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Never mind the 'perfect parent' who's happy to be a 'good enough' one????

(32 Posts)
soapbox Thu 28-Jul-05 00:03:11

I'm sick of the perfection trend, and as I fear I'm a perfectionist at heart, I need an easier target to excel at.

So I think 'good enough' is a good enough target for me

Anyone care to join me??????

BareFootAngel Thu 28-Jul-05 00:05:10

you cant be perfect its impossible as a mother as whatever you do will be wrong at some point,,,so my children are loved fed played with and come to me for help if they need it and hugs all the time good enough for me,,

soapbox Thu 28-Jul-05 00:11:34

And importantly BFE - good enough for them

soapbox Thu 28-Jul-05 00:12:03

BFA - obviously

QueenOfQuotes Thu 28-Jul-05 00:19:28

I'm "good enough"

My DS1 has done me proud 2 times in the last 2 weeks.

1st one was 2 weeks ago walking home from nursery and one of the "brat" kids (sorry but he his/was) happened to be walking along the same direction with his mum. They were happily playing together, on the grass and running along the pavement, all perfectly safe.......until we got to a 'dead end' near the local shop. It's always really quiet there anyhow (only seen 2 cars parked there ever - and they were both there), but this little boy ran across the road and shouted to DS1 to follow him to see something.

Without even looking at me he said really loudly "NO", and despite this little boy being VERY persausive he point blank refused to cross the road without my permission - was so chuffed that he not only remembered, but resisted the 'peer pressure' too.

2nd one not quite as impressive, playing with a different little boy in the park yesterday (his best friend of the last 9 months) and said little boy (lovely little thing) called for DS1 to follow him down the slide.....before he'd got off, again DS1 refused as I've taught him it's dangerous.




But then he's also deliberately tipped juice over the carpet today, has the most vile tantrums at home, scowls at me like a teenager and gives me many moments when I think "WHAT AM I DOING".........and have on many occasions shouted at him

So I think despite his charms, I'm not the perfect mother by any stretch of the imagination - but "good enough"

jabberwocky Thu 28-Jul-05 00:50:25

I posted this recently on another thread but am shamelessly recycling it because I am usually not in the right fram of mind to come up with something like this.

The Perfect Mother does not exist except in those dark recesses of our minds where she comes out from time to time to drive us mad with guilt for not measuring up.
The good enough mother takes time to lay in the grass and look at clouds when there is laundry to do and dishes to wash.
She loves a hug even when it means she will get wet, sticky or muddy because she knows these days will not last forever.
She loses her temper sometimes and then says she's sorry and decides to make brownies with her little one and they lick the spoons and giggle.
She decides to stick candles in a watermelon when she can't bring herself to make a birthday cake in time because it brings back traumatic labor memories and her child says it's the best birthday melon he's ever had.

Chandra Thu 28-Jul-05 01:04:41

I'm so un-perfect that I couldn't even write the word perfect correctly in the other thread.

PS. I loved the birthday melon idea, I will put in practice soon, I'm sure of that

jabberwocky Thu 28-Jul-05 01:12:26

That one was actually my own mother - but I feel sure I will be using it too!

WideWebWitch Thu 28-Jul-05 07:46:40

I'm with you on good enough soapbox. I like the idea of being a perfectionist thus lowering your goals so you attain them! Fab!

happymerryberries Thu 28-Jul-05 08:05:14

I am shamlessly re-posting something I did a while ago, because I think it fits this thread

I'm never going to feed them crap
I'll be much too good a mummy for that.
I'll always buy organic, fair traded and good,
And feed my kids all of the things that I should.

I'll shop with taste, no 'George' clothes for mine,
And wash them in 'Fairy', peg out on a line.
Their hair will be tasteful and never a nit,
Will cause them to scratch and have a quick fit.

Real nappy, or course no plastic muck,
Will sit in the bathroom beside my moon cup,
I'll recycle the lot, from jam jar to paper
My compost will rot down sooner or later.

