I tend to compare my weaknesses with other people’s strengths. A lot. I look at other families and see perfectly well behaved and well adjusted kids. I see parents who have it all together and never have a bad day. I see houses that are always clean, and chores that are always done.
Obviously, that isn’t really the case. No family is perfect, and nobody has it all together all the time. I know that, I really do. But I still can’t shake the irrational thoughts. I know they aren’t true, but they still haunt me and make me feel increasingly inadequate and overwhelmed.
I hold myself to impossibly high and unrealistic standards. I want to be a perfect wife, mother, and homemaker. I want to make healthy gourmet meals for my family every day. I want to rub my husband’s shoulders as soon as he gets home from work. I want to have 5 perfectly well behaved and well adjusted kids, and I want to homeschool them all. I want the house to stay clean and sparkling all the time.
I need a reality check.
I’ll never be a gourmet cook. I’m lucky if I don’t mess up the spaghetti. My family eats fast food and freezer meals, and that’s ok. I may never be a gourmet cook, but I can keep practicing and maybe one day my spaghetti will be to die for.
I don’t rub Ryan’s shoulders as soon as he gets home. If he gets home before the kids are in bed, I usually say something like, “Oh good you’re home! Your turn.” and I go hide in the bathroom so I can have 5 minutes to myself.
I’ll never be one of those amazing homeschooling mom’s. I’m very much an introvert, and I need alone time to recharge. My family and I will be much happier if the kids go to school.
I’ll never have a big family. I’m already stretched so thin with only two kids, I feel like having more would be totally unfair to the two I have now. Maybe we will have one more down the road, but definitely not 5. And you know what? That’s ok. I’ll still always admire big families for a lot of reasons, but I won’t overlook the fact that my family is perfect just the way it is.
My boys are wild and I am mild. Their chaos drains me, but I live for little moments of joy that they bring me. Those moments build me up and keep me going.
I feel that joy when I’m holding Rhett, and he lays his head on my shoulder and snuggles me tight. When Kender wakes up in the middle of the night and wants me to lay down with him because he’s scared. When he puts his arms around me and tells me he loves me and I’m his favorite girl. When Ryan gives me a big warm hug after a long day, and tells me I’m beautiful even though my hair is a mess and there is food and baby slime caked on my shirt.
Those moments make me feel loved and needed. They make me feel like I am the perfect wife and mother, just the way I am.