Ekta Shah, a mother of two, writes about why she dreads the word perfection, especially when it comes to her daughters.
I know the title itself is strange. Everyone knows that perfect is the new FAD word and how can someone be in awe of imperfections? It might sound like I’m a lazy mom, But I’m happy with the tag!
Okay, let’s see another side of the story:
Last week, I was helping my 5-year-old to finish her homework. She was given to write a few three-letter words in her workbook. But what I noticed was that she was constantly erasing her written work and striving hard to write it better.
Recently, she learned to write three-letter words and in limited time, and she is still getting into it. I interfered and asked her, “Why are you unnecessarily erasing your work again and again?” She replied, “Then I will not get three stars on my work.” I was dumbstruck, why does she always need three stars on her work? I told her calmly, “Write the way you can and don’t look for things that you cannot do with the limited time frame and it’s completely OKAY if you get two stars or even one at times.”
Again, another week at her PTM, when the teacher told me, “she writes with so much of perfection,” my expression changed to that of grief.
Honestly, I really dread this word “Perfection” because I have sensed that one word closely associated with it is “Stress”.
At a certain point in life, I have encountered this word very closely. I just don’t want them to be perfect in studies and to be perfect in sports, perfect with communication, perfect in art and perfect in dance and so on. I know expectations have no boundaries and ultimately this word will swallow you one day!
Years back, this perfect word was my top priority. Perfection to look good, spick and span house, perfection to cook, perfection in office work, perfection in almost all possible areas where I wanted to land single-handedly. I was the degree holder of the so-called tag of superwoman and completing every task in a jiffy. In time, I added one more degree, that of a perfect multi-tasker. For instance, if you want to gorge on a perfect meal and at the same time want your house to look amazingly amazing, then multitasking is inevitable.
Later, with this habit, I reached a point where I was completely stressed and I had no clue when it happened. By the time I realized the situation, I was already trapped. The first question that came from a doctor was: “Are you a perfectionist type?” Till that time I never knew that this word had so many powers that could even lead a person towards downfall.
I know everybody wants perfection with their work and probably it’s the need of the hour. But ultimately this is killing us. Let the perfection come in its own pace and it’s not necessary that everyone should be perfect everywhere. I learned through experience and accepted the fact that sometimes it’s better to accept things as they are.
Even perfection has its own limitations!
Being a mother of two, I know how much pressure children have in their daily lives, perfect handwriting, perfect projects, perfect artwork and the list is endless.
But for me, it’s a little different. So whenever they do their artwork, projects and school homework my only advice is, yes, do it properly not to get stars but for your knowledge. And if there is something that they cannot attempt then do as much as you can. I don’t make their projects and don’t write for them and it’s very clear from my end!
Even for many other tasks, why do I need to make them perfect just to show them off. I know that my 8-year-old and 5-year-old cannot do the same things I can. Let them write in their own writing whether it’s good or bad. Let them fix things in their own manner even if it looks filthy or weird.
I feel every child and every person is different, but running in the rat race just to get fame. But ultimately it will not have any face value. Why compare and create unnecessary havoc?
But on the contrary, that doesn’t mean that children should not go to extra-curricular classes and not participate in competitions. They should, with the knowledge that winning is not an ultimate end to everything. Life is much more than that and let them enjoy their childhood as carefree as they can with no stress to achieve any goal.
As a mother, I don’t want my children to align themselves in the line of perfection. I want to let them learn with time and if they really want perfection for specific things, it would be completely their choice.
In the end, what matters to me is their nature and how they nurture themselves as good human beings, as the creative child or as a fun-loving kid rather than people with perfect dining manners, who never miss projects, always get 100% marks and those who carry unlimited certificates of appreciation.
I am completely happy with their messy book racks and uneven drawing sheets and not snipping their wings to fly high with the word “Perfect.”
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