Episode 153- How to Be A Perfectly Imperfect Mom
You are listening to episode 153 of the Peaceful Mind Podcast.
Welcome to the Peaceful Mind Podcast, a place for creating the peace of mind. You need to be the best mom. You are created by God to be. If you wanna bring more balance, more joy, and more peace to your motherhood, this is the place for you. I'm your host, certified life coach at Catholic Mom Danielle Thienel
in the name of the father of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let's get started.
Well, hey there, mama. I'm so glad you're here, especially because I'm super, super excited for this week's episode. It hits so close to home. It is my story and I am. on the other side of it, and I can't wait to help you get there too. If you are a mom who struggles with perfectionism, then this is the episode for you.
And even if you're a mom who doesn't struggle with it, I promise you that you're gonna find something in here that's gonna enhance your mom life. So today I'm gonna be talking about how to be a perfectly imperfect. Notice that the most important word in there that I want you to focus on is the word imperfect.
That there is no such thing as the perfect mom or perfect human is something that we have heard, but I really want to drive that home today. There's no such. As a perfect mom or a perfect human, or a perfect anything for that matter. I mean, we ourselves can have this deep belief like, oh, this day was perfect, but when we're really talking about what the definition of perfect means, it literally is like a hundred percent total of something.
Which we are human beings who are messy half of the time and amazing half of the time, and do things really awesome, and then we totally make mistakes. But there is not a final way of anything that we're doing that is absolutely a hundred percent perfect. Of course, until. We get to heaven, but this idea of being a perfect mom, it holds us back.
It shuts us down. It keeps us exhausted because it keeps us always striving for things because by definition, since there is no perfection, but if we're thinking that there is, then we will always be striving. So today I wanna tell you about my favorite coaching tool, and the reason why it's one of my favorites is because of how it has had a profound impact on my life.
And so it holds a special place in my heart. Like I mentioned at the top of the episode, that this one really hits home for me. So let me just tell you. There isn't. There isn't anything that I offer or teach you or invite you to do on this podcast that I myself have not tried and done and carried out and applied for my life myself.
And so I'm sharing with you what I know already works. Like I already know this worked. It worked for me, which in itself is. To go out and help somebody else with it. But now it has been applied to my countless clients and just other moms who have been exposed to this tool and the concept to change their lives and dramatically increase their level of satisfaction and decrease their striving for perfect.
And that is what we are all after, right? Just increasing our levels of satisfaction and finding more peace and balance and joy in the things that we're doing in our lives. Right now, at this place of motherhood, we just wanna be able to enjoy our life a little bit more. Than we did maybe yesterday. And to learn and grow and just have this human experience that is full of the back and forth, up and down and around.
It's the adventure of life. But within it, I want you to release any idea that there is perfection to be had in any of it. It's full of messes and that's. , this idea of being a perfect mom is unattainable. And when we don't reconcile with that, we set ourselves up for failure. And I want you to start thinking about a new kind of perfect.
A new kind of perfect that I want you to go for is imperfect. We're gonna swap that out. It's like whatever you were believing before that you were striving for to be perfect in, I want your goal now to be like, ah, the perfect thing is to be imperfect. Just go ahead and swap that now. And that means being imperfect now means you're perfect.
Because to be perfectly human is to be imper. So this will be the first time, if you've been a longtime listener of my podcast, that you've heard me talk about my own story with perfectionism and how that my character, my personality, and that my drive leans toward desiring perfection. It leans towards what's easy for me to be in.
Striving mode, the mode of achieving, the mode of moving up the ladder, the collecting of a whole bunch of really good results kind of mode. And this is one of the traits that does kind of go towards perfectionist tendencies, right? Now, I have mentioned this before and I'll mention it again, that some of these qualities of being hardworking and driven and focused, that parallel with perfectionism were useful to me in some some ways in my first career as a professional ballet dancer.
I explain how those parts and those qualities were super useful to me. If you've heard, um, my story before, I think I, I mentioned earlier that this is like the first time that I'm saying this story. It's just like sometimes maybe you're a first time listener hearing this story, but I know I've mentioned it before on the podcast about how perfectionism helped me in my professional dance.
The example I give is that there's a certain classical and dance technique in ballet that we strive for certain positions, certain movements, and so we have this ideal of what the perfect position or executed move would look like. And then we have this deep desire. This striving to make that happen, to make it a reality, and this idea was very useful and helpful as I grew and quote, perfected my technique as a ballet dancer, but where this perfectionism no longer served me anymore, where you realize.
How you oper, how you're operating. Like based on your like early childhood or again, like my career and just things that you've, just patterns that you've built up that they don't serve us for a while was, as soon as I became a mom. At first I didn't realize it and I just kept operating the same way as I always.
