Confessions of a Retired Perfectionist


From the instant I found out I was pregnant, I devoted an embarrassingly huge chunk of time looking for how to do things “The Right Way.” I wanted to be the BESTEST-MOST-FUNNEST-AWESOME-MOM EVER. Quite frankly, I was terrified to mess up this parenting gig. I put so much pressure on myself to perfect Motherhood that I felt inadequate. A lot.

Confessions of a Retired Perfectionist Jeanie Whinghter Memphis Moms Blog

It was only when I gave myself grace to be un-perfect that I realized how perfect Motherhood is…Besides, imperfect Mamas have more fun. I’m positive that’s been scientifically proven somewhere. So, I’m confessing my imperfections in hopes that you’ll embrace – and maybe share – your own.


My house is messy. Like, if you walked in, you’d say to yourself “OMG, these people have JUST BEEN BURGLARIZED!” We clean like maniacs when we have guests, but it’s a sham. Our cleanliness is a temporary lie. I’m still trying to embrace the “pardon the mess, we’re making memories” philosophy, but I’m getting there.

I stink at birthdays. Y’all, I showed up at the WRONG location for my OWN KID’S birthday party. I got so caught up in planning the perfect party, that I booked the wrong venue. I decorated with Pinterest-y things and wondered why nobody was there. One panic attack, hundreds of tears and a FAST car ride later, and you know what? She. Didn’t. Care. Lesson learned: Have parties at home. And clean the house first.

I screwed up “the Birds and the Bees” talk. I’m a psychologist, so I took great care to use all Psychology Jedi Mind Tricks possible. Age appropriate book series to guide discussion? CHECK. Mom and Dad present? CHECK. Warning not to spill the beans at church? CHECK. Mom cracking up at the words for male body parts? TRIPLE CHECK! Truth be told, I snort-laughed so hysterically that I CRIED. And scarred my child for life. Again.

We’ve lost jobs. To say “that was hard” would be the Understatement of the Year. It’s challenging to do “All The Things” sans employment. It’s humbling to have champagne taste on a beer budget. I struggled to keep it real, maintain hope, and support my spouse. It taught me what it means to be truly rich, and it’s got nothing to do with money. We wouldn’t request job loss, but it gave us a confidence in our marriage that we probably couldn’t gain otherwise.

My kids know about Santa. And don’t worry, they won’t tell your kids. When my son told Santa that he was an “imposter,” the jig was up. He asked, and we told him the {gasp!} truth. Stopping the illusion was incredibly liberating. It’s still magical around our house, but in a different way. “Santa” visits us, and my kids help leave presents for our youngest. BONUS: We get sleep.

I friended my Mom Bod. Hey, it’s not the same body I had before kids. It’s done some amazing things. For a while, I allowed my insecurities to get in the way of my MOM-ents with the kiddos (HELLO: swimsuit season!). I realized that my insecurities could easily become those of my children. When I look at them, my heart swells with unconditional love for all that they are, regardless of appearance. And it hit me: that’s probably what MY Mom thinks when she looks at me. Mom bod and all.


I’m the lady with a ponytail, yoga pants and purse full of snacks. I’m an imperfect Mom to 3 imperfect kids. They think I’m the prettiest Mama in the whole wide world. They don’t care if I mess up a party. They don’t know that I struggle sometimes. They just know that I love them.

I was created to be exactly what my kids need in a Mama, imperfections and all. And that’s pretty perfect.


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Jeanie is a perfectly imperfect mama, transplanted to Cordova fresh out of graduate school. She and her husband, Matt, had no intent on making Memphis “home” – but ten years later, they’re still here (and love it!). They have three saucy gingers, along with three “fur babies”. Between homeschooling and chairing graduate Psychology departments online, life is never boring in the Whinghter house. It’s no surprise that Jeanie fancies coffee, but she also loves bargain shopping and embarrassing her children with her questionable singing/dancing skills. She’s had more #PinterestFails that she can count and has perfected the art of giving a good pep talk (watch out, puberty!). Motherhood has slowly transformed her into the “uncool” Mom she thought she’d never be, yet she’s never felt cooler or more content with her life.


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