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"Welcome to Mommy Magic! An interactive community of real moms, founded by a real mom, to give support and tips to make the chaos of motherhood easier and more fun! I am Mary Susan, an author, a columnist, a life coach for moms and a I have Mommy Magic TV segment too! Most importantly, I have three beautiful (and very busy) daughters! I am a real mom managing the daily insanity of motherhood just like you!"

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Perfection Makes Me Ridiculous!

Okay, motherhood is funny…truly. If we don’t laugh at how ridiculous it is than we might as well sit in a corner and suck our thumb and cry. So as NOT to offend anyone, I DO take my job as a mother of 3 girls very seriously. So much, in fact, that

I AM RIDIDCOUOUS…and I know it!

At first, I used to get my feelings hurt when people (i.e. my kids and husband) did not appreciate the fact that I spent 200 hours over getting each child’s scrapbook perfectly, perfect. (Pick your form of perfection that makes you crazy…I have many! This story is just to highlight one of my many battles with perfection as a mother.)

Why don’t they care that I spent endless hours perfecting each scrapbook? I demanded to know! I work my fingers to the bone and on top of carpool, baking cookies for Field Day at school, helping sell Girl Scout cookies, and the long laundry list of everything else I do, I make each kid’s scrapbook darling, precious and most importantly, capturing the magic of all 500 photos I took of them at Disney World! (Which, by the way, I am in none of the pictures because I was the one taking all of the pictures and recording the magic…sound familiar?)

So with that, why don’t they stand on their chairs and applaud when I glue stick the last magical memory in place? Why is there not a party in my honor celebrating this accomplishment? After all, 3 kids… that is A LOT of magic to cut and paste. WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! I demanded to know why they smirked, laughed out of the corner of their mouths and acted down right ungrateful when presented their perfectly perfect scrapbook from our family vacation.

Feeling empty and hollow I had to do some soul searching about it. I came up with that sometimes… I AM RIDICULOUS. What I also came up with is that it comes with the territory of being a mom. Perfecting something that is already pretty perfect is kind of silly. I recognize that know. Plus, kids (at least my kids) don’t care about having everything perfect all the time. So why do we as mothers kill ourselves trying to make the prefect scrapbook, the perfect Easter basket, the perfect birthday cake? The insanity of trying to maintain that standard of perfect in not only what makes it ridiculous, but what makes us ridiculous as well. I can laugh about it now!

Letting go of perfection is hard. I like perfection, actually. The secret of motherhood is that being perfect all the time is impossible! Perfection, is in fact, a standard we put on ourselves. Our kids just want to feel loved, feel safe and have fun. Would I like to think that someday they will appreciate my efforts and flip through their Disney scrapbook with fondness?…Sure. What mother wouldn’t want that? Do I think they will knit pick it to death?…NO! Do I think they will remember all the great fun we had as a family?…YES! Do I think they will care what color marker I wrote in or what glue stick I used?... NO! Kids don’t care about perfecting perfection. In fact, it kind of bums them out. What I found is, that it was bumming me out too.

So with that, my name is Mary Susan Buhner, and I am a recovering perfectionist. I have my moments that I slip, but when I do slip, I try to stop and laugh at myself. It is funny, you know…

Trick of the Trade:

Don’t be so hard on yourself! Providing a loving, safe and nurturing home counts BIG TIME! Sometimes perfecting perfection only stresses us out and makes us seem ridiculous. Count all the wonderful things you did today to make your child happy and smile!

Are you tired of being someone who perfects perfection all the time? What is your Trick of the Trade? If you have one or a story, please share it.

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Reader Comments (2)

Perfection is exhausting AND overrated!Pleasing others is also exhausting and overrated. Knowing what is truly important, identifying it, and following through with it rather than the other stuff is PRICELESS:)

October 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Kittle

I love this! From one utterly exhausted ridiculous perfectionist to another, thanks!

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Eakisn

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