I know in theory we all know there is no perfect mother.
In reality, however, we seem to hold ourselves to a standard of motherhood that's insane. I mean flat-out, crazy-making, cuckoo-land kind of nuts.
And if that weren't bad enough, we trick ourselves into believing we're the only ones who fail at all. the. things. And then we beat ourselves up. And tell ourselves mean things at the end of long days.
Days spent keeping tiny humans alive and thriving.
When we've cooked and cleaned and commuted and brought home the bacon and washed and cleaned some more and checked the homework and sung the songs and read the books we sit down on the sofa and shake our heads and tell ourselves what bad, bad moms we are.
That's insane. And exhausting.
And in case you thought you were the only one, here's a small taste of the crazy that runs in a wild and vicious loop through my mind on any given day:
- You should have added pureed spinach to dinner tonight.
Until my head is about to split right open. Until I forget that I showed up. I parented. I loved wildly. I listened intently. I played Legos and applied pretend make-up. I made dinner. And you know what? You did too.
You showed up, you went to the parent-teacher conferences, you read the books, you worried about the test scores, you prayed the desperate plea of courage. You woke up when they threw up.
You cleaned up, loved up, got up early and went to bed late.
One hundred different ways you have come when they called.
You let her paint while you wrote that paper or report or presentation on the day the babysitter was sick.
You carried on and over and through and around all the obstacles of getting to school on time and remembering the activities and writing down the lists and buying the right size cleats and paying the fortune to attend the dance recital that you paid for the lessons for all. year. long.
You listened to the spats about hair clips and jean brands and tried to find a way to build bridges over the Grand Canyons that recently caved in between best friends.
You made lunches or paid for lunches or cut sandwiches into creative Bento Box shapes and still somewhere in the back of your head something screamed, "You're not doing enough."
You did the car pool and got stuck in the commuter traffic backlash and lost the last chance to re-review that presentation that was due at 9 a.m.
You built forts out of old towels and let them jump on your bed. You laughed while they braided your hair within an inch of losing your head.
You are a warrior.
You are a wonder.
You are a mighty-doer-of-grand-deeds.
You are wildly under-rating yourself.
In this season of deep, up-to-the-elbows busy.
You are already doing all the things. That's what counts. Not that you're doing them differently than the mom at the school pick up, or around the corner or in the next row over at church.
You are mothering. You actually already are.
So go ahead, let yourself off the hook. Dish up the ice cream at 10:00 p.m. and not the guilt.
This post originally appeared on LisaJoBaker.com