Do you struggle with perfectionism in parenting, always thinking thoughts like “I’m a terrible mom”? We all deal with this. Let’s learn more about shame and a hack to help us through. We all want to be “supermom”. The problem is that being “superhuman” in any area of our lives is just that, superhuman… aka, unrealistic, and impossible. Doing this over time gets us really stuck in the shame-cycle. Nothing positive is ever created in shame-energy. Let’s dig into shame and how to move through it.
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Hey, I'm Crystal, a certified life coach and Mama four. In this podcast we combine radical connection and positive parenting theories with the How to life coaching tools and mindset work to completely transform our relationship with our children. Join me on my journey, unleash your inner parenting expert and become the mother you've always wanted to be. Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast and rate this podcast on Apple. And check out my transformative monthly membership for moms in the show notes.
parenting Hack number two. Now I love this parenting hack. This is a great parent expert hack called good enough ism. Now, we often struggle with perfectionism. And we're gonna ditch perfectionism and instead go to good enough an ism, Rene Brown said, I'm a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good enough fist. Now I'm also a recovering perfectionist and also an aspiring good enough fist. And so when I read this, quote, I immediately went to parenting. Because I often tell people good enough, parenting is the goal. perfectionism is not the goal. And the reason that perfection is not the goal is because it's towards our best parenting. This is what happens. We constantly feel like we're failing because we have unrealistic ideas and expectations. We fall short, we fail more, we feel more shame, we continue to fail more. And we fail more because of this perfectionism that we have. So perfect parenting would look like never yelling, never being impatient, always being kind all of the time, never losing your temper on anybody for any reason, never saying anything mean to anyone, never judging them unkindly. Always responding to people well, and good. saying yes to everybody. That's always something that comes up with my perfectionism is the people pleasing the saying yes to other people. So if that is what is in our mind of parenting, that we think that we should be like all the time, then when we fail, we're going to feel pretty terribly, and it's inevitable that we will fail. The reason it's inevitable is because if you're listening to the podcast, it means you're human. And if you're human, then you fail. That's just something about humans we fail. Now we make failure means something about us. Often, shame means we take failure, and we put it through our brain, and it gets wired to there's something wrong with me, we make it mean something about us that there's something deep down is wrong with us. And it's not, it doesn't mean that it's true. But that's just how we interpret failure. If we're a perfectionist, sometimes even not. So perfectionism isn't just to do with our parenting, perfectionism can come up in a lot of different areas. So being the perfect wife, being the perfect business owner, being the perfect employee, being the perfect friend, being the perfect housekeeper. So think about all of these ideas or goals. So I want you to imagine what being the perfect housekeeper would look like, or the perfect house manager. So maybe your house is perfectly clean all the time. Maybe you don't have very many objects in your house, there's never clutter, it's always clean, there's no dust, you clean regularly all the time. That just sounds stressful to me, right? We have all these kids, they're running around, they're making messes. And we have to always keep a clean all the time. That's not going to happen either. Right? That's also an unrealistic expectation. And as we know, expectations lead to frustration. So not only do we have these expectations that are going to lead to frustration, but we are going to ultimately fail because we are human. Now expectations of other people can lead to frustration, like my kids should always be kind and loving and shouldn't fight with each other and shouldn't yell or throw or hit things. That sounds really lovely. That sounds like a lovely home to be in. But in most homes, I don't know about you. people throw things sometimes people hit sometimes people yell sometimes that happens, my kids do that they fight with each other. Maybe you have these lovely children that don't but so far, I haven't met any human children who don't sometimes do some of these things. So when we have this idea of perfectionism, for us, and for our kids and for our home and for our family, it can be really destructive. And the reason that it's destructive is because if I have an idea that like I should never yell, then when I do yell, I'm just going to feel so bad. I'm going to feel more than guilt. I'm going to feel shame, and we know what parenting from shame looks like. It looks like worse parenting. It looks like more yelling, more disconnect, more frustration, more judgment for ourselves. Now, how did this perfectionism even come about? I think the perfectionism is highly tied to fixed mind. So if you haven't heard of fixed and growth mindset growth mindset is the idea that we're born with. We're doesn't matter that we're born with innate talents and abilities, but that we can grow and learn and change new things make new neural pathways that our brain is neuro plastic. fixed mindset is you're just born with a certain amount of talents and abilities, your brain doesn't grow or change. So you know, if you're a math person, you're a math person, if you're a creative person, you're creative person, you can't just change and become another person just because you want to, or just because you work hard enough to. So I think the perfectionism is highly is highly tied to fixed mindset. So fixed mindset being failure isn't Okay, I have to be perfect all the time. When I fail, I make it mean something about me. So for instance, some fixed mindset, shameful thoughts would be, you know, something's wrong with me,
