This need to get it right is wrecking havoc on our families. Let's make it right!

decisions family healthy perfectionism Jan 14, 2022
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Wendy Schofer, MD
This need to get it right is wrecking havoc on our families. Let's make it right!
11:04
 

In medical school, I learned a lot about the value of having the right answer - and the shame of having the wrong one. It enforced a very black-and-white approach in the office:

The answer was either right or wrong

The decision was either healthy or unhealthy

The situation was either perfect or a hot freaking mess

The patient was sick or not-sick.

((Now I will admit that the simplistic sick-not sick was the BEST lesson I was taught in my training:
My mentor, Dr Nelson, saw me struggling during internship. He knew so much more about balancing family and work than any of the other workaholics I was being trained by): he told me that by the end of the year, all I needed to do was to walk into a room and be able to identify if a child is sick or not-sick by the end of the visit.
Game-changer. It is something that I still practice every single day.))

Now, back to my story: 

I started applying that to myself:

I was either right or wrong.

I was doing things that were healthy or unhealthy.

I was sick or not sick (and you know what, as doctors we say we are never “sick enough” to stay home!).

I was either perfect or a hot freaking mess. (And more often than not, hot freaking mess applied.)

My kids experienced the spill-over:

Food was either healthy or unhealthy.

Their decisions were either right or wrong.

They started becoming critical of themselves when they didn’t get it right…. Because THEY were wrong.

Oh man, what did I do?

I was freaking human.

I admit it. Parents are human! Doctors are human! There is a picture that has been painted for many years, putting doctors on a pedestal. God-like, heroes… name it. And parents, well we have to do it all the right way for our kids, right?
It’s made us strive for something that doesn’t exist:
Perfection.
Perfectionism is seeking to get things just right, perfect. And here’s the spoiler: there’s no such thing as perfect. It’s creating a fantasyland. It's the unicorn. 
Are you ever scoring high enough, healthy enough, doing the best possible job raising your kids?
That’s not the question to ask! 
It’s a shitty question.
Why?
Because your brain looks for all the ways you’re doing it wrong.

My antidote:
Decide now: YUP - I’m the best mom you’re ever gonna get (and the worst, BTW).
I'm an amazing physician (truth!).
I’m making the best decisions I can with the info I have now.
It doesn’t have to be perfect…. It just gets to be ME.

What does that look like at home? My husband looked at me super-crazy last week. He asked what was going on.
I was making french fries in the kitchen.
He said, “But you don’t buy french fries. They’re not healthy.”

 I wanted some effing french fries. I made them. And I enjoyed them.

THAT is healthy. Enjoying our food. Sharing with our family. Listening to our bodies. 
What isn’t healthy is telling ourselves that we can’t eat something. That we can’t be around certain types of food. That we have to move. That it has to look a certain way. That it’s all or nothing.
None of that is true. My truth is that I hadn’t had fries in a while and I just wanted some. Done-deal.
I also decided that was perfect.

 

I can help you find what’s right for you & your family. That’s what I do - I help you cut through the drama, make decisions, and make them right for you and your family.

 

Check out my webpage for more details on 1:1 coaching. You don’t want to miss this. 

Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

Listen Now!

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