Perfectionist syndrome or perfectionism is an evil creation of insecurities and an eternal round of questioning, “Am I doing it right?” Giving in to baseless self-criticism is a highway to depression and crisis.
3 Options - What you can do to overcome perfectionism
First – Loosen your hair, go out into the rain (preferably when it is pouring rain), and yell, “I can’t do this anymore!” while crying your eyes out. It looks truly fascinating, like a scene from a movie.
Second – Let your inner competitor loose! To deal about perfectionism learn to forget about yourself, about your personal growth and common sense, and put all your time and energy into making your baby a crème de la crème. Go ahead and have yourself a nervous breakdown and a constant feeling of dissatisfaction but make your baby perfect. A way to go!
Third – Balance. There will always be something better, bigger, prettier, but this is how the world works. You need to understand that “happy” is an antonym of “perfect.” Do not waste your time trying to prove something to other people or, for that matter – to yourself. To overcome perfectionism, have time for self-love and take care of yourself. Balancing personal time with baby care and other responsibilities will make you feel like you could move mountains.
A well-rounded mother, who never forgets about personal growth and has many interests aside from solely taking care of the baby 24/7, gives out more positive vibes, which children feel and absorb like a sponge.
There is a limit to the number of feelings a person can contain, so whenever perfectionism is kicking in and you feel like “exploding,” just:
- Ask someone (a husband, close relatives, or a nanny) to take care of a child while you are out. Give your emotions a way to vent; do what can make you feel better. Let it all out. You can afford to spend a few hours to yourself, or even a whole day doing something you want.
- Cry if you feel like it. There is no shame, nor does it mean that you are not coping. It merely means that you are human and that crying is a good way of letting emotions out.
These “mother’s days off” can help both you and the baby. Overcome perfectionism by making time for a couple of hour breaks; go somewhere or stay out of baby’s sight if you want to be at home. If you do this regularly, adding a few more minutes to your break each time, you can help your baby adjust to staying home with someone who is not its “mama.”
A child’s love is unconditional. Therefore, you are already the best person in the world for them. Love yourself and teach your child to love and accept itself by being its role model. Remember, that knowledge is power, and never stop improving yourself.
How to manage guilt
Parents can be such guilty creatures. They always get the feeling as if they could have done more for their kids regarding all things. These things concern everything: from attention, money, time, conversations to eating the last Halloween candy (it can get any parent in trouble). Most concerns and insecurities parents get are not because they actually are incapable of raising a child, but because they THINK so.
A never-ending feeling of guilt is destructive. And it often happens when you're dealing with perfectionism. Children are the parents’ kryptonite. A child’s “bad” behavior is usually seen as an adult’s fault. This common misconception leads to pangs of guilt, overthinking, and insecurities. It is important to understand that each child and each family are different, and their imperfections are what make them truly perfect.
Raising a child and other duties are amplified by the mother’s dissatisfaction with the way she looks and feels. The postnatal period can be an emotional rollercoaster, but it settles down with time and effort.
It would be unforgivable not to mention know-it-all-baby-care experts portrayed by relatives and friends, who already have the experience of raising a child. Most of them (same as social media, books, etc.) are aimed at helping you, but they also burden you with the thought that you have to live up to society’s expectations, or otherwise, you are a bad mother.
Remember one thing: if you are lost in the maze of guilt, then YOU are this hero who can save you and find a way out of those dark corridors. Take one step at a time.
Here is what you can do:
In such situations, people ask thousands of questions and leave without answers. It is because questions already sound gloomy enough to bring us down. However, it is important to ask questions like “Did I have a choice? Could I have done things otherwise? Was it even up to me?” State a question and write down the answer. Rereading these answers is a very therapeutic approach.
Forgiveness is key to relief and peace. If you see that you were actually wrong, then ask for forgiveness. By resolving a problem brought by your being a perfectionist, then rather than letting it eat you alive, you might be able to get insight into the feelings of the other party. However, if you did not harm anyone or anything, then you will still feel better after talking.
If you are one of the many people who find it difficult to open up to someone, you can just write down everything you want to say, read it as many times as you want, then burn it and let the wind (or tap water) take your worries with it. It will make you feel better, and eventually, you will be able to move past it.
Self-love is not only self-acceptance but also the ability to forgive yourself and to cut yourself some slack. Imagine yourself happy and relieved soon. This bright image will give you something to strive for, and you will definitely feel better.
If you feel bad about perfectionism and nothing written above helps you, then you should probably turn to a specialist. Also, if you are a religious person, you can turn to a priest and seek relief in religion. Whether it is the first option, or the second, or both – do it, if you feel that you cannot handle this alone. It is okay to ask for help in times of need; you are not made of steel.
A family is a unit where each person has a special role. If one feels bad, then negativity projects on all members and makes everyone unhappy. Your perfectionism will result to guilt and guilt is like a snowball rolling down the mountain and getting bigger with every roll until there is nothing that can stop it. It is in your power to stop this ball of guilt, remorse, and anxiety. All you have to do is get help from your perfectionism and reach out to whoever it is: specialist, family, friends, or yourself.
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