When Being Every Mom Still Isn’t Mom Enough

Being an (older) millennial, I grew up in an era of expected excellence and “well-roundedness.” A perfect GPA or ACT score, while wonderful, wouldn’t get you into college without some extra-curriculars and service hours. I was busy in my teens and early twenties. Multiple clubs and activities, a sport, a sorority, involvement at church, a job, and of course, classes. I put all of these things onto my plate, doing fairly well, but never excelling at any of them. And I was okay with that. Mostly.

And then I became a mom.

not mom enoughDon’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things I am capable of doing on a passable level. If I try, I can bake and decorate things that aren’t quite Pinterest-worthy, but certainly don’t fall into the “fail category.” Sometimes, I’m crafty, but not crafty enough. I can hold my own in a yoga class, but I’m certainly not active enough to be considered an athlete. Most days, I can make sure the kids and I are reasonably put together, but I’m certainly not fashionable enough to be a trendy mom. I like to try and do things in an environmentally and health-conscious way, but I’m not nearly dedicated enough to be considered a crunchy or healthy mom. The list goes on. An endless number of things where I can get by, but I’m not just (enter the word) enough to be considered good at them.

And all these “not enoughs” add up to me feeling like I’m just not mom enough.

I want to be well-rounded, of course. But I also want to excel. I want to be ALL OF THE THINGS to my little people.

I want to be the best at all of the things, but of course this is impossible. You CANNOT do everything well. (Unless, of course, you’re Justin Timberlake. Or Kate Middleton.)

And everyone says not to compare yourself to other moms, but I just can’t help it. I do compare myself and frequently find myself lacking.

This is something I need, quite desperately, to work on.

I need to start being okay with my best, because I don’t want to put my kids under the stress of living up to perfection. I may have a kid who is a perfectly average, well-rounded kid. (And just when did we become so aggressively anti-average as a society?) If, at the end of the day, my kids are good human beings who are passably good at a lot of things, I will still love them to pieces.

I need to treat myself with the same amount of grace and love.

So my intention is to look inward and to celebrate my victories, no matter how small or arguably average they may be. I will love my kids fiercely and do what I can as best as I can.

Doing my best and being okay with both failure and being just average at something? I owe that to myself and to my kids.

It’s a tall order, but I’m worth it.

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