In Silicon Republic, Eva Short wrote about this fantastic
infographic from CashNetUSA, illustrating perfectionism and its potential dangers in a professional setting. Because "perfectionist" is frequently a word that new moms use to describe themselves (or their former, pre-motherhood selves), I wanted to adapt it to the postpartum period. Live Science reported about a small Canadian study in 2010 of 100 first-time mothers, and found that perfectionism was a common feature in the women surveyed. Findings are significant for 2 reasons: perfectionism may make it hard for people to tell that moms are struggling, as the mom may mask it well; and the results underscore the need to dispel the myth of the "perfect parent."
So, are you a perfectionist? Or do you feel pressure to be perfect, even though you are a new parent crash learning on the job? It could be that once perfectionism enabled you to excel. But could it now be stressing you out?
Here are 9 skills to practice if you feel like perfectionism is controlling your life. And remember, if these tips don't work for you, it doesn't mean you will feel this way forever. It just means you need a different type of support. Ask your OB, midwife, or primary care provider for a referral to a mental health provider with pregnancy and postpartum specialty. Or call Postpartum Support International for your local resources.
*disclosure: if I could free mothers from
the burden of thank you notes, I would!