How To Be The Perfect Mum : Good Enough Mum Is Perfect Enough

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How To Be The Perfect Mum : Good Enough Is Perfect Enough

The Perfect Mum – it’s something so many of us try to be including myself. It’s no secret to those of you who have read my postpartum depression story that throughout all of my pregnancy (and for a long time after the birth) I was trying to be the perfect mum and achieve it all.

I don’t know about you, but for me I feel like there is a lot of pressure to be the perfect mum. I personally found it from many places : social media, magazines, television, and even friends and family.

When I’d look at some of these places online the mum always looks well groomed, with a happy bouncy baby on her lap. If the baby was asleep it’s in the latest most expensive cot looking lovely in a clean white baby-growYou can bet you’d also find there’s a healthy/organic meal recipe that you can quickly whip up whilst your baby has their nap.

Seeing all of this can and does have a massive influence on mums. We worry that if we’re anything less than The Perfect Mum – it means we have failed as a mother.

Many mums are putting unnecessary pressure on themselves trying to achieve this, which can be a starting point for illnesses such as postpartum depression.

It took me a while to realise that I’ll be damned if I’ll ever be perfect at mothering.

We all wish we could be the perfect mum, however let’s be realistic here perfection is impossible to achieve – especially when you can’t remember the last time you’ve slept or brushed your teeth!

What I will do/have done though is learn from my mistakes. I’ll get better at being a mum with each fail – so I say ‘Good Enough’ is Perfect Enough.

It doesn’t matter how many times I fail, my child with still love me unconditionally. No matter how many times I fail I will always be there back better and stronger because that is what mums do.

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How To Be A Good Mum | You Are A Good Mum | How To Be The Perfect Mum Starting Now | Being The Perfect Mother | You Are A Good Mum | Good Enough Is Perfect Enough | Perfect Mother | Best Mum | Perfect Mum Life | Being A Good Mum |Since becoming a Mum I’ve learnt that the dream and the reality are very different.I Can Change the World

The phrase ‘ good enough mum’ or good enough parent’ is not a new concept. It has first developed by D. W. Winnicott.

He was an English paediatrician and psychoanalyst (smart man) during the 1950s.

He was a advocate for the thought that ‘ordinary good mother…the devoted mother’. Basically he means that no-one can be the perfect mum/parent and by you not being perfect you are actually helping your children. Or as he puts it :

a mother is neither good nor bad nor the product of illusion but is a separate and independent entity: The good-enough mother … starts off with an almost complete adaptation to her infant’s needs, and as time proceeds she adapts less and less completely, gradually, according to the infant’s growing ability to deal with her failure. Her failure to adapt to every need of the child helps them adapt to external realities

So you see the good enough mum is better that the perfect mum! Science says so!

The Dream –  To Be The Perfect Mum

We all dream about how we’ll spend our days once our little bundle of joy arrives. You’re breastfeeding on demand and making home-made meals. The house is spotless. You’ve lost all the baby weight, have a full face of make-up and a new hairdo.

There is that hobby that always interested you so now seems the perfect time to take it up. On a daily basis you’re attending mummy and baby groups and offering to arrange new and exciting classes for the little ones.

Of course your having endless fun making puree. Plus you can’t wait to try out all those great food ideas you found for babies on Pinterest – who wouldn’t want to cut fruit up to look like a caterpillar?! 

Your little angel is wonderful and he/she is a baby that sleeps all night. You get that magical 8hrs sleep a night. So you’re always bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for the day ahead! Your little one never cries. They are looking clean in all of those beautiful outfits you brought.

They are as good as gold with everyone you meet. Plus getting them into a routine has been so easy, that they fit perfectly into your pre-baby routine.


The Reality – Be The Good Enough Mum

You’ve bottle-fed the baby formula and you’ve been weaning them on baby jarred baby food. The house – let’s not go there, make-up, hair, baby weight … you don’t have time to look after yourself!?

You have no time for new hobbies, in fact you don’t have time for anything but taking care of your newborn.

On those rare occasions you actually make it to a baby group you look like a zombie. Your little sausage has left you looking like you belong in a scene of the Walking Dead.

They’ve taken to a sleep pattern of 20 minutes asleep – 3 hours awake – 20 minutes asleep -3 hours awake! 

A ‘Perfect Mum’ has turned up to baby group, you’re really annoyed and angry with her and wishing that was you! She’s  looking immaculate and boasting about how well her little one sleeps (COW).

You are stood there with baby spit up and sick on your shoulder and slightly in your hair. The worst part is you didn’t even realised it had happened.

The days and night have turned into one and you’re not sure what month it is let alone what day it is – Mum Brain is real folks.

SLEEP? SLEEP!! A mythical concept for a new parent! You’ve tried everything from a dummy, lullabies, soothing music, that blinking dream sheep but nothing works.

