Being Honest: Talking about Mistakes and Perfection

Some things are absolutely perfect, like our recent holiday to Jenolan Caves. As I look at the photos, I smile. I know I’ll enjoy the memories of that wonderful time again and again.

But some things are far from perfect. Some memories make me wince. I’d rather not think about certain times in the past. I don’t want to remember I was once called the Dragon Mother. Oh yes, once upon a time I could breathe fire and send everyone running. But that was years ago. That angry fire within me has just about gone out.

So am I now a perfect mother?

I discuss this question in this week’s podcast, as I revisit a time when parenting and homeschooling used to overwhelm me.

I also attempt to answer the following questions:

  • If it is necessary for us to be good examples for our unschooling children, must we be perfect?
  • Or is there something far more important than perfection?
  • Why is unconditional love so powerful?
  • Do some bloggers appear to be perfect?
  • Are there times when we should be open and honest, even if it means revealing our mistakes?
  • Do I ever have bad days?
  • Am I a ‘real’ podcaster?
  • Should I be podcasting when I make so many mistakes?
  • Will my podcasts improve? Will they ever be perfect?
If you listen to the end of my podcast, you’ll also hear a few of Sophie’s (13) thoughts on perfection, forgiveness and love. You’ll find this extra recording just before my final signing off.


Program Notes
blog posts about difficult days
Motherhood isn’t easy. Sometimes it even seems impossible. We lose control of our lives and often wish things could be different. Surely we won’t survive? We wonder if our children will end up suffering because we haven’t enough energy to be the perfect mother to them. 
I have to admit I’m not perfect. Some days I get overtired and the temptation, to make a fuss about things that aren’t really important, threatens to reappear. I had one of those days not so long ago.
I didn’t get that wonderful Monday morning feeling today. I didn’t awake full of anticipation, eager to begin the week. But that’s okay. There’s always tomorrow… another day.
“It’s all lies, Imogen,” I continued. “All that stuff on my blog about how good my parenting and unschooling are going… Who would believe me if they could see us now? It’s just not true.”
Would it help if I told you I used to be known as the dragon mother? Oh yes! I had a temper that matched my red hair. And I liked to use it, especially when I was tired and life didn’t go to plan, and my kids didn’t behave as I hoped.
I used to have an awful lot of bad days. On those days all my children wanted my attention at the same time, the baby cried, the toddler whined, everyone bickered, no one did anything without arguing or delaying for as long as possible… A heavy weight pressed down on my head and I wanted to scream and run away. I wanted to run away from all of my children who always chose the exact same day to be out of sorts. Why did they do that?
Gradually I was discovering what was really important. And gradually I rejected anything that led us away from that close and happy relationship that I knew was the most important thing in the world.
There are more posts on my Difficult Days, and Worried and Tired Mothers page
In my podcast, I think I got two of my bad days into a muddle. As I was talking, I rolled two into one. Imagine having two bad days on the same day!

This week I featured a piece of music by Italian pianist and composer, Andrea Carri.
Frammenti is available for download from Free Music Archive.
Andrea Carri can also be found on Youtube.

Modifications: I faded in and faded out a few bars and used them between podcast segments.Grief

My grief book: Grief, Love and Hope

My grief posts

These photos were taken on our perfect ‘best holiday ever’ to Jenolan Caves.
You can find more of my podcasts on my Podbean Podcast Page, or on iTunes.
You could subscribe to my Stories of an Unschooling Family podcast on iTunes.
Please feel welcome to join my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook community.

And finally… you can find my children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek on Amazon and a few other places. I’d love you to have a look!

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  1. Reply

    Sue Elvis, I just think you're beautiful! Thank you so much for putting yourself out there on the internet, being true and honest and brave! What a blessing you are!

    1. Reply


      You have cheered me up. Thank you! It was lovely of you to listen to my podcast and I do appreciate your kind words which will encourage to keep going.

  2. Reply

    Oh I've spent so much time feeling so repentant for my temper and desire to perfection. Thank you for sharing your story. I agree that you are such a beautiful woman inside and out. Thank you for sharing. You are so courageous. You are a beacon.

    1. Reply


      Maybe we are all very imperfect. We worry about what others think of us. We might say: If they only knew what I'm really like! When I am honest, I sometimes think, "But what if no one has the same struggles as me? What if they think I'm a terrible person?" I end up sharing anyway, and I've always been treated with such kindness and understanding. It's easy to be courageous when I have so many beautiful friends. Thank you so much for your very kind words which have made my day. xx

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