The other night, I went to bed feeling defeated and like I was failing at being a mom. As my son oh so aptly reminded me, “It is the usual schedule that I watch Garfield and then I turn on the fireplace to get to bed.” “Yes, baby, it is, but it’s late, and we just can’t stay up any longer tonight,” I replied. In my mind, I thought “Yes, and if I had gotten off my butt and not watched that last episode of Sharp Objects,then you would have been able to stay on your schedule. And you wouldn’t be crying right now. But I am a terrible, lazy, mom and I should really be ashamed of myself.”
You may be thinking, um kid, get over it. But what you may not know is that my son has Autism. Kids with Autism like routine, and when the routine is thrown off, it is really hard for them to understand why. Even the soundest logic cannot remedy having their routine thrown off. The best you can do is wait for them to calm down, give them a hug, tell them you are sorry, and don’t forget about Garfield the next night. Unless you want to go to bed feeling like a crappy mom. Again.
Now, I know that I am not a bad mom. Am I a perfect mom? No, absolutely not! But I am a good mom. I am disorganized, forgetful, scatterbrained, and generally all over the place, but I love and take care of my kids. But this really got me thinking, what about the other moms that I see who seem like they have it all together? All of the moms who I am sure are doing better than me?
Then, I wonder, do any of my friends or acquaintances think that I have it all together and am doing it better than them?
Wow, I really hope not! But if they do, it gives me hope. Hope that it really is true that no one has it all together. No one is doing it all perfectly. Hope, that everyone feels like a failure sometimes, and that it isn’t just me.
So, I wonder what it would look like if we stopped being so hard on ourselves and gave ourselves the credit we actually deserve. All of my kids were fed today. All of my kids went to school with clothes on today. Hey, I actually knew that PE was today, and didn’t send my kid in sandals! (like I did last week) (I mean technically it was the first week of school, and I was mentally unprepared to be on a schedule again. So, whatever. That doesn’t even count as an actual mistake.)
And why do we feel the need to be perfect anyway?
Is social media that is driving this? Or has it always just been that we are way too worried about what other people think? And why is there such a nasty voice in my head that gets to tell me what kind of mother I am anyway? Who the heck does she think she is? And where was she when I ironed everyone’s church clothes, and got to church on time yesterday? She sure didn’t have ANYTHING to say about that!
Y’all, this isn’t the first time that I have beat myself up for any number of things that I thought that I wasn’t doing well enough at. And honestly, it probably won’t be the last. But I really hope that in the morning light, I can see that I was just really tired yesterday, and Sharp Objects is really that good. Also, my son didn’t die from missing his nightly Garfield episode last night. He was fine, and he got a good nights sleep.
Perfect is a myth!
None of us is ever going to be the perfect wife, girlfriend, mom, sister, employee, etc. Perfect is a myth. A lie that we have believed for so long, that we often can’t see the truth. The truth is that we are all special in our own unique ways. God gave us all strengths, talents, and gifts. We also ALL have weaknesses, and things that we just aren’t great at. I could name a few and probably with way more confidence than I could name my strengths.
That last statement really says so much about the state of mind that so many of us have. Why is it so hard to confidently name the things we are good at, while we can come up with a list of things we are bad at? Let’s try something here. Make a list of all the things that you are good at and post it where you can see it. Read it. Read it again. Every time that nasty voice tries to tell you who you are, read the list!
*This is my first post in a new series called First Friday. On the first Friday of every month, I will be writing about something that is on my heart, and that I hear my friends struggling with. I hope it will encourage you! If you have an idea for First Friday, I would love to hear it. You can email me at [email protected], find me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.*