I had this totally crazy day recently.
Ok, who am I kidding? Every single day is totally crazy. Like, Running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, don’t even have time to use the bathroom when I need to, psycho busy kinda crazy. I know you can relate. And it all reaches the peak of insanity every night right around dinnertime, amiright?
After the kids come home from school and before they go to bed there are only a few hours to get everything done. They have homework, chores, activities, and sports and it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do any one of those things. Heaven forbid you throw in a doctor’s appointment. Or in the case of the other day, throw in two of them.
My first mistake was thinking I could be all productive and whatnot and actually get some essential things done. I scheduled two appointments in a row, one for my son, and one for me, both right before Princess had to be at gymnastics. But since all of those things were within a five minute drive of each other, I thought I totally got this. So you know how scheduling things down to the very minute never ever works? Yeah, that day was no exception.
After being late to both appointments, making 3 separate trips to two different pharmacies, finding out that Hubby was coming home late, getting Princess to gymnastics late, feeling bad that I’d left a stressed-out teenager to take care of a clingy toddler for a bit too long, running home to put said toddler to bed, and having to stop everything to clean up certain toddler-induced spills, I really started to lose it. On the outside I was just a typical harried mess. But on the inside I felt almost dizzy with pent up frustration, anger and overwhelm. I just could not handle that day at all. And it wasn’t helping that I’d been on a smaller dose of my anti-depressant. When I finally had two minutes to think, I started to feel like a failure.
I felt like I was totally failing at this mom thing.
I started thinking of all the ways I should have done better. I should have planned better. I should have gotten more done earlier in the day. I should have planned less for today and more for tomorrow. I should have brought the toddler to the doctor with me. I should never plan anything for after school ever because it’s just too dang crazy. Then I started thinking about all the ways I suck. I suck at being home when my kids need me. I suck at multitasking. I suck at being on time to things. I suck at being a responsible adult let alone a mother of 5 children.
I started wondering if my best was ever going to be good enough.
I mean, there’s no doubt I’m doing my best here. It’s not like I wanted to go to the doctor twice and the pharmacy three times in one day because it was fun. I was trying my darndest to get my family’s needs taken care of. I was working my butt off here for the benefit of my family.
And then it hit me.
My best was good enough just because it was my best. Period.
I stress so much about whether I’m doing everything the right way, and making the best possible decisions at any given moment, but if I look around me at all the happy kids and functioning families, I realize that each mom is doing things differently. They’re doing their best, and that’s good enough.
I worry about doing things the best way, but aside from the extremes of abuse and neglect, maybe there really is no such thing as one best way to be a mom. Sure I have goals and lofty ideals, but I rarely actually meet them. Does that mean I’ve failed and my kids will end up needing lifelong therapy because of it? Probably not.
At this point I started to think of all the things I’d actually done right. I got my kid to the doctor. I got myself to the doctor. I got two kids their medications. I gave my kids hugs. I ensured that they had their physical needs met. They may have eaten frozen pizza for dinner (for the second night in a row) but they were fed.
If you feel like you are doing your best and it’s just not good enough, think of all the things you did right today. I know you can find something. In fact, tell me right now, what is ONE THING you did today that was good enough? Just one.
And then tell yourself:
I’m doing my best, and it’s good enough.
Because it is.