Moms, do you ever feel like you are failing at this whole mothering thing?
Do you look around you and see so many people who seem to be functioning on such a higher level?
Do you just feel like you simply are not enough no matter how hard you try?
I do. All the time.
Both big girls woke me up early this morning. First Magoo and then Goosie climbed into my bed. I don’t mind this. TJ is always long gone for work by the time we wake up, so it’s nice to have someone to wake up with.
But just as I was closing my eyes to get a few more minutes of sleep, Magoo started screaming. Her belly was hurting her. I ran downstairs to check on her after she ran down, and the crying and screaming didn’t stop all day. It’s still going on.
And then there are all of the Easter gifts that the little two want to do right now. Every intensive activity or box that needed to be opened, needed to be opened that instant. Or else screaming would ensue because they were both overly exhausted.
In other words, it has been a long day. There is a mess everywhere. I have a neck migraine. My right eye will not stop twitching. And I’m putting out fires everywhere I look.
And when I have a moment to breathe, all I can hear is the word, “failure” screaming at me at piercing decibels.
Because I didn’t organize the Easter gifts yet? Because I had planned to go grocery shopping today and couldn’t because of Magoo’s illness so I was scraping together crappy meals for the kids to eat all day? Because I only had the energy to do half a dozen crafts? Or because I finally gave in and just let them watch television because everyone was miserable.
I think it’s all of that. And none of that.
I just don’t function well with little structure. I never have. And it’s a part of this lifestyle. We build in as much structure as we can, but with only one adult around all day and three little ones, a lot gets left aside.
The girls’ clothes don’t always match.
Sometimes Mae wears mismatching shoes.
I don’t even know if we own any socks that match each other.
Their organized drawers get destroyed every time they go into one of them to find something.
They throw papers all over the floor.
They don’t keep the pieces of puzzles together.
I find random Barbie doll heads throughout my house.
And to be honest, I don’t know if this makes me a failure.
My kids are happy.
They are loved.
They are relatively emotionally balanced.
They do well at school and with friends and just in general out in the world.
And I think they feel secure. I pray they feel secure.
But how much is enough? Are those things enough? Or do the details matter as well? Am I teaching them to be messy because their toys aren’t always (or ever sometimes) put away? Am I teaching them to be lazy because sometimes I just need to sit down and read or zone out on my phone?
Would they be better with someone who was more productive? More organized? More on top of things?
Or are my weaknesses just like anyone else’s weaknesses? No better or no worse?
I ask these questions because I don’t have the answers. I don’t know the answers. I believe in perfection, so trying to find an acceptable place short of perfection is confusing to me. I worry giving up high standards will make me complacent. Will make me a failure.
And it’s hard to judge by other people. Some people think scattered toys is normal. Some think they should be cleaned up every night or even more often.
And so they say to go by my standards.
But I don’t even know what those are.
And I wonder if I’m alone in this. Is this just an extension of neuroticism or is it an extension of motherhood?
This life as a mother is so confusing. Never before have I done anything so important, and yet never before have I done anything where the expectations are so vague.
All I know is that I’m grateful for tomorrow. Because today just did not cut it.