Thank God for Perfectionist Moms! I know a few and would never mention them by name as it seems cruel to label anyone who has my sincere sympathy. We’re not all-together that uncommon. I often find myself being pushed to accomplish the impossible and be the best parent I can out of fear that I’m not doing enough or offering the right things (I know I'm sounding a little The Road Less Traveled here...). These tightly wound women are the moms that push their children to be potty trained at 10 months old and drill math, language and spelling flash cards at 12 months. I’m not saying it’s wrong to raise children that way. Hey, to each his (or her) own….but I don’t think additional stress brought on by the pressure to perform that far ahead of the curve is doing much more that transferring stress and anxiety to the child….and I see it in the meltdowns and inability to discern sarcasm with these kids. I think a child who develops with encouragement, acceptance and access to the tools that can help them end up being far more comfortable in their own skin and socially well-adjusted….which I believe will allow them to excel later in life.
Speaking of tools to assist in development... I wouldn’t have a clue as to what is available out there without these overly-ambitious moms. I am grateful to all of them. Without them I would never have discovered: the Sprout channel, Super Readers, Word World or Apps like: Memory Train, Alphabet by Piikea, Dora Skywriter & Dora ABC’s, Hungry Guppy, Umi Numbers, Alphabet tracing, Italian Cards, Dot to Dot Numbers and Letters, Nick Jr’s A-Z and Count Bees. (Catherine's i world has considerably grown from what used to be flash memory super-saturated with Max and Ruby episodes to now include Toca Band, Toca Tailor, Toca anything really…episodes of Jake and The Neverland Pirates, Pinky Dinky Doo, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Small Potatoes, Diego and Peppa Pig.)
It's tough not to feel inadequate or at least question my fitness as a parent when I fall in the trap of comparing myself to others doing an incredible job. After being faced with subtly raised eyebrows and awkward pauses upon my explaining that Catherine was not yet potty trained at 2; I uncomfortably remarked: “I’m pretty sure she’s not going to show up for junior high wearing a diaper….I mean, I don’t know of any fifteen year olds who are still crapping in their pants.... It’ll happen.”
That comment went over as well as Drag Show at a RNC engagement.
I continue to appreciate Perfectionist Moms not only for their exemplary child management but also for the deluge of educational tools they bring to light. Although it requires a bit of filtering, Catherine would not be thriving as well as she is in a world that, even at 2, seems to be pretty damn competitive sometimes.