Mothering My Way: Perfectly Imperfect


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my mothering skills lately. I’ve drafted so many half-posts and never felt it was the right time to publish them.

When Kate @ Picklebums put a call out for declarations of being  perfectly imperfect, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on a whole gamut of feelings I have about the issue. So here’s an acknowledgement of some of my major imperfections as a mother (and a human):

  1. I can be very impatient
  2. I have very low tolerance for repetition & excessive noise (both occupational hazards of parenting under 5’s)
  3. I yell too much & sometimes smack
  4. I don’t always model the behaviours I expect from my children
  5. I don’t do a lot of craft or structured activities with the kids at home
  6. I sometimes lose it – big time

Being a heart-on-my-sleeve type of person, I find it difficult (and think it’s unrealistic) to hide my emotions from my children.

I do say sorry a lot and tell them they are loved always.

In light of all my mothering deficits, I’m constantly amazed that my children are :

  • Loyal, loving & affectionate
  • Empathetic & caring
  • Polite & respectful
  • Full of imagination & independence

It would seem I have really good kids. Their teachers have remarked to me on a number of occasions what wonderful little men they are and how they wish they had more in the centre like them.

Now, I’m not sure how much of that is nature and how much is nurture, but surely I can take some credit?


No matter how much I beat myself up about my flaws, my children will always the benchmark for my mothering. They can bring out my very worst but they also push me to strive to be a better me. A more patient, tolerant and fun me.

I may be an imperfect mother, but if my children are the measure, then I am perfectly so.


perfectly imperfect 2011 button






Images from We Heart It



  1. Veronica @ Mixed Gems says:

    No expert here but I think if we are wanting to be role models, that includes showing we are human and how we handle failings or shortcomings. I yell and lose my patience too and I’ve only been at this 2.5 years. The day I see my girls (I hope it never happens) cowering because I’ve lost my temper is the day I know things have to change. I don’t want them to be afraid but to feel secure even in those moments (and to behave too). It’s tricky but I think there is always room to change as we go along. We are learning to be parents as much as our kids are learning about life in general.

    • Thanks Veronica. It’s definitely a learning experience for parents as much as kids, isn’t it? Maybe when they are 30 we’ll know if we did it ok? 😉

  2. Nee you are doing a fantastic job!! I totally hear you tho… I yell… feel bad.. then another day yell some more! .. but I’m also told my children are wonderful, polite, intelligent, loving & kind natured.. I agree with the others.. our children need to see us lose it sometimes.. see we can apologise and know they still love us anyway… otherwise they would expect us to dislike them when they lose it at us. You are an awesome mum!! xx

  3. I wonder if your kids are turning out so great because they have a real, shouting, crying, laughing, mostly wonderful, but sometimes not so great, but that’s ok Mother! Our kids need to see us make mistakes, get angry, be imperfect. They need to see us be sorry, try again and keep going… these are important things!
    Thanks for joining in!

  4. You know Nee, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Mother in law is always saying how wonderful our kids are and a few other people. Is it our mothering skills being measured in how well the kids turn out or is it naturally in their makeup? I think about how ‘cruel’, ‘strict’, ‘demoralising’ (all my words) my parents were and people always said we were such nice, well mannered girls. I also feel that I turned out okay despite my Mother ‘not parenting as ideally as I would’. But then again, I don’t do it like the textbooks say either. I started to and then the kids developed their own personalities and minds and that’s when the ‘conflict’ began. You should’ve been here tonight at dinner time. I had to say sorry again for yelling at them but then they also apologised for not doing as I asked. I just wanted to listen to one story on the news. That’s all. In hindsight, I could’ve recorded the TV and sat with them without any of the hassle. I just find it hard to always be thinking about the ‘right’ way without hurting my kid’s psyche. I only ever seem to ‘react’ to diffuse the ‘situation’.xx (You’re doing a fantastic job by the way. xx)

    • I know exactly what you mean Anne. I find myself being very “reactive” most of the time. Breath deep & carry on! Your doing a fantastic job too x

  5. I can relate. I yell, I’m impatient, I can’t stand noise (and I have 4 children). At the end of the day though, I think we remember the negatives more than our kids do. And if they are ‘behaving’ for teachers and other minders, then you know that you’re doing a great job.

  6. Turns out you’re just human sweet pea! I think you’re fantastic and those boys (all three of them if you include dan-the-man) are very luck to have you xxx


  1. […] And super big thanks to those bloggers who joined in and wrote their own Perfectly Imperfect posts – Yay For Home, The Parenting Files, The Modern Family, Kleenex Mums, Musings of a Crazy Lady, Moms Empowered, A Little Space Like Home, Muddled Up Mumma, Puddles and Gumboots, Stuff With Thing, Dear My Angel , The Useful Box, and Nee Say. […]

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