When I, but when I had children, the whole circumstances of my life changed. Yet mentally I didn't. When I say that, I'm referring to the perfectionist mentality that that didn't change, even though the circumstance of now I have this new human in my life all the time that I'm taken care of. And so what I want to let you all know today is that I can't find or haven't.
even if I go out looking for it, any parts of my mom life, being a mom and being a busy mom, and just all the stages of motherhood that I've been in through so far. And I have three teenagers where perfectionism was helpful, where it was useful to me, where it served me in my mom life, and what I mean by serving and useful.
You want to be effective at your job, at your vocation of mothering. You wanna be an effective mother. You want what you're doing in your motherhood to be effective, for your family, to have a positive impact on your children and your marriage and your home, and your job, and your wellbeing and overall health.
But I haven't found where perfectionism in this vocation has helped me or served me. The thing is, is that we just wanna be effective, period. And the thing is, is that perfectionism and striving to be a perfect mom does not create you being your best self. It does not create you being and showing up and doing the mom things you wanna be doing because when we're always in the striving mode, Perfectionism to have the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect amount in your bank account, the perfect number on the scale, the perfect exercise habits, the perfect meals every day for our family.
Then what we do is we have to show up that way as we define ourself as perfect, and that also might be a person who attends church every single Sunday. and does their prayers every day and is perfectly balancing going out with your husband, uh, once a month and shows up for your friends and is really like spending your time and making time for, you know, get togethers with your friends.
Or maybe for you it's having a perfect wardrobe or having your perfect makeup. I mean, you know that the list goes on and on of all the things. That we may be striving for perfectionism, all the things that might be going on in our life, the things that we're trying to get a 10 to hit the bullseye on, but it's an illusion.
It's not attainable. There is no 10 that exists in all the things that we're doing. And so when you realize. You can now take yourself off of this constant conveyor belt, this constant like, I don't know, escalator that you're trying to go up and up and up and up and reach a destination, but there's never a floor to get off of because there isn't the floor, the arrival at the level of perfection of perfect.
It's like there's no way to get off the escalator and. All of this. I preface to say that the tool, the thing I want to talk to you about today that has just literally cut through and sliced me right out of perfectionism is a tool that we call B minus. Sometimes we say B minus. , and the reason why I love this simple name is we all can relate to it because we've all gone through school and we all understand the grading system.
The grading system of getting an F, that stands for failure or failing or getting an A or an A plus. That A plus stands for a hundred percent, like got them all perfectly right, correct answers. and according to some grading systems, not all. I know there's a little flexibility here. We would call around a 75 to an 80%.
That's when a school or an education system in the grading system would hand out at the top of your page. If you fell into the range of 75 to 80%, you would get a grade that is similar or close. Say a B minus, somewhere around there. And what I'm asking you to do in order to bring you an incredible amount of peace an an injection of peace to your life, it would be for me to adopt, for you to adopt, for me to invite you to adopt this concept that now.
In your life, your new goals, your new home run, your new definition of perfection. This, I'm rocking it. I have got things under control. I am just moving forward. I'm trucking along. I'm doing things well. Would be to assign yourself a grade of B minus with all that you're doing in your. . So if you're getting, let's say you give yourself an F right now because you're doing zero exercising at all.
So then we would equate that with, it would be like not doing anything. It would be equating it with like a missed assignment, like not turning it in. And that would be given an F or I, I know like a zero that shows you that you have room for improvement. and you're gonna wanna take some action and commit to doing something in regards to your exercising.
If you would give yourself an F right now because you're doing nothing, you're doing zero exercising. I want your new goal of adding exercise to your life to not be an A and an A plus. But what would you need to start working towards? , if you reached your, your, your highest level, that was just doing really well, that you would give yourself a B minus and that B becomes your new A plus.
It would be just like you getting a hundred, you made the effort that normally would equate to an 80%. So what I find happen is that when my clients come to me and we wanna clarify their goals first, that's one thing where we really do and concentrate. We get really specific on where you want your life to be different and where you wanna be headed and what you wanna make progress in.
So we have to first clarify our goals and get really specific, and I'm just gonna use exercise since I brought that up earlier as an example already. . Like I've, I've got a client who's not fitting in exercise at all, and then they wanna be exercising when we're talking about their specific goals that I'm gonna help them get to.
And so I said, okay, so now what's your goal? If you're not doing any, let's just say for the next week before I see you again. What do you want to do? What do you want to have accomplished by the time you come back? And we have another coaching. And this client said, well, I wanna work out seven days, like seven days a week.
