Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We're Doing Our Best

Don't you love his face? He is clearly thinking,

"Great. A duct-taped snowsuit. Don't they realize how much harder I'm going to have to work to be cute now? Ugh. I cannot believe you are my parents."

The truth is the next sized snowsuit is in storage. This one is FINE except that the feet fall off. Well, they used to, that is. I'll get to sewing them on; I promise. But for that one night this was what we had to do to get out the door.

I wish I didn't, but sometimes I get down on myself for these sorts of things. For the things I do as a Mom that I wish I didn't....for duct-taping my child's snowsuit together, for skipping baths and just wetting my kids' hair to get it to lay down, for saying, "yes" to pretzels as an option for breakfast because the milk for cereal is gone and Dad has already left for work and I don't want to go to the store with 4 little ones before 7 a.m.; basically for not being the "perfect" Mom. Heck, some days I'd go for "average" Mom status! So often I justify my short-comings with "I'm doing my best!".

But later, when the kids are in bed and quiet has fallen I'll think to myself, "Was it REALLY my best?" And I'll start questioning and cajoling; "You COULD have gotten up before The Spouse left and gotten the milk. You were just being lazy." I know, I know. It's terrible. It's not kind. I'm not being fair.

Sure, we could ALWAYS have done something else...worked harder, stayed up later, planned ahead better. But isn't there something to be said for just letting ourselves do our best IN THE MOMENT...and then learn from the moment?

Every week when I send Kiki into dance class I tell her the same thing, "Have fun and do your best." Those aren't just empty words. I want her to ENJOY what she's doing. I want her to give the activity the best she has to offer that evening. Do I expect perfection? Of course not.

So, why, as her Mother, do I expect perfection of myself?
And, dear Mom's...I have a feeling I'm not the only one who does this. Am I right?

How do we get out of this mind-set? Out of this ideal society has about the "perfect" Mom who has it all together? Sure, we "know" it isn't possible, but don't we all strive towards it anyhow?! Here's my plan...

I'm going to do my best in the moment. I will not strive for "my best when no other factors play into the scenario"...let's face it, schlepping 4 kids to the grocery store to get milk before 7 a.m. is ludicrous...and being in the moment takes those limitations into account.

Then, when the moment is passed I will learn from the moment. I will examine what I should have done differently and make those changes next time. More over, I will remember that my best is not the same as YOUR best, or HER best, or THEIR best...it is MINE and I am the only one I must measure myself against.

Well, I'm off to sew up a snowsuit...sure, he's cute enough to pull it off, but, if I'm being honest, that isn't quite "my best". :)

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