Perfectionist Moms, it’s hard enough to do what you do. Every day is a new challenge, and there never seems to be enough time to get everything finished. On top of the daily struggles, there are nagging thoughts about whether you are teaching the right values to your children and helping them grow into the adults you would like them to become.
Holidays add an extra layer to these difficulties. Holiday traditions that were important in your family of origin seem important to pass down to your children. Although these traditions are meant to be fun and joyful, they may not feel that way. There is often a lot of anxiety about doing these traditions “right” and making sure everyone has fun. High expectations can place a heavy burden on moms and take the joy out of activities. When kids are whiny or unhappy, moms may be left wondering what they did wrong, and why they can’t be as good as their own moms were.
Furthermore, moms are often the ones who have to balance the needs of all family members, including extended family and in-laws. Large gatherings of family members and limited time to spend with both sides of the family are common stresses that parents face during the holidays. It’s impossible to please everyone all the time, and this fact is difficult for perfectionist moms to accept. Perfectionist moms tend to focus on their limitations rather than what they are doing well. Their goal of being a perfect mom is always just out of reach, and striving for that leads to frustration and negative feelings toward themselves.
Additionally, children are sensitive to their parent’s emotions, and they may act out or become stressed and irritable when they perceive that their parents are stressed and irritable.
Fortunately, many perfectionist moms are able to overcome perfectionist thinking and work toward becoming more content and happy. Perfectionist moms work so hard to do things for their families. When moms focus even a small amount of that energy on themselves, the benefits can be enormous.
Moms who attend counseling are often able to recognize and make changes to their perfectionist thinking. Psychologists can help moms learn to manage stress in order to be happier and healthier. These changes benefit moms, children, and other family members.