I shouldn't have messed up, I always mess up, I'm never gonna get this, this is too hard. So perfectionism is really tied to this fixed mindset. And then it helps us or prevents us from doing anything that might be uncomfortable, which is everything that has to do with growth. And so we're not growing, and we're not learning and we're not changing new things. So if we can flip the script here, and change from perfectionism, to good enough ism, it's such a relief. I see this in myself and in my clients all of the time. It's a huge relief, a huge burden to be lifted off. So what if your house didn't have to be clean all the time? What if it was just good enough? Another way to think of good enough is like b minus or 80%. So what if it was just 80%? So what if it was like kind of clean? Not super clean? It was okay. What if your meals weren't amazing, but you know, you threw in some vegetables in there? And they were okay. What if sometimes you yell, and sometimes you don't? And that's also okay. What if sometimes you're impatient, but sometimes you're also kind and loving, and sometimes you fail, and sometimes you apologize. And that's also Okay, good enough. ism. Number one is such an ideal or realistic goal, instead of an unrealistic goal and perfectionism, and it's something so much more manageable to strive towards. And then also, it just helps us feel relief, right now, we won't feel so much shame, we won't be parenting, or wifing, or house managing or housekeeping or any of the things businessing whatever it is that you do whatever roles you play, right now in life, you won't be doing those from the space of unrealistic expectations, and perfectionism, you'll be doing them from B minus work from good enough parenting. So we have all these ideas and beliefs about you know, perfectionism, or what it should look like. And I think a lot of it comes from social media, a lot of it comes from our friends, our family, from culture, from society, from just media in general. And we don't question it. And we don't often even notice it. In fact, I think most of it just kind of bypasses our conscious and goes right to our subconscious, and creates this perfectionist ideal that we haven't even really noticed is there at all. And then what we often do is we compare what I call our back yard to our neighbor's front yard. So maybe our backyards kind of messy, we haven't like mowed the lawn in a while there's toys all over the place. And their front yard is like well manicured, and perfect and clean and glorious and has like tulips and daisies, and you know, everything blooming all of the time and no weeds. And we're comparing that backyard that we have this really messy to their front yard that's perfectly curated. The thing is, everybody's life is 5050. everybody's life is half backyard, half front yard, some things they're totally failing at and learning and growing. And some things they're exceptional app. And that's what we all are. That's what life and what being human is. And the more that we live into this perfectionism, the more it will actually keep us from growth. So when that comes to parenting, if we dwell on this perfectionism in this fixed mindset, we actually won't ever gain the skills that we want to gain to get better. It's like one of those stuck beliefs that's really keeping us from achieving this future goal that we have. So I've noticed through coaching tons of people by now that there's just this core human belief that we each have, have, I am not
every other kind of thought that people give me often can be boiled down to like, I'm not enough. So maybe one of the surface thoughts is something like I'm not doing a good job. I'm a terrible Mom, I shouldn't yell everyone else is doing things better than me. Well, that can boil down to like, I'm not enough, right? There's something wrong with me. Now the thing is, that isn't going away, that thoughts not going away. We all have it no matter what stage of success we are, no matter what roles we play, we always have that. Renee brown actually said we either feel shame or worse sociopath. So I'm just going to tell you all to shame every time I would much rather to shame them be associated path. So what this means is we're going to have this thought still, I'm not enough, we're gonna have this feeling of shame, that's going to happen. So now what? Well, first of all, if you've listened to any of my other podcast episodes, you know that just because we have a thought it's not doesn't make it true. We can have a stuck thought, and we can start collecting all this evidence, and we can make it be true. And that's kind of what we're doing here is that we're making it mean something true. But it's not necessarily true, we can just have it go in and have it go out. Now, that's easier said than done. We can't just thought swap and be like, Okay, well, I don't want to think that anymore. So I'm gonna think happy thoughts every time I feel shamed. It doesn't really work that way. Right. So I'm going to give you a little tool here that you can use to move from perfectionism to good enough ism. So first of all, I want you to notice the feeling. So another thing that Bernie Brown says, because she's a shame researcher, and she talks about it all the time, she talks about how shame is like Gremlins, they don't like the light, they like the dark, they're like hiding in the little corners of like your closet, in your bedroom and under your bed. And they don't like the light. And so we need to bring them into the light, that's what kills it is bringing them into the light. So that's exactly what we're gonna do with shame here. So first of all, I want you to notice how shame feels in your body. Oftentimes, for