very best at any given time, knowing that there were days when ‘my best’ was better than it was on some other days.
Now, to take that lesson and apply it again….and remind myself I am a recovering perfectionist.