Real Talk: It's Hard Trying to Be Perfect All the Time, so I Quit
Sara Riff is a fashion veteran who has launched several major contemporary and denim brands. Currently, she is the global director of entertainment relations for Jimmy Choo, a luxury brand headquartered in London, where she oversees celebrity dressing, product placement, events, and special projects. Riff is also the co-founder and creative director of the popular lifestyle website The Hive, which features a dynamic blend of celebrities, tastemakers, style, and beauty. Actively involved with charitable organizations including the Alliance of Moms, Riff was recently featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s philanthropy issue as one of Hollywood’s Givers. Riff lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make since becoming a mom is learning to let go of the need for everything to be perfect. Granted, it’s a big change (not to mention a major life adjustment), and honestly, it’s something I’m still working on with two young toddlers at home, but it needed to happen. Before kids, I was very comfortable in the driver seat and being in control of how most things in my life looked and played out.
With kids in the picture, however, I’m still in the driver’s seat but now my car is a mess, I often need to ask for directions, and the soundtrack to Moana is on repeat. I mean this both literally and figuratively. If this sounds like you too, here are a few things I try to remember so I keep everything in perspective and learn to appreciate the perfectly imperfect.
Surprises Are Good for You
As someone who likes to be in control, this was one of the hardest and the best lessons I’ve learned. I had my perfect birth experience planned, complete with LED candles and a soothing playlist. But 26 hours of labor and a C-section later, my experience didn’t go as perfectly as I’d mapped out, but it did something else even greater; it prepared me for some of the biggest changes that were in store for me.
Pinterest Is Not Real Life
Yes, it’s a wonderful resource for design projects and dream wardrobes, but it can also cause some serious spiraling. Especially when you realize that you’re in your 30s, barely know how to craft, and don’t make all your kids’ food from scratch. It’s fantasy, but my reality it is not, and that’s okay.
Embrace Your New Mom Bod
Birthing humans from your body can take a toll, so go easy on your need to spring back into pre-baby shape right away. With less free time, I must make the choice between taking a workout class and spending time with my kids. Sure, my abs may not be as flat as they could be, but my heart is full, and most days that feels like the better choice.
Shut Out the Noise
Most women I know try to do everything perfectly, including mothering. Whether it’s certain milestones you think your kids are supposed to be meeting or having them registered in a million different classes, comparisons with other moms can sometimes be the thief of joy. If what you are doing is working for you and your family, then it is definitely good enough. Period.
Sometimes You've Got to Simmer Down
This goes back to the analogy that women’s lives are like giant stovetops, representing all the roles we juggle. Between family, careers, friendships, responsibilities, and more, no one (okay, except maybe Jessica Alba) can keep all the burners turned up to full heat all the time. Sometimes, you must turn certain burners down a bit to let the other areas heat up in the way they need to. The most important thing is to not get down on yourself if you don’t have it all figured out. Understand that it will all happen when it’s meant to, just not all at the same time.
Do you feel the pressure to be perfect too? What strategies have you employed to embrace the chaos of life?