The Good-Enough Mantra
Frequently on this blog and on my social media channels, you’ll find me making fun of myself. If anyone out there is keenly aware of her faults as a mom and person, it’s me.
I don’t do this because I think it’s funny, or because I think it makes me “relatable” [cringe]. I do it because the thought of someone–anyone–out there thinking that for some reason I’ve got it so much more together than them makes me all sorts of sad. Because I’ve been there before, thinking I was the only mom in the room to not be something, or do something, right. And it sucked.
Most of the time we’re all something approaching just okay. And living out our truths with this recognition gives other women permission to live in that okay-ness too.
So my mantra has become, I’m okay being the Just Okay Mom.
Just as much as I know and celebrate my strengths, I’ve also come to embrace the things that make me, well, not so great: My forgetfulness. My chronic tardiness. (Working on that one.) My short temper with the kids, especially when I’ve had so little sleep lately.
Just like everyone, I do stupid things sometimes. I miss my daughter’s first day of school (God, I wish this were a joke; this one is so shame-inducing I didn’t even post about it.) I put my kid’s hand in a shark tank. I send my not-potty-trained kid to school without a diaper. Talk about a Highlight Reel of Not-Having-It-Together-ness.
Like most moms, my days are filled with ridiculous adventures, and just as many defeats as they are victories. And here’s what I have realized might be the most important lesson I’ve gleaned from motherhood so far: It’s okay to be just okay.
I used to be a perfectionist. I valued order and accomplishment above all and got really twitchy when I didn’t get everything I wanted, how and when I wanted it. And while I still get a thrill like nothing else from checking off a To-Do list, I’ve also become so much more chill after becoming a mom and learning that cardinal lesson of parenthood–that we have to cede control sometimes.
Because as it turns out, none of us are A+ students at parenting–not at least all the time. Most of the time with this gig? Most of the time we’re all something approaching just okay. And living out our truths with this recognition gives other women permission to live in that okay-ness too.
And that is more than okay. That is great.
One other cool thing? It seems like women are getting really comfortable engaging in public dialogue about the difficulties of motherhood–even really famous women. We’re giving ourselves a pass for not doing, and being, it All, to Everyone. Even ourselves.
If you don’t believe me, take it from Beyoncé. (Because everyone listens to Beyoncé.)
“To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller. I have a little mommy pouch, and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real. Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my ass off until I have it. But right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.”Beyoncé, to Vogue
If Beyoncé can live with and love her FUPA, then by God, I can love my flaws, too. Complete lack of ability to remember first days of school and all.
Let’s be kind to ourselves, ladies. The world is already tough enough.
Stay sane, and soldier on.
Sonni Abatta is a wife, a mom of three and a writer who runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog, and – despite the frequency with which she seems to do it – someone who does not actually enjoy writing about herself in the third person.
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