I get tired of trying to meet the expectations I create for myself. Or that my kids create for me. Or that I imagine other moms have for themselves (and therefore I must apply to myself). Sometimes, it isn't about how much you do, or how great you are, or how amazing you cook. Sometimes, it isn't about your amazing craft abilities, or the perfect hairdo you make for yourself or for the kids. Sometimes, it isn't about your coloring abilities or how much time you read to your kids. Sometimes, it is about being good enough. And that's okay.
You know what I am talking about. Oh, the effort it takes to be the perfect wife/mom/sister-in-law/daughter/neighbor/PTO member/volunteer! Oh, the effort it takes to accomplish all that you do during the day, accomplish it with amazing ability and clarity, and still be pleasant to those around you. To still – after all of that – reach out and hug your kid(s) and to (perhaps most importantly) mean it. Oh, the effort it takes to cook and clean and pack lunches and participate in bake sales. Sometimes, good enough is good enough, and that is okay.
Please don't think I am a proponent of mediocrity. I am not saying do things half-assed or without completion. I’m not saying to slap things together. What I am saying is that it is okay that you aren't number one because a) the people that love you most already think you ARE number one without you're winning any meatloaf contests; b) your best is pretty damn good; c) just showing up, just trying means more than not, and you ALWAYS show up; and d) you, my friend, are worth giving up some of the time for others and giving it to yourself. If you don't do everything else 100% -- say just 90% -- then you will have time to sit and read those last 10 pages of your book. Or finish your coffee while it's still warm. Or actually sit down to eat your lunch instead of eating it while standing and doing two or three other things. Or just sitting, and enjoying it. No guilt.
I have a confession to make: I am really really bad at kick-ball. Really bad, but you know what? When my kids ask, I go out there, and I play with them, and they remember that more than if I kick a home run each time we play (which, let’s be honest, will never happen anyway). It means more to them that I am out there, spending time with them than if I can amaze them with my athletic prowess; I show up. I don’t do it especially well, but I show up. And I laugh and giggle just like they do. In real life with the people who love you best, this is what matters more than if you ace every contest and can out-frost Betty Crocker. Show up, be present, be real.
So you don’t wear high heels to pick up your kids from preschool. So you wear the same exercise pants two days in a row. Sometimes your wrapping job on the gift for the birthday party just isn’t going to look like something Martha Stewart created. Be good-enough. And accept that it is, indeed, good enough. People don't see your flaws as vividly as you do. Okay, so they won't see your accomplishments are clearly as you either. What they do see is you trying, and they appreciate it. Especially to those people who matter the most.