me, and my clients, it will be dark, it'll be like heavy, gloomy, gray, sticky or thick, weighted, it's usually in your chest, or your stomach or your head. At least that's what I've noticed for clients that I've worked with through this. And for me, that's usually where I feel it on my shoulders, like a heavy weight kind of on my shoulders. But it's usually dark black or gray when I think about what it actually feels like, in my body. So I want you to first just notice the feeling. And you can even call it that you can even say it out loud. This is shame. This is a feeling and this feeling is called shame. Because when we don't notice that we're not aware of it, we're just in it, we're just hiding under the bed with the Gremlins, and not even noticing that we're down there. So first of all, call it what it is. Okay, shame. This is what you feel like for me, I know this feeling we can do this. So number one, notice the feeling and call it what it is. Now bring it even more into the light by letting it have a voice. What is it saying to you? If that shame was speaking to you, if that emotion was telling you something? What would it be saying to you? Would it be saying You're a terrible person, you're a terrible Mom, you don't spend enough time with your kids. You're not doing it right? You're doing it wrong. You are wrong. Right, those might sound a little bit silly. But if you think about them, I'm sure that those are thoughts that you've had in the past, maybe all the time, maybe every day, who knows. I just want you to give that shame of voice for a little bit and write down all of those things that shame is telling you. Because if we don't, if we just keep pushing them back down into their little basement where they are, it's not going to help us uncover them, bring them to the light and be able to dispel them. It's just gonna keep amplifying it's like you shoved the Gremlins into the basement. And then the Gremlins just multiply and they just keep multiplying and multiplying. So if you don't want them to multiply, let's give them that voice. So number one, notice the feeling. Number two, let it speak, what is it saying? then number three, I want you to go to your 2.0. If you don't remember the episode where I talked about 2.0 go back to that 2.0 is your future self. So your future self is probably confident or compassionate or caring or loving. Just think of the feeling that it feels like to be future you. I call my future self Crystal 2.0. So I want you to think about the feeling there and answer back each of those things that just came up for you from that feeling. Another really quick way to do this is to think about somebody that loves you. So maybe it's your partner, maybe it's your best friend, maybe it's your mom, who super, super loves you. Now I want you to think about them and what they would say to you for each of these things. So each of the thoughts that you just brought out each of those shame filled thoughts. When you let it shame speak,
I want you to respond to each one of those. So it's gonna say things like, it's fine, you're doing a good job. Keep it up. Failure doesn't mean anything about you, we all fail. I'm sure there's something we can learn from this. Right. And so once you can move through that shame, this will really help that shame move through your body into a space of feeling compassion and love for yourself self love and self compassion, then we can actually look back on learning. This is like a bonus when you don't have to do this. This isn't the step in the three steps. The three steps are naming it calling it out loud. Number two, letting it speak number three, responding back to it by somebody who loves you or your 2.0. But this little extra step we'll put three and a half is to then look back with learning. So let's say I yelled at my child and so maybe some of my shameful thoughts are I'm never gonna get this right. I'm doing a terrible job. I yell too much. There's something wrong with me. I'm a bad So we're going to respond to all of those. And then maybe we're going to look back with learning and say like, why did I yell? What was going on there? What was I thinking? What was I feeling, resigned my red zone or my yellow zone had I eaten recently? What's making me so agitated? What's making me so irritated. And when we can uncover kind of all of that, that's going to be the juice, that's going to be the goal there that we're going to be able to figure out and then work through. And we can't get to that space when we're feeling that shame and that self judgment. Until Churchill said, There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. And I think this is so true. perfectionism is not the goal because it is not possible. No matter how much you think it is, it is not possible. But being a good mom can be done in so many ways. It's the tiny, small, simple things that you do daily, that can make that happen. Another quote that I love comes from Bruno Bettelheim, to be a good enough parent, one must be able to feel secure in one's parenthood and one's relation to one's child, the security of the parent about being a parent will eventually become the source of the child's feeling secure about himself. And I think that this is all about becoming secure when we can instead step into the good enough ism, and ditch that shame and that self judgment, then we're going to be able to get to know ourselves better, we're going to be confident in our parenting, we're going to be confident in our humanity and who we are. And that confidence in that support and that strength is then going to help our child be feeling that confidence and that support and that strength themselves as well. So give this a try. Try those three steps. Try this great parenting half. And let's all drop the perfectionism and go to good enough ism instead. I hope you enjoyed today's episode, make sure that you give it five stars on Apple, and check out my monthly membership for moms in the show notes.