Like all moms, I want to do right by my child. I try to be healthy and eat right, so that she’ll learn to emulate those habits and grow up strong.
Yet, there’s a lot of pressure from outside to not just be good, but perfect. It’s a tough expectation and one that I’ve started to notice a backlash to.
Take the recent Judd Apatow movie, This is 40. In it, Leslie Mann plays a mom who’s coming to terms with getting older by imposing new health rules on her family. She’s gone gluten-free and banned the wi-fi. Yet, she still sneaks a cigarette when her kids and husband aren’t looking, masking the smell with dish washing gloves and perfume.
She’s not the only one who reminds us that moms have flaws and like to enjoy some guilty pleasures. Gwyneth Paltrow has received fame for not just her acting, but also her healthy lifestyle. She’s vegetarian. And macrobiotic. And only wears organic fabrics. Not to mention, her most recent cookbook, “It’s All Good,” promises readers they can look good by eating good.
Yet, in a recent New York Post interview, she admitted that her kids eat normal things like Oreos, too. More shocking was her confession that she puffs on one American Spirit cigarette per week. Every Saturday.
I found Gwyneth’s admission wonderful because it reveals her as, well, real.
Yes, I can be the mom who makes her own granola bars and pasta. I can count how many vegetables are part of each meal and ban salt from the table. Yet, I can also give in to things I know I shouldn’t. Every now and then. Because learning balance is also a lesson kids should learn.
Do you ever find yourself trying to be the perfect mother or father? Tell us about it below.