"No one ends up in therapy because they didn't eat enough broccoli," said my beloved friend and mom of three.
It got me thinking... I freakin' loved eating Doritos when I was a kid. (And, if I'm being honest, I still do.) Friday night was pizza night, and Sunday was take-out Chinese. We'd hang out and eat our less-than-perfectly-healthy food. It was awesome. And, it was stress-free for my mom, so she was having fun (and actually enjoying her family) too.
Perfection pressure is intense nowadays. With food alone you're faced with paleo, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, non-GMO, no trans-fats, organic only, sourced locally... WTF, it can be crazy making. And, as a mom, you can feel like you'll be shunned if you're kid watches a Disney movie and enjoys some Skittles.
But, here's the thing. No one ends up in therapy because they weren't fed enough broccoli!
It's time to stop being so perfection driven, and start being more value driven. This goes for anyone and how they make choices in their lives. However, I'm going to talk about it from a parenting perspective, because that's where I'm confronted with this perfection pressure daily.
My mom used the oven like Carrie Bradshaw, way before Sex and the City was a thing (aka, for storage, not cooking.) There was food on the table. She "made meals," she still explains. But it was out of necessity, not pleasure, and they were basic.
Now, don't get me wrong, healthier eating is good stuff and we try to have veggies on our plates daily.
But, what my parents taught me was so much more useful and valuable than what was (or wasn't) on my plate.
My mom worked some evenings as a family therapist. On those nights, my dad cooked, and I saw an example of dads (and men) being care takers.
My parents spent some evenings attending personal development workshops, fundraising events for an organization committed to ending world hunger, and planning sessions for a program for at-risk teens.
They took us to 24 hour dance-a-thons to fundraise, and showed us that we could make a difference in the world. They had their friends over for dance parties, where the old chandeliers shook, and we were allowed to stay up until we fell asleep on the couch.
My dad left for hours to train for marathons, and once he left for weeks to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. My mom brought us along to her dance aerobics classes in the basement of some church (yes, circa 1985 Jane Fonda.)
And, even when they got divorced, they remained friends and showed up at all of our graduations and celebrations as our parents. They supported each other when I had cancer or my brother had a troubled girlfriend. They remained a parenting team.
Perfection it was not. Vegetables, well occasionally.
But... they were value driven. We learned the importance of making a difference in the world. Of loving relationships. Of fun and laughter. Of doing work you're passionate about. Of being curious about the world. Of appreciating our opportunities. Of independence. Of self-care. And, also of self-love.
And that is worth boatloads of organic broccoli and grass-fed beef, my friend.
Let's try to stop the perfection driven insanity. First, don't judge others so swiftly. Second, be more patient and flexible with yourself. Lastly, make your choices based on what really matters, on what you truly value, not what everyone else thinks is important.
It's damn liberating, and a lot more fun. My goal, say yes to more ice cream this summer.
Sage B. Hobbs is a coach, writer, and speaker for women who want to live badass + brilliant lives, on their own terms, full of passion and purpose. For more of her Dorito lovin' wisdom, grab her FREE Love Notes... made for moms to feel like their sexy, smart, soulful selves again at http://bit.ly/1Mdcw7V