And I'm, I'm always like, what? Right now you're doing zero. And then in your mind you wanna go after an A plus, you wanna do it perfectly. And so then you go after an A or an a plus, and I, and I say, wait a minute, like. For our, for our highest goal, we want it to be a B minus. So what would be a B minus in your mind when you're someone who's not doing any exercise Right now?
We want to prevent ourselves from going straight to having to do like this huge jump to get what would be an A, the perfection of doing it Exactly every day, seven days. A. and I, and I encourage my clients, couldn't we just come back to like, okay, we would be striving for maybe five days, in your mind would be about an 80%.
Like that could be the ultimate goal, like when you hit it on a regular basis. But for this week, since we're starting from zero, could we just add one day? Could we add two, three at the most? And notice how maybe some, sometimes you would hear this, or maybe you're a person who hears this and you'd be like, your brain just wants to shut down on you because it automatically, or if you're a perfectionist, will go to that, that high place where you would get an EPL an A plus
if it's gonna be told that you have to go from zero to. You'll get overwhelmed. And so what I want you to do this is if you could have this shift in your brain like I did, that overall we wanna look back at our whole mom life and, and see where we could find like a happy medium, one that pushes us but is still below perfection.
and that is when we just see lots of progress in our lives. We don't keep ourselves stuck. So for me, like for me, I have a few kids who are offed college and I have had 18 years to raise them so far, and can I look back in those years and see a lot of great things that I did. . And then are there some mistakes that I made or things that I wish that I did differently or re remember times when I didn't show up as my best self and wish I had done things differently.
And I can look back at those 18 years and I'd ask myself, what grade would I give myself? What would it be, a B minus? And I would say Yes. Then I would tell myself I was a perfectly. Imperfect mom and that, yes, I got the highest and best grade, which is that B minus, because what I know is that I didn't put up this illusion and also teach my kids that being perfect was what they should go after as well, because that would be truly setting them up for failure.
I don't want you moms to set an example for your kids that you have to be perfect and neither should you want that. You are a human being. They are a human being, and we are navigating this human experience together. So can I look back on my week, even just this past week and how I showed up for my family and my life, and would I give myself a B minus?
Yes. I. , there are gonna be times when maybe it is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, or just spaghetti and meatballs instead of a perfectly well-balanced home cooked meal, and then you would give yourself a B minus for that. There are gonna be times when you are a little irritated or you don't be, you're not able to stay as calm as you'd like and you would.
Not feel as loving, but you would give yourself that you were loving and you were calm, and you would give yourself a B minus for that in your life. Sometimes we don't show up as our best self, but overall, as I showed you, when I look back on 18 years overall for your week, , or for your last year or for your month, would you give yourself a B minus then?
That is perfectly imperfect and exactly the goal.
If you're gonna go after perfection, go after the type of perfection that is imperfect. The type that shows that being perfect is actually. Or being imperfect is actually just perfect for you and leave the attaining and striving for perfection to when you're in your final place in eternity, where we know that that is where truly perfection lies.
Or we can go to Christ and call on him who is perfect to help us define our perfection here on. But the tool B minus, can you apply this to your life this week? Can you just give it a try when you're going after things? I've got an episode out. It's either before this one or maybe I think it is about to-do lists.
Could you do 80% of the items? On your to-do to-do list and say that that was perfect, would you give yourself a B minus on how you're showing up in the different areas of your life? If so, then way too go mom way to go. That is exactly what will bring you more peace to your life. It's to drop this idea of a hundred percent of getting A's in everything all the time, and bring yourself to a new place of peace.
It is found in the B minus. if this has impacted you today or kind of had you see things in a new way like it did for me. If you feel like you've tried it out and you wanna come back and share that with me, cuz I know it's gonna bring you some relief to your life and I would love to hear in what ways it does.
Drop this perfectionism and apply B minus to your life and then let me know. Share, cuz I am with you on this tool if you could be open and willing to give it a try. I am 100% certain that you will find a new kind of, That enters your life when you know how to be a perfectly imperfect mom. Okay, everyone, I can't wait to hear about it.
Go out and try it. Remember B minus work. It is the new a plus. Thanks so much for spending your precious time with me, and I wish you so much peace and love, and I will talk to you all next week. Thank you for tuning in to today's episode of The Peaceful Mind Podcast. Are you ready to take everything I teach you here and put it to work for your own life?
To really learn how to have peace of mind no matter what is happening around you. If so, I'd love to have you as a client, as your coach. This is where you'll get personal and focus time on your own mind, using life coaching tools, concepts, and proven life, transforming wisdom, all through a faith-filled lens.
To learn more about how we can work together, come on over to daniellethienel.com. There you'll see how to sign up for a free coaching consult and learn how to get started. Until next time, peace be with you always.