I have learned a critical lesson over the last few years as a mother and wife and employee. A lesson that my heart needed in a big way.


So here it is: I don’t think I can “have it all.”

I finally, finally understand that it’s okay not to be great at everything. I’ve had to learn how to let go of the idea of being a ‘perfect mom’ many times. What I feel like I do have to be great at is dedicating my time and energy to the things that bring me joy. To shift my priorities and follow my heart.

I need to do what makes me happy. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year trying to figure out the answers to these questions: What’s my passion? What brings me joy?

At first, I worried—does this make me selfish? Am I a selfish mother for thinking of what I want to do and spend my time on?

The simple answer: No. We aren’t selfish for considering our needs. I mean, how are we supposed to be our best selves if we never think about what we really want out of life? If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will.

I have exhausted myself attempting to be the best wife, mom to two little boys, employee, daughter, sister, friend, housekeeper and volunteer I could be. My head was constantly spinning. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of mediocrity. I was doing it all, but I didn’t even have the time to be excited about any of it. I was too busy stressing about the next task at hand.

And let’s be honest—why do anything if it stresses you out?

I’m not talking about the necessities, like paying bills and cleaning up after your toddler painted on the wall. I’m talking about the things you personally have control over.

So I’m putting it all out there right now because that has kind of become my thing lately.

Right now, I cannot be the best mom because I am constantly distracted.

I have a 3-year-old that could launch himself off of a bookcase while I’m feeding my 6-month-old. I can't give both children my undivided attention at all times. It is physically impossible. And I work full-time. I can't pick Henry up from preschool in the middle of the day. I can't spend the mornings snuggling with my baby on the couch. And it hurts my heart that I can't do that.

I may not be the best mom, but I can be a good enough mom.

Right now, I cannot be the best wife because I work full-time and have two little boys to take care of. Sometimes, my husband and I are like ships passing in the night. We divide and conquer with the kids and the household chores. I would love to spend a weekend in bed with my husband, but that’s just not an option at the moment. He knows that I love and respect him and that will have to suffice for now.

I may not be the best wife, but I can be a good enough wife.

Right now, I can't be the best employee because my passions have changed from the time I started my job. I love my job and am incredibly grateful for it, but it is not my passion. I can’t bring myself to be passionate about scheduling and reading pitch decks and attending day-long meetings. I do my job, and I do it well, but I don’t fall asleep at night thinking about how I can improve processes in the office.

I might not be the best employee, but I can be a good enough employee.

Right now, I can’t be the best writer I want to be. Writing has become one of my passions, but I have children, and a husband and a full-time job and writing takes a back seat to those things.

I can’t be the best writer, but I can be a good enough writer.

Right now, I can’t be the best daughter and sister and friend. Because of all the above. I wish so much I could be. But at this season in my life, it just isn’t possible.

Right now, I can’t be the best housekeeper. I have two tiny hurricanes and a 75-pound dog living with me and my husband. If I attempted to keep my house spotless, it wouldn’t work out so well. (For me, or for the house.) So I have let that go. I hired someone to clean my house every other week, and it lifted a big weight off my shoulders.

Lately, I have learned that I have to realign my priorities and figure out what is most important to me. What brings me the most joy in life?

And so, I do that, and I let everything else go. I will be a good enough mom and a good enough wife and a good enough employee and a good enough writer, and I will stop stressing myself out over the rest.

Because I can't be or do every. single. thing. But I do want to be everything I love.

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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