Step 1: Get pregnant. This will be the most fun-for-fun’s-sake part of this entire exercise, so do yourself a favour and make a mental note to just enjoy all the good sex rather than obsessing over things like what position to contort yourself into in order to influence your future baby’s genetic makeup. A good time to start your journey toward motherly imperfection is right off the hop.
Step 2: Ignore the unsolicited advice of every well-meaning person you encounter over the course of your pregnancy. Whittle down your circle of trust until it only includes your gut instincts, your chosen medical professionals, your loved ones, and your OG crew (moms & non-moms alike).
Step 3: Give birth however the hell you want to/can. Spoiler Alert: No matter how you do it, it probably won’t be “perfect” anyway. In every scenario, there will be pain, blood, guts and adult diapers accompanying the tiny, pink, crying infant, so make sure you enter the experience with your standards adjusted accordingly.
Step 4: At some point during the newborn haze, go searching for advice in all the mommy groups you can find on Facebook. Stay in them for as long as it takes to get a good feel for just how crazy the pursuit of perfection has driven the vast majority of moms these days and then RUN FOR THE HILLS in search of the rest of the mommy group drop-outs.
Step 5: Locate and befriend a few fellow perfection-phobic moms. This is admittedly easier said than done and it can often take longer than you would like, but it’ll totally be worth the wait. Just remember to always choose quality over quantity. In the meantime, we will be your mom pals. Join us over on The Rebel Mama (hyperlink www.therebelmama.com).
Step 6: Commit to never judging a fellow mom on the basis of her feeding choices, sleep training techniques, childcare arrangements, family dynamics, et al. Remember that we’re all dealing with a personalized shitstorm. Live and let live. Always.
Step 7: Make yourself and your dreams a priority and do so unapologetically. Martyrdom is a key component in Perfect Motherhood, so on your journey toward Imperfect Motherhood, stay albatross-free by making it plain knowledge that you’re an important member of the family whose needs can’t and won’t always come last.
Step 8: While working through Steps 1 through 7, be sure to love your family. Love them a lot. Love them for all the ways in which they’re not perfect either. Think of their needs whenever you make decisions for and about them. Find the comfort in the fact that we’re all equally clueless and let it inspire you to simply do what feels right for you and the people you love.
Step 9: Let people help you. Perfect moms can do it all on their own and can do everything better than anyone else who dares to attempt to lend a hand (lol). Avoid the perfection trap by asking for help whenever you need it.
Step 10: Support the moms you want to see succeed. If you want community, you have to make it. Find women who are doing amazing things and pledge your allegiance to them. Buy their art. Dine at their restaurants. Support their ventures. Let them teach you something. We can blaze a new trail through motherhood, but we’re going to have to do it together.
Yours in imperfection,