A few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation between a mom and a teacher. The teacher had babysat for the mom and was sharing how lovely her home was, how organized and clean it was, with two very young children in the house. The mom thanked her and lamented that she felt like she didn’t do enough. She felt she should do more. More cooking, more cleaning, more special projects, just more.
As I listened, I realized how often I hear this same sentiment, and how often I have felt it myself, especially in those years when my children were young. It is a horrible feeling. And looking around, how is it that by all appearances, everyone else is doing so much? The perfect house, beautiful meals, clean clothes – that match, hair that isn’t in a ponytail, happy kids all the time! What? These Super Moms must have superpowers. Right?
No, they don’t, because they don’t actually exist. We all have days where things fall into place. The house is clean, dinner is made, the hair is done and we even have a little make-up on, we host play dates for both kids and bake cookies for the local firefighters. And the next day we rest! Because doing it all is impossible and impossible to maintain.
There are days when all we can do is put our hair in a ponytail, get the kids to and from school, throw a casserole in the oven, and read the same bedtime story that has been requested for the last three months for the three hundredth time. That is enough. There are days when the house is a mess because we spent all day building a fort with the kids out of every blanket, quilt, and sheet we own, invited all our stuffed animal friends to play and then ordered a pizza for dinner. That is enough. And there are days when we take a break, hire a sitter, get a mani-pedi and go out for a fancy dinner with the hubby. That is enough.
If we are going to designate a Super Mom, I say give the cape to the lady who knows her limits. Who figures out, day by day, what is enough. The one who is learning to be kind to herself, and her fellow moms. So, the next time you find yourself feeling like you aren’t doing enough, stop, look around at every small accomplishment of that day, even getting out of bed, and know that it was enough. For that day, it was enough.