Sometimes I’m holding my toddler while she sleeps serenely on my chest. Other times I’m making an ungraceful exit from my in-law’s kitchen with the same two-year-old who has a hold of my hair and is screaming and kicking like a tiny black belt ninja (and I’m feeling, obviously, pretty awesome at life).
This mothering thing? It is crazy town, and, confession:
Just when I think I’ve got it figured out...I do not.
Nope, definitely don’t.
“To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.”Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
Honestly, I sometimes look at my shortcomings (i.e. impatience, TV watching, bagel binging and hatred-of-all-things-that-are-crafts) and I suck myself into a whirlwind of frustration and self-doubt. Those are the days that yoga pants were created for (I’m pretty sure), but also I just want to curl up on the couch with a king-sized Toberone, a glass of wine, and binge watch Downton for 96 hours.
A) Because I’m scared that I might actually be ruining my kids.
B) Because I think I’m alone. (Wrong).
I have found, though, that the only thing that keeps me alone is me. If I text a friend to let her know that I’m not sure I have what it takes to finish out this day—she’s only ever encouraging with (sometimes) a needed dose of, “buck-up-cowgirl.”
The support of other mamas is better than chocolate, every time.
Chocolate is of course, a close second.
This mothering thing is not easy. (It just isn’t.) And even though I have several things I’m really bad at (such as making breakfasts that do not come from boxes or baristas), I also kick butt at a few things like getting my kids outside and painting teeny tiny fingernails and loving my kids more than life itself.
So now, I’m taking a different approach.
I listened to a podcast recently that talked about finding your good-enough, and that has become my new motherhood mantra.
Is my kitchen clean enough, are my kids eating healthy enough? Am I doing enough activities with them? Have I spoken enough multisyllabic words to them today?
The self-doubt never ends.
And yet, contrary to my weird subconscious thoughts, this is not a competition or an episode of Minute to Win it...this is life. Life is MESSY and imperfect. So I’m done beating myself up for not being perfect. Because what I am offering my kids more than suffices.
And all of the hard work I’m doing: It is good. enough.
What if...we decided that good-enough, is actually enough?
What if... we assumed that most parents are doing their very best?
What if...we were a safe place for the moms around us to be real and sometimes broken?
Being real, authentic and ACCEPTING brings me one step closer to being a part of a tribe of women. Women who are FOR each other instead of against. Women who know that we are a whole lot more than health-food or fast-food. We are MORE than working moms or SAHM moms, than public school or homeschool, we are more than traditional or natural medicine, we are more than our discipline “style.” We are women that are OKAY with our differences, and refuse to be pitted against each other. We are each doing the best that we know how in this life.
And that must be good enough.
We are all navigating this thing the best we know how—and ultimately we have to go with our gut, chose what’s important for OUR families, and let others do the same.
I’m guessing, that whether you deserve to be in a special class for gifted and talented mothers, or, are just barely-hangin-in-there-with-jelly-in-your-hair...(I think we’re all a bit of both)...that you love your kids like crazy. I don’t care how you do it—but the fact that you do it inspires me.
I am convinced that banded together, we moms could change the world...and by the way, we have a ton to get done...so let’s get on it.
I salute you Mama, I respect you and where you are in your process. Today, may you find your good-enough.