Me? I’m a typical first-born. I find a huge amount of satisfaction in crossing things off my to-do list. I follow directions (to a T), crave approval for a job well done, and like order and structure in my life. However, becoming a mom really messed with that first-born persona. The phrase “good enough”? Not one used by me.
Kids are now the top (and often times only) item on my to-do list. They don’t follow directions (like, ever), also enjoy approval for a job well done, and refuse to adhere to order or structure. My quiet, peaceful, organized life turned upside down the moment I became a mom.
I love doing a great job on something. I’m a perfectionist. And the satisfaction that comes after doing something really well fills me up for days on end. But there’s something about being a mom that crushed that within me. It wasn’t a voluntary thing. But it happened nonetheless. Time is a big factor. I simply can’t do it all. No mom can. Whether a full-time working mom or a stay-at-home mom? There’s no such thing as perfection.
Something will always be put on the back burner. Something will always be left undone…or half done. (Ghat’s saying it politely.) And something will always take precedence (and a lot more time and energy) than anything else on my to-do list. For me? That’s my family. They don’t always get the best of me. But they usually get the majority of me.
Every mom is busy. We all are juggling and balancing and manipulating multiple balls in the air at once. My to-do list will never be empty. The kitchen counters? They will never truly be cleared of all the clutter. My floors will never stay clean for more than 60 minutes. The dryer? Never going unused for more than 48 hours. My body will never get more than six hours of sleep trying to squeeze out every last once of energy before I collapse into bed each night. And my heart will never feel more guilt or questions or anxiety as when I think about being a good mom and wife to my family.
There are so many things I want to be great at. I want to be a great mom, wife, writer, friend, 7th grade girls’ Sunday school teacher, church community group leader, daughter, sister, runner, photographer, no-sweets-eater, tidy-house-keeper…the list goes on and on. And I do all of those things well, but not great. Truth is? There’s only so much I can give to each of those categories. And yet, each of those categories are fiercely important to me.
Someday, when I’m wrinkly and gray-haired and saggy, I’ll reflect back on my life. I hope I’m able to see that I put my time and energy into things that really mattered. And even when I wasn’t great at something? I was good enough. Because being great is overrated anyway. It’s being good enough that counts where it matters.