Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood

Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood


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Winner of a 2018 Catholic Press Association Award: Family Life. (Second Place).

Do you ever feel like a raging tsumani, running through the house like a whirlwind and yelling at the top of your voice while the kids drag their feet and fight with one another as you desperately try to find lost shoes and get out the door on time? Overwhelmed, over-extended, and guilt-plagued?

With honesty, humor, and practical wisdom, Getting Past Perfect helps moms overcome Pinterest-inspired perfectionism by replacing your deepest fears and anxieties with a steady trust in God and the freedom to love authentically.

If you have ever felt that you were not “enough” as a wife or mom, or if you're someone who struggles to do it all, Getting Past Perfect offers a realistic and reassuring portrait of Catholic womanhood, placing motherhood in the context of every woman's primary role as a child of God.

Kate Wicker—journalist, popular speaker, and author of the highly-acclaimed Weightless—shares how she shook off doubt and negative self-perception, finding self-acceptance as a mom and the desire to stop controlling everyone around her. Getting Past Perfect invites you to make this same journey as you learn to embrace the primacy of your role as a daughter of God, even amidst the daily chaos of raising children. Each chapter is designed to debunk the lies and expectations that moms often face, replacing negative self-perceptions with the truths of a woman's true calling.

Wicker, a recovering perfectionist, helps you realize:
  • It is perfectly normal to feel like you're in over your head sometimes.
  • You can stop obsessing about what other people think and start focusing on loving yourself and your kids just as you are.
  • Your primary jobs are to let God love you and to love him back. Nurture your prayer life and make time to remember that you are first a daughter of God.
  • It’s important to practice self-care no matter your stage in life.
Wicker openly shares how she unwittingly transferred her preoccupation with having the perfect body to being the perfect parent. By honestly sharing her mistakes and triumphs in the trenches of motherhood, Wicker reveals several common falsehoods mothers tell themselves in different seasons of their lives and how speaking the truth can liberate women to become better parents and the truest versions of themselves. Whether you're dealing with endless "why?" questions, unexpected potty emergencies, or even the unanticipated change of a new pregnancy, Getting Past Perfect will help you learn how to lean into God's abiding grace. By closing each chapter with a simple reflection question and prayer, this book provides the tools you need to embrace the messy realities of family life and to emerge from feeling overwhelmed to knowing that you are first and foremost a daughter of God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594717161
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 03/03/2017
Series: A Book
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 334,595
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Kate Wicker is an author, speaker, health columnist for Catholic Digest, and regular contributor to Relevant Radio’s Morning Air program. Her work also has appeared in Woman’s Day, Pregnancy, Family Fun,, Atlanta Parent, Faith & Family LIVE!, Crisis,, Catholic News Agency, Catholic Exchange, and

Wicker earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia (summa cum laude) in 2000. She is the author of Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body and contributed to The Handbook for Catholic Moms and Word by Word. Wicker also was featured on the Momnipotent DVD. She and her husband, Dave, have five children. They live in Athens, Georgia.

Rachel Balducci is a Catholic writer, author, newspaper columnist, and the cohost of CatholicTV’s The Gist.

Lisa M. Hendey is Catholic blogger, speaker, creator of, editor of The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, and author of The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, and The Chime Travelers children’s fiction series.

Table of Contents

Foreword Rachel Swenson Balducci ix

Introduction: Fear in Mothering xi

1 Queen Mommy: Motherhood Is Not the Most Important Job a Woman Has 1

2 I Love Motherhood-Except When I Don't You're Not Supposed to Enjoy Every Moment 15

3 Perfectionism, Supermom's Kryptonite Being Imperfect Is All That Is Expected of You 29

4 Let the Mothering Games Begin! Motherhood Is Not a Competition 43

5 Mom the Martyr: Don't Be a Martyr for Your Children 55

6 I Am Mother! Hear Me Roar!: Your Child's Success Is Not a Measure of You 69

7 The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe: Embrace Your Unique Stage in Motherhood 79

8 When There's No Joy in Mothering or in Life Being a Mom Is Hard, but You Don't Have to Do It Alone 91

Conclusion: Finding Freedom from Fear in Mothering 107

Afterword Lisa M. Hendey 115

Acknowledgments 119

Appendix A Additional Resources 121

Appendix B Reading Group Guide 123

Notes 137

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