The pressures on moms to be perfect is just amazing. It doesn’t matter what you do, someone will say you’re doing it disastrously wrong. Maybe that’s why it’s such a habit for many moms to gloss over the problems they deal with and try to show a public face of being a really happy mom who can calmly cope with anything life and her kids throw at her.

Even tantrums and finding time for a shower.

I’ll admit some days are easier than others to be a stay at home mom. Keeping my sanity the day after the baby has cut a tooth and was up all night can get interesting. Especially if my feet find the LEGOS on the floor too early in the morning.

There are two key things for moms to remember. Number one is don’t try to be perfect. You aren’t. You don’t want to be.

Number two is to ignore all the people who criticize your little imperfections. They’re not as bad as some people say they are. It’s really not going to make your kids fat and lazy if you sometimes give in and let them have fast food or watch an excess of television.

There’s this little thing called moderation that really means you can get away with so much more than you thought possible. Moderation is a great thing to remind yourself of when you’re feeling bad about your parenting skills. When you’re letting the kids do things that other parents would tell you are unhealthy, will lead to bad habits, whatever, just remember that many things that should not be done habitually are just fine in moderation.

If that doesn’t cover it, try remembering to not sweat the small stuff. Lots of things can be called small stuff if you think far enough ahead.

Never, ever, feel bad for saying you need a break from your kids. You may have this goal of being the perfect stay at home mom who loves every minute, but you need your breaks. We all do. That’s why people who work outside the home get regular 15 minute breaks and a lunch break.

Breaks are a chance to clear your head and relax a little. They’re a bit harder to get for stay at home moms, but you can take breaks and you deserve them.

Get out a little in the evenings or weekends without the kids and without running errands. Do your own thing for just a little while.

Needing time for yourself doesn’t make you a bad mother. Taking time for yourself  can help you to be a better one, in fact.

And if you make a mistake with your kids, don’t be afraid to admit to it. We all make mistakes. You’re a better example for your children if they see that you can not only make mistakes but admit to them.

Forget perfection. Stop trying to be the mom who follows all the rules in whatever parenting style you prefer. Just do the best you can, be yourself and enjoy the ride.