I always wanted to reside in the category of “perfect parents.” In my head, I imagined how I would be as a mom for quite some time. From pregnancy all the way up until my child was born, I thought everything would go my way. 

I would labor naturally, my husband and I dancing through the contractions. I would resist an epidural (I actually had this written in all caps on my birth plan). Breastfeeding would be easy—matter of fact, there would be no other option. I wouldn’t suffer from postpartum blues, and I would be the happiest mama with her baby once we came home. My husband and I wouldn’t have a rough first few months of parenthood intertwined with marriage—and we would know exactly what we were doing.

Related: Your babies need a happy mom, not a perfect one

My son wouldn’t cry a lot—in fact, he would only cry when he was hungry or needed to be changed, but me being the perfect parent that I thought I’d be would catch the cues before the tears came. He wouldn't make a fuss during bedtime, and he’d be sleeping through the night by four months old.

I would work from home and be able to maintain the perfect balance between tending to my son and keeping the house clean. I would have dinner hot and ready on the table every single night. I would have the clothes washed, dried, folded and put away—but I’m sure there’s a load still sitting in the dryer from two days ago as I type. And that just begins the realities of being a parent.

Because there is no way to be perfect. Period.

I was the perfect parent—until I was not.

Until my son was born and the realities of being a parent shook me awake from my fantasy. 

Parenthood was far from what I imagined it to be. It was full of many more challenges and hardships than I expected. And honestly, perhaps my strive for perfection is what made my transition into motherhood a lot harder than it had to be.

I thought I would be the perfect parent raising the perfect kids. 

I never ever thought I’d give my child screen time just for the sake of getting something done—until I was three days without a shower and a YouTube show was the only thing that would keep him entertained for a mere five minutes.

I thought I’d know more… like that diapers are sized by weight and not by month (you should have seen my face when I figured this one out😭). Or that they’re supposed to have their first dentist appointment when their first tooth comes in.

I thought they would be quiet when I told them to use their inside voice—not increase their volume x100. 

I thought they’d eat whatever I made them. Boy was I wrong! Try feeding a toddler something he doesn’t like and it’ll end up all in his high chair, hair, and all over the floor.

I thought they’d be the most well-mannered and behaved human beings—not rascals jumping from the couch and body-slamming me when all I asked for was a kiss (problems of a boy mom😆).

Related: How to ditch perfectionism and embrace being good enough

I thought I would be the perfect parent raising the perfect kids. 

But there is no such thing as perfection. And no parent is perfect—as much as they intend to be. 

I had no idea that parenthood in actuality was going to look a lot different than I had imagined it. But that's just the reality of parenthood. As much as you try to prepare for it—you're never truly fully equipped. It's full of unexpectancy—whether you've been a parent for one year or for twenty

So let's embrace being imperfect parents because there is no other way that we can be. Except deeply flawed yet still trying our best each and every day.