I actually do not know how I have not lost my sanity through sleep deprivation. I’m pretty sure I was hallucinating at one point. Now I know why it’s used as a form of torture!

We’ve all been there it’s mid afternoon your still in your pj’s, your little one has been crying all day and your house is a bomb-site, your cup of tea is stone cold & you need the loo.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had time time for a shower? You most definitely need to wash that sick from your hair. The house needs to have a good clean. You worry it looks like you can’t cope and that people will judge you.

But your little one is finally asleep – on you – so you dare not move… so there you stay looking at the mess, still in your pj’s, and you know what….Mummy It’s OK – You’re Doing Great!

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Mummy It's OK

Hi! I’m Julie. I write about all things related to mum life. I’m also a postpartum depression survivor. I love helping mum start their mum blog journey and I have step-by-step guides to help!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. December 12, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Love the sentiment in this post. Hell yes, mums we are doing okay, welcome to #coolmumclub lovely 🙂 Thanks for joining us! X MMT

  2. December 12, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Lovely 🙂 I gave up on perfect long ago, now I aim for “good enough.” Thanks for sharing 🙂 #coolmumclub

  3. OneDizzyBee
    December 14, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    I love this. I still remember (years ago) when my best friend got pregnant the first time. She swore she was never going to be “one of those mothers” whose kid’s socks didn’t match, or whose child cried at inopportune times. She was convinced she would always do everything right because as she said “she was prepared”!! Cut to about six months after she gave birth… I walked in to her apartment one day to find her sitting in the middle of the baby’s room, sobbing her dear heart out because she couldn’t find one of his shoes, convinced she was the world’s most terrible mother! Suffice it to say she was not! And by the time her second came along, she was /really/ prepared (and also not quite so convinced of perfection)!

    • December 15, 2015 / 9:13 pm

      OneDizzyBee your friend sounds just like me hahaha! Everytime he got a bit dirty I’d change him so that people wouldn’t think I wasn’t looking after him properly – now if he’s got a slight bit of food on his t-shirt at lunch I’m ok – he’s not going to die from it lol! Plus he’s a 2 1/2 year old little boy now – he’s never going to be clean now! X

  4. December 17, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Yep Mummy it’s definitely ok and believe me the mess will still be there when they are bigger and you will wish you spent more time cuddling. Thanks for linking to #PicknMix

  5. December 17, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    There is definitely no perfection in real life and parenting isn’t any different, but oh my is it worth it 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  6. min1980
    December 29, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    Can definitely identity with this. Then again, my house was never tidy pre-baby. Now I have an excuse!

  7. January 11, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    So true! The reality is so different to your pre-pregnancy ideals. I had days when washing and dressing was the achievement!

    • January 13, 2016 / 6:51 am

      Yeah same here it was like wow I got dressed well done me!! Looking after a new born is definitely a hard job – as long as your both ok I think that’s perfect enough! X

  8. January 11, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Love this! It’s always OK to be ‘good enough’ and trying your best is the new ‘perfect’ especially when you have just had a little one. #MarvMondays

    • January 13, 2016 / 6:49 am

      Definitely! Having a little one is such hard work, as long as your both doing ok – you’re doing a fantastic job! It really is the hardest but best job in the world! X

    • February 6, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Hi! I’m glad you’re feeling better! X

  9. August 2, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    This is such a great post, oh how i wish I knew the reality of having a baby… you described it perfectly #FartGlitter

    • mummyitsok
      August 3, 2016 / 3:12 pm

      yep the reality can be very different to how you imagine it thats for sure!

  10. August 5, 2016 / 11:31 am

    Ah I remember these days fondly. My LO is almost FOUR! But I remember him finally falling asleep on me and relishing in the warmth of his snuggles. Make the most of them, because they soon grow up – and if you think your house is a mess now, wait until it’s covered with toys and other ‘childlike’ rubbish!! It’s all good 🙂 Lovely post #fartglitter

  11. August 7, 2016 / 10:11 am

    Haha- totally. The standards dropped before we’d even left the hospital. Just now, when my tot is two I’m finally starting to catch up with a few of these points but stuff it, he’s alive and healthy.


  12. From Day Dot
    August 28, 2016 / 10:37 am

    I’m not quite there yet (due in November) so what I’m imagining is still probably wide of the mark of reality, even though I’ve read lots of lovely reassuring posts like this! It’s good to know that when reality hits, I’m not alone and I’m doing ok 🙂 #justanotherlinky

  13. August 28, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    I’m expecting my second very soon as have the memories of my first…cluster feeding used to take over my night!! It will be fun and games with 2 but I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself! Great post xx #justanotherlinky

  14. January 22, 2017 / 7:53 am

    its true theres always one well turned out mum.I always want to ask how they do it haha you learn to just roll with the punches. In time it all clicks into place again.

    • mummyitsok
      January 28, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      Yeah I’m never that well turned out Mum lol

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