As parents, it can be tempting to want to do everything perfectly, but that isn’t possible because nobody is perfect. That doesn’t stop us from having a perfectionistic mentality. As a mom, you want to make sure that your children are taken care of and are doing the best that they can in every way. That’s reasonable and natural. But perfectionism can take you to the other end of the spectrum if you let it. Perfectionism is a tendency to hold yourself up to extremely high standards. There can be a tendency to project those standards onto other people. If you recognize perfectionistic tendencies in yourself, you can learn to use them in a healthy way. Let’s learn about what a healthy perfectionist is vs. an unhealthy perfectionist.
To begin, did you know that there’s such a thing as healthy perfectionism? There’s a type of perfectionism where a person has high standards for themselves. Because of those standards, they work hard. They’re organized and have goals in mind that help them achieve what they want to achieve.
A healthy perfectionist doesn’t get extremely upset if they don’t meet those expectations. They just happen to be very high achievers. That’s the key to healthy perfectionism; it motivates you to achieve goals, but you don’t beat yourself up and produce a counterintuitive effect if everything isn’t as perfect as you wanted or expected it to be.
Like anything, there are shades of grey to perfectionism, ironically. Unhealthy perfectionism is when a person is obsessed with the mistakes that they make and can’t let them go. They have high standards for themselves and others that lead to stress and poor mental health or self-esteem. They can be extremely critical of themselves and others. The way that this could manifest is actually getting physically ill if the expectation you set doesn’t work out.
Unhealthy perfectionism may cause you to spend time ruminating. You may obsess over the possibility that you said the wrong thing to your child or someone else. Also, that you made the wrong choice, that you didn’t get enough done at work or at home, or really, anything. Unhealthy perfectionism is connected to low self-esteem and also has a connection to anxiety disorders, eating disorders, insomnia, and other conditions.
Parenting and perfectionism
It’s important to keep an eye on your perfectionism as a parent. If it’s helping you and serving you with no negative effects on the side, that’s a good thing. If it’s making it difficult for you to have a healthy relationship with your kids because you’re projecting your ideas of what “should” be onto them or they start to resent you for your perfectionistic habits, it’s a problem.
When you become physically ill due to your perfectionism or worries, it’s time to reach out for help. Not seeking help affects you and your family negatively. That’s where therapy can be of tremendous help. It’s not shameful to see a therapist; it can be an incredibly productive and effective thing to do as you pursue your best life as a parent and person overall. If you feel that it’s time to speak to a mental health professional, you can search for one online or in your local area.
Online therapy or in-person therapy?
Finally, you can find local counselors who will be happy to discuss perfectionism and parenting. As a result, you’ll be a better mom if you talk about these issues and verbalize what’s happening in your life due to perfectionism, whether it’s internal or external. In therapy, you can talk about your parenting relationship with your child or anything else that happens to come up for you.
Being a parent is a full-time job with no breaks, which is where online therapy comes in handy. It’s convenient and affordable, and you can access it anywhere with a reliable internet connection. No matter what you choose, discussing perfectionism is extremely important. Moms always want to be the best mom that they can be. Therapy is a great outlet to talk about parenting and any other struggles you might be facing.
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