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The Perfectionist Parent & Home-schooling

If you’re like me you will struggle to keep the demands of school in perspective. You will want to do your absolute best for your child and also at times you will think its utter pointless.

If you’re like me you will struggle to home school and work and be a sane human being because there are too many balls in the air and you will not easily drop any when you know you need to drop half a dozen.

You will persevere and you will breakdown.

If you’re like me you will email school and tell them you support the curriculum (ahem slight lie) and your child’s learning but that the demands of this and that and the other mean you can’t and you are struggling so please can I have a new plan. (At this point you don’t actually know if a perfect plan exists but you are looking for new rules and permission not to do it or some instruction that brings peace to replace the chaos you’ve found yourself getting drawn into.)

The response is probably something like this,

Thank you for your email Mrs Hughes we hear all your concerns and all we ask is that you do your best. Blah blah blah….”

If you’re like me you don’t even take anything in after that because they ask you to do your best.


Asking a perfectionist to do their best in these ridiculous conditions is a car crash waiting to happen!!

The reply also probably said,

“do not worry” and “we know it’s hard when you are working as well” and “we don’t expect you to do everything.”

But if you are like me you heard “do your BEST”

My reply to the invisible teacher in my head.

Dear Teacher,

I am asking for a permission slip, one of those strips of paper you used to give out to get me out of PE or to let me use the toilet. I need one of those for my survival. It needs to say:

Permission to be crap or

Permission to scrape by or

Permission to be utterly average.

You see you can’t tell a perfectionist parent like me to ‘do my best’ because I will do my best. I will do my absolute best and it will be amazing, work will be done, emails will be sent, every mind numbing boring zoom call will be attended. We will do our best. But the consequence will be tragic. I think I might have a breakdown. I won’t drop a few balls that I am juggling, I will drop them all and it will be a disaster.

So I need you to tell me to be crap. I need you to tell me you fully expect me to be average. You need to say that mediocre is the way to go.

Please stop me from doing my best. Yours Sincerely.

The reply from the Teacher in my head

She is silent.

She says nothing.

If you’re like me you will come up with a plan you can manage, that you can all manage. The great thing about being a perfectionist is that if we can’t do things to our absolute best then we don’t do them at all. We pretend they don’t exist. So you will choose some things you aren’t even going to acknowledge exists. (Guided reading and fronted adverbials are high on my list of things that don’t exist!!)

If you are anything like me you know your family explicitly well. You know what will work and what won’t. You will ignore the demons in your head pointing you to a breakdown and you will try with all your might to be average.

You will say to yourself. Average is good. Average is okay. I can be average.

Have an average day my loves.

Nicola x x

If you need some support you know where I am.


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