26/05/2009 01:11 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Tip Of The Day: Stop Looking For Perfection

Before you had kids, did you intend to be the perfect parent?

Not for you the harassed mum with crazy hair bellowing at her children in the supermarket.

The big difference in LAK (life after kids) as opposed to LBK (life before) is that it never works out quite how you thought it would.

But still many of us feel like we're falling down in the Supermummy stakes because we don't do things as well we imagine other, more perfect parents do.

Do yourself a favour and let go of perfection.

Read on for more on why stopping trying to be perfect will make you a better parent in the end.

Think of something that's perfect: It's done, it's finished. It's as good as it's ever going to be.

Perfection is a static state, and life (especially family life) is, by its very nature, always changing. Just when you think you've got to grips with the latest stage your child is at, they grow into someone new. Just when you think you've got all your childcare arranged, your child gets Chicken Pox. And on and on it goes.

If you're waiting for your life to reach its peak state of perfection, you could be waiting for ever. Family life is all about rough and messy edges.

When you die, your laundry basket will not be empty. But no-one at your funeral will be talking about that. You'll be remembered for the person you were and the good qualities you have. Expecting perfection is a straight path to feeling bad, because all you're doing is setting yourself up to fail.

The secret, I think, is to be at ease with your own imperfection. So what if your child goes to school with a hole in the knee of her tights? So what if your toddler has a grubby face? So what if sometimes you blow your top and shout in the supermarket?

Set your own standards and feel proud of achieving them. Be a Gold Star Parent, rather than Little Miss Perfect – she only exists in the pages of a book.