CityMom Mary writes with such a breathe of fresh air. Like, we GET her. We want her narration for our every days. Like today – when she reminds us that the balance of being a mom, an employee, a woman and an overall human can be more challenging than trying to get a toddler into pants. So Mary – for what it’s worth, we KNOW you are a good mom every day. And thanks for reminding us to keep our heads up too.
I was a really good mom yesterday.
My kids had nutritious meals. Everyone bathed. I didn’t yell. We didn’t arrive anywhere late. Homework was done and clean clothes were readily available.
Today, today is a different story though.
Today there is screaming. And Pop-Tarts for breakfast. And probably for dinner as well.
Today I failed the parenting role to varying degrees, but I got a ton of emails answered and finished seventeen things on my to-do list at work. I was really good at my job today.
The problem is I can’t ever be good at all of my roles at the same time. It’s like some physics law where I can be amazing at work but crappy at home, where I can be a great spouse but a missing friend. Science says I cannot and will not ever do all of them well at the same time.
It’s the tension of being an adult, being a parent, being an employee, being a human.
I did some things well today. I did other things not well.
This weekend, I was an attentive friend. I knew my girlfriend was hurting so I showed up with coffee and breakfast, a listening ear and an extra set of hands. I haven’t seen in her a few months–life got busy–but when she needed me, I came running. I’ve been a so-so friend for a while, but this weekend was my time to shine.
We get moments of greatness but can’t get greedy with the desire to have it all the time.
As I head toward forty, I am more at peace with this law. I spent so much of my late twenties and early thirties running myself ragged with what felt like little success, I finally learned the lesson (science has never been my strong suit) that there is literally only a few things I can do well at any given time. So instead of feeling less than, I get to decide I did some things well and call it a win.
Also, some days, there is just no room for anything to be done well. Let’s be honest. Some days the law says showing up and putting on some clean underpants is all I’ve got to give. On days like that, I don’t lose hope that I’ll never be good enough again, I rest on the glory days, the days I fed my kids warm food and remembered to set out the backpacks before the bus came speeding down the street.
HAVE YOU READ: Am I supposed to like my mom body?
Old men have their high school football glory days, and moms have last week when everyone brushed their teeth and no one had their clothes on inside out. But unlike the older gentlemen with beer bellies and bad knees, I know tomorrow could be the day I show up and shine again. I still have good days left; I still have moments where I’ll wow everyone at work or home.
I won’t do them all at the same time, that’s now how the law works, but I will again do something well. The law promises me I will.
Tomorrow my kids and I might laugh more than we fight, and I’ll count it a good mom day.
Tomorrow my boss might be impressed with my project, and I’ll count it as a good work day.
Tomorrow my husband might get attention instead of an afterthought, and I’ll count it as a good marriage day.
Tomorrow I might send an encouraging card to my friend, and I’ll count it as a good friend day.
They won’t all happen. We only get to do a few things well as we let others fall to the wayside, but I’m hopeful either way. And if nothing goes as planned, if nothing feels done well or successfully, I’ll just put on some clean underpants and get ready for the next day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Graham is a freelance writer living just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, two daughters, and crazy rescue dog, Blue. She writes about life, faith, and books at TrustyChucks.com.
Mary also hosts the Not Terrible podcast with her high school friend Jess where they talk about hard life situations with hope and healing.
Connect with Mary on her website, on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.