I'll teach them to read sat on my knee
(Books are so terribly important to me)
And send them to school, the best in town,
And pay if I must, raising many a frown.

But wait, if I do all of this MN will hate me
And sigh, and question my reasons for be
-ing the sort of dreadful old bore
We all secretly wish would walk out of the door.

So maybe I'll let them watch TV and have the odd sweet
Just sometime, though, just the occasional treat.
And pour me a glass, but I'm not a sot
Just a good enough mother who fucks up a lot

Mytwopenceworth Thu 28-Jul-05 08:10:25

sorry to be contrary, but i want to be the perfect mum. i want to do and say everything right. i want to make the decisions that will always have the best outcomes for my kids. i want to never loose my temper, be always there, play the best games, give the best cuddles and reassurance. i want to never make a mistake in my parenting.

and i have calculated that if i have 172 children, i will have enough experience to get it totally right for number 173.

QueenOfQuotes Thu 28-Jul-05 09:39:24

Jabber - you've just made me go all weeepy


"She loses her temper sometimes and then says she's sorry and decides to make brownies with her little one and they lick the spoons and giggle"




(Ok so I don't make brownies afterwards, but we do other silly stuff)

Twiglett Thu 28-Jul-05 09:42:23

jabberwocky that was wonderful

I am sometimes grateful that I have reached the end of the day without hurting them

I am sometimes grateful the day has just started so that I can try to be a better mummy

good enough is perfect IMHO, if we strive to be perfect we only set up our children to fail as they will never be quite 'good enough' when perfection is their referenc point

Pruni Thu 28-Jul-05 09:50:41

Message withdrawn

Tortington Fri 29-Jul-05 00:22:00

think it much depends on your definition of "perfect"

my definition is that my kids actually like me and we make each other happy.

the house is a shithole- but is that important? nope.

harpsichordcarrier Fri 29-Jul-05 22:22:43

my mum (mother of five, grandmother of thirteen, all round wonderful person) says:

count up how many children you have at the beginning of the day. count again at the end. If you have the same number - it's been a good day.
If not, well there's always tomorrow.

she also has two favourite phrases - whatever you say about your child's behaviour (or your own) e.g. I felt like throwing the baby out of the window,then she will say either:
Oh that's completely normal!
It's just his/her age!
She also used to say "well at least you didn't have twins!" - then my sister had twins...

serah Fri 29-Jul-05 22:31:42

I want a birthday melon.....

charleepeters Fri 29-Jul-05 22:37:48

Im good enough!

My son is, happy healthy and developing ok so im happy!

hunkermunker Fri 29-Jul-05 22:47:28

I am the best mother...DS is ever going to have.

He's happy, I'm happy - that'll do!

Love the birthday melon and the poem on this thread!

oops Fri 29-Jul-05 22:48:15

Message withdrawn

Heathcliffscathy Fri 29-Jul-05 22:53:03

i don't know if you knew this when you started this thread, but this is a widely recognised concept in psychoanalytic circles: the perfect mother will really f8ck you up (in laymans terms) the 'good enough' mother is actually the ideal.

puff Fri 29-Jul-05 23:09:57

Good enough is good enough for me.

jabberwocky Sat 30-Jul-05 13:21:59

Hooray for us good enough mothers! I love Twiglett's comments:

I am sometimes grateful that I have reached the end of the day without hurting them

I am sometimes grateful the day has just started so that I can try to be a better mummy

So true! There are times when i take an extra dose of ADs (dr. has given permission ) and think "just make it through the day because tomorrow has got to be better!"

spidermama Sat 30-Jul-05 13:30:52

I'm trying to be good enough. I'm also waiting nervously for the day when they all round on me for mistakes I've made, unwittingly, which have traumatised them.

Time for a poem by Philip Larkin....

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

spidermama Sat 30-Jul-05 13:31:28

Cheers for that Philip.

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