Each day I have a pep talk with myself as I’m getting ready. I try to remind myself to be thankful. I try to remind myself that the mistakes that I made yesterday are done and that today is a new day. I try to talk myself into being the best wife, mother, and employee that I can be.
And each day, I fail at living up to my personal expectations.
I see the best versions of my friends and family on social media and attempt to measure myself against that standard. I see moms who have a wonderfully clean house in the background of pictures of their neatly dressed children.
I see women my age posting about promotions and accolades that I dream of achieving.
I see meal planners and multitaskers and couponers.
I see people giving back to their churches and their communities.
All I can think of when I see these lives is, “How do they do it all?”
And then I look at my short comings. I look around my house and see dust bunnies and wadded up pajamas peeking out from under my couch.
I see clutter.
I see kids who haven’t bathed.
I see my tired puffy eyes after a long day of busting my butt at work.
I see dinner that isn’t organic, gourmet, and that most times has come out of a box or a freezer bag.
I see kids that want my undivided attention while I look around at the 100 things that I should be accomplishing.
At the end of every day, I look back and see all of the things that I could have done better. I could have prioritized my time. I could have shopped more frequently for fresh veggies. I could have finished the laundry (or, let’s be honest, started and finished one load in the same day). I could have been more kind to my husband. I could have been more patient with my kids.
Quite honestly, I feel like I fail a LOT. But what I’ve come to understand after recent weeks of being so dang hard on myself is that I am the only person holding myself to a perfect standard.
My kids don’t care that my eyes look puffy. My husband doesn’t care that I don’t keep a perfect house or that dinner isn’t Food Network worthy. I am making the work that I do seem meaningless. But mentally dismissing my work as insignificant ultimately makes me depressed.
The truth is, my kids are happy and fed. My husband comes home to a person who loves him more than anything. My house, albeit dirty, is filled with my favorite things. My job pushes me but is ultimately teaching me so much.
So, after months of being down and out about the way that I am not doing things. I’ve decided that each morning, I’m going to celebrate the things that I managed to do well.
I got an extra long squeeze at morning daycare drop-off followed by a sweet, “I luh you Mamma.”
I actually made it to work on time.
I implemented a really important process at work and it was successful.
I came home to a husband who still looks at me with adoration the way that he did when we first started dating.
I have a home and beautiful things inside that make me happy.
I have a life that I am proud of.
I have beautiful friends and family that love me through all the failures and through all of the mess.
The work I do, both inside and outside the home, is not meaningless. By celebrating my successes instead of playing my failures on repeat inside my head, I’m slowly learning that I am enough.