Whether you have been a mom for one day or forty years I would bet my first born you can relate to the pressure of wanting to be the perfect mom.  If you have spent any portion of your parenting career feeling mommy guilt then this post is for you.  My daughter is grown and I STILL find moments of feeling disappointed I’m not the perfect mom.  But for those of you like me, who still want to obtain the impossible, I’ve created a list of 15 steps to becoming the perfect mom. Check it out. Let me know what you think.

1. EFF the mom guilt! Don’t compare yourself to other moms. “So and so’s kid is doing such and such – my kid should be doing it too.”  Don’t let society, social media, your kiddo being in the 15th percentile, Dr. Phil, The In-laws, the two parent households, and other mom’s guilt you to parent a certain way. Be you.  Be your own authentic best version of yourself.  This means SAHM’s and working moms are both just as awesome. If it means breastfeeding is not right for you that is okay too. Hopefully you get my drift here. Every kid and mom is different and that’s a-okay. Effff mom guilt.

2. Listen to your gut. Trust your gut is giving you the best advice. Trust you know best for your kids. The “experts” don’t know your kids like you do.

3. Take a breath. There is nothing wrong with taking a moment or two before deciding your next step. Please join me in a moment of silence for every mother needing a breath.

4. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Giggle with your kids. Cackle and snort with your friends. Grin with your partner. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you forget about the blessings and humor life has to offer.

5. Nurture vs Nature. Kids have their own personalities. The most painful parenting lesson I’ve learned is no matter how perfect we are as moms, your child may still make the unfavorable choice. Keep in mind we don’t always have as much of an impact on our children as we hope. I’m not saying go be a terrible mom because it doesn’t matter – just remember sometimes kids are going to be who they are not who we want them to be.

6. Fall apart. Feel your feelings. Cry when your kids make you sad. Cry because you are exhausted. But also cry when you are in awe of how amazing your kids were for a moment. Whatever the reason for your tears remember real strength comes for acknowledging your feelings – not pushing them aside.

7. Know who’s a part of your tribe. Surround yourself with people who build you up and encourage you. Find people who embrace your weirdness. Designate a few specific people you can count on for a good venting session. Talk to your designated support team ahead of time and agree to be venting partners for each other.  Ask for support. Offer support. Life is hard. Drop the non-supporters bringing you down.

8.Own your mistakes and then forgive yourself. There is nothing like saying to your kids, “I’m sorry Mommy made a mistake.” This teaches them it’s safe to fail and the importance of taking responsibility for their failures. Then you let it go. Just like that! And be glad your mistake taught someone including you something. A true teaching moment for all.

9. Let’s your kids make mistakes and hold them accountable.  Don’t protect your kids from all the hard things. They don’t always need you to rescue them either. The best time to learn about life is through failure (and while mom is still there as a safety net of course)

10. Take a break – get away. You can’t be on the clock 100% of the time. (Yes, I’m speaking to the Single Mom’s too!) All moms’ need breaks. I’m so not even kidding right now.

11. Say no! Saying no to something means you are saying yes to something else. That yes could be to you. Healthy moms say yes to themselves too. You don’t need to attend every event you are invited too. Kids need to learn the answer is going to be no sometimes.

12. Say yes! Balance means everything. Sometimes it’s okay to have ice-cream for breakfast.

13. Kindness matters. Your kids are watching how you act with strangers and how you treat others. They also watch how you treat yourself. So go ahead and love yourself while you are practicing kindness.

14. Tradition! Make memories with your kids. Some of my best moments as a mom are creating new traditions with my daughter. She now has something from me to pass onto her son.

Last and the most important step to becoming the perfect mom…

15. Stop trying being the perfect mom. Expectations lead to disappointment. There is no such thing as perfect. We are human. We fail. Life really is too short to spend it trying to please everyone to obtain something unrealistic.