Feb. 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM ET
Nobody's perfect -- not even Natalie Morales!
While the TODAY anchor usually seems pretty pulled together, she admits in a new column in next month's Latina magazine that motherhood taught her very quickly that she couldn't be perfect. In fact, she learned that lesson while giving birth to her first son, Josh, in 2003. After an enviably easy pregnancy, she had ideas about everything being just "perfect" -- then the baby's heart rate dropped alarmingly during labor and she had to have an emergency C-section.
This was my first wake-up call to being a parent. I realized that all those images of “perfect” dancing in my head would need to undergo some serious re-evaluation. I am very far from being a perfect mom. In fact, I suffer from severe mom guilt, as so many of you do, when I work too much or over-schedule myself, keeping me from spending quality time with my children. And although mom guilt is by no means a Latina thing, anyone who grew up in a Latin family knows that Mom does it all: supreme comforter, caregiver and provider. I am a work-in-progress mom, and as much as I try to do it all, I also end up doing way too much. Some days I’m pretty good at being almost-perfect, in fact. But most days I’m not, and I go to bed feeling guilty and hoping tomorrow will be a better day.
Can you tell that I’m plagued by perfection? Aren’t we all? It’s time to get over it and accept we are flawed—we are human. Ever have your child tell you they like the babysitter more than you? Or do they love Daddy more because he’s more fun? I have heard all of that. I have laid on my bed in tears because of those words.
Oh, Natalie! We've all been there in one way or another, right? With her sons now 7 and 2, Natalie says she's accepted the fact that she's the strict mommy and dad is the fun one -- but she knows her boys also have fun with her too, and that no one can replace mommy in their eyes. In the end, she says perfection will always be like an inner demon that she's chasing -- but she's learning to let it go.
Can you relate to Natalie's struggle with perfection and mom guilt? What makes you feel better when you get caught up in striving, impossibly, to be the "perfect" mother?