Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Good Enough?

Being  a parent is challenging, inspiring, breathtaking and exhausting. It wears me down and pumps me up all at the same time.

I love my children from the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads but they exhaust me physically and emotionally most days. In the past few weeks I have felt like I am running on a treadmill and there is no way off. I am exhausted and weary and yet I must keep on running. The treadmill feels gets faster and faster and I keep moving but I am not getting anywhere.

Everywhere I look there are other people who are also running all the time but they are getting it all done, they may be tired but everything gets finished. It seems as though they never feel  discouraged or as though they can not deal with more tantrum or that they yell at their kids when they try to climb the display at the grocery store, again.

When I stand in line to pick up my kids after school I look around at all the other mothers, they have it all together, they look good, their children are clean and their outfits match, their cars look like they just came off the lot. and no one runs into the road without looking for cars first.  It is a bit like a scene from a TV show and I am not only not in the cast but I was not even invited to the set.

I stand there waiting for my son feeling as though there is no way that I will ever have it all together. I have dirt on my knees from the garden, my car has not seen a vacuum in well over a year and I am lucky if my kid comes home with both of his shoes and without new holes in his clothes.  I am exhausted all the time. I am dreading the 4 hours until I can send them to bed. I am not looking forward to doing dishes, laundry or breaking up an argument. I do not want to find out about another bad day at school, a failed test or an incident with another student.  I do not want to make a exciting dinner and a fun after school snack like Joey’s mom does, there will be no crackers and pretzels made into a spider around here. There will be peanut butter on a rice cake and bacon, eggs and toast for dinner because P is working late and that is what we are having. You will play outside while I finish the dishes, bring in the laundry, watering the garden and getting ready for the meeting I have tonight.

I never thought I would be that mother, the one who never has time, the one who yells and gets frustrated when her children act like children. I want life to be bowl of cherries and I want to feel like I manage it all with grace, poise and charm instead of a loud voice, a tired sigh and “ why did you do that again!”

But life is not a bowl of cherries, it is hard, it is raw and this life is mine. I may not get anywhere on the treadmill this month, I will never be a TV show mom or even a storybook mom but I am doing the best that I can and at then end of the day that needs to be enough.

I am good enough.

J  writes about being a Mom at Stellar Parenting 101 where some days  she feels as though good enough is not enough.


  1. Everything that you wrote about your life as a parent sounds normal, to me. I'm going to bet that no one's life is as good, when looked at from the inside, as it looks to others, from the outside. There are probably other parents looking at you and thinking they wish they were more like YOU!
    I hope that you DO believe that all of the love, attention, intention and day-to-day care that you give your children IS, indeed, plenty good enough. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. I agree with Karen -- looks are sooooo deceiving. I think most moms feel the way you do. And it's easy to put on an image of having things "together" -- but that is image only.
    I often feel like you do -- that the treadmill is going faster and faster.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ditto.
    This time of year seems to be particularly draining. Things I normally seem to find time for have fallen by the wayside for more than a week...maybe it is preparation for the Summer, during which I never seem to have a good enough plan to make it through the day without one meltdown or another (usually mine!). Anyway - I have no wisdom for you, except that you are not alone. Lots of treadmill runners these days. Other moms might be struggling more than you know...our culture teaches us to mask these things except for those we are closest to. Most importantly, you almost definitely are doing just fine...

  4. For what it's worth, here is what ive learned in the 13 years I have been a mother of severely disabled, " terminally I'll" kids. Aside from finding out how long I can go without a bath. ALL parents are busy. Not like us, but they are busy and frustrated. They yell and slap their kids when they get frustrated. I try not to yell, never ever would slap my kids but I do get frustrated.
    Take it easy on yourself. Take care of yourself. Easier said than done, I know. In the long run, though, you have no choice if you want to remain a good mom. When people ask you, "what can I do to help?" give them a task. Be specific. If no one is asking then they suck :)