Sometimes motherhood feels like one long list of things that you’re falling short on. Your kids go to daycare with chocolate smeared on their faces because breakfast was toaster waffles with Nutella—again.

You’re late for your 9 a.m. meeting even though the meeting is a video conference from your bedroom—again.

Lunch was a PB&J that was leftover from your kid’s uneaten dinner last night—again.

You are last in the school pick-up line—again.

You haven’t changed out of your pajama bottoms, and it’s now time for dinner—again.

You haven’t had a real conversation with your husband for days. And date nights—what are those?

Sometimes the days or weeks feel like a running tally of all the ways you’ve fallen short, of all the things you regret and you wished you had done differently. You feel like you’re failing as a mom, as a friend, as a wife and partner, as an employee. Some days you even feel like you’re falling short as a human. You don’t recognize yourself anymore, but your days blur from one to the next, with little time to figure out why things feel so… off.

But know this, mama: You are not failing. 

To that little human—or humans—who call you their mother, you are the world. You are their world. 

Your babies don’t care about the chocolate smeared on their faces. They only know that you make them feel safe and loved. They forget about the times you were impatient and remember the times when you read an extra story before bed or laughed with them until tears were running down both of your faces. 

You aren’t failing as a wife or friend. You are keeping these relationships strong despite the fact that you are all getting through the day on borrowed time. Those rushed text messages you wish could have been phone calls bring a smile to your friend’s face in the midst of her own “I feel like I’m failing at everything” moments. They matter.

You don’t need to crush every day. Sometimes it’s enough just to get through the day.

Those date nights out on the town aren’t the only way to sustain a relationship or a marriage; snuggling on the couch while watching a movie until one or both of you falls asleep on the couch is the safe comfort that you both need right now. The date nights will return someday. For now, this is all that your partner needs—to know that you are on their team, reminding them that they are doing a great job when they also feel like they are “failing at everything.”

Even when it feels like you’re falling behind, like you’re not doing enough, like everyone else is sailing through motherhood, know that you are not alone. You are not failing. You are not falling behind. You are enough.

You don’t need to crush every day. You don’t need every day to be filled with the highlights and idealized expectations you’ve set for yourself. Sometimes it’s enough just to get through the day.

On the days you feel like you’re failing, remember this: Your babies don’t need a perfect mother; they need a real one. They need you. And you are enough—not just to those babies who call you mama, but to the world.