The WAY Method: Stop Wanting to Be a Perfect Mother

Stop trying to be a perfect mother and find happiness in your family with the WAY method. We'll tell you how in the following article.
The WAY Method: Stop Wanting to Be a Perfect Mother
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Have ever found yourself in a situation where your kids want to do one thing, like sing a difficult song, but you’ve found them another, easier song so they don’t make any mistakes. You may be doing it with them in mind, but you’re actually being too overbearing. Don’t miss the WAY method to stop being the perfect mother.

For your children, you already are perfect, even with all your imperfections, and that’s the magic of motherhood. Ordering your children to do things in an authoritarian way so that they obey doesn’t always work. Or if it does, it’ll only work in the short term.

In this sense, it’s important to understand that it’s better to reason with your children and give them options. Even if your intention at first as a mother is to protect them from frustration.

A mother reading to her baby.

Don’t try to be the perfect mother

Don’t try to be the perfect mother or want to do things perfectly with your children. And don’t demand perfection of them either. Watch out for reactive patterns.

Such patterns are sometimes obvious, but most of the time hidden, they cause us to behave in a way we don’t want to. For example, yelling at our children, trying to control our partners, or getting overly stressed at work.

We act in a way that hurts and disappoints others, and worst of all, we betray ourselves. Instead of the joy and satisfaction of doing “everything,” we focus on having more to do. The pressure overtakes our lives and, as a result, it causes stress, anxiety, worry, and fear.

Pursue the happiness you deserve without being a perfect mother

Can we have the happiness we want? Yes. The problem isn’t wanting to be the best in all areas of our lives. The problem is the “I don’t want to” that gets in the way. We don’t want to be wrong. We also don’t want to make mistakes. And we especially don’t want to be imperfect.

You can take out the negative pattern and avoid everything that goes wrong in your life by keeping the above in mind while following the WAY method. WAY stands for What About You?. The brain can be trained to behave and function in a more responsive and efficient way. It can also be trained to break old reactive patterns and bad habits, such as the perfectionist superwoman syndrome.

Follow the WAY method

Since you can’t change what you can’t see, the most important first step is to see what’s going on in your life. What aspects do you need to focus on in order to improve your quality of life and also your family life? Your children will thank you for it and you’ll live a calmer, more relaxed life. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Learn how your brain tricks you. Once a day, try to see an “I don’t want to.” Look for the little moments, such as, “I don’t want to wait in line at the grocery store” or “I don’t want to argue with my kids today.”
  2. When you find an “I don’t want to,” look at everything you feel, from mild annoyance to frustration, impatience, and anger. Maybe even anxiety. Find your feelings to identify them so you can understand what’s happening to you.
  3. See how your brain offers you a reaction to your “I don’t want to”. For example, wanting to yell at someone and argue with them in your head. The best thing to do is to offer yourself help so you can move on and get a handle on the situation.
    A mother walking in the woods, holding her smiling baby.
  4. See how often you want to control everything and everyone. See how that makes you react out loud or in your head or by convincing others to see things your way. Is it really necessary and good for you and others?
  5. Reflect on how often you’re right and observe how your rightness undermines your happiness. It’s important to learn to pick your battles. On many occasions, it’s better to have peace of mind than to be right. Go ahead and be right if you think it’s important. But also notice how your need to be right often comes at a cost… Frustration, anger, anxiety, and the excessive wanting to have everything under control.


Happiness is getting what you want. And what you really want is to show up and respond in your life, rather than reacting all the time. When you follow this method, you’ll realize that life’s easier than you think. Your family will thank you for it.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.