Today is Sunday, and all day I've been avoiding doing a big cleanup in my kitchen and putting away my sewing stuff from a project I finished Friday night. Last night I had good intentions of cleaning both the kitchen and my craft room, but instead, Alyssa asked me to do art collages with her and I sure wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to hang out with one of my kids.
This afternoon while making lunch I said, "I should clean this kitchen right now, but I'm a horrible homemaker." Why would I say that? I could have said, "This kitchen is extra messy because the kids have been home on Christmas break for two weeks, I could have done it last night, but I was being a good mom by spending time with one of my kids. I want to enjoy my Sunday, so the dishes I did today are good enough and I can do the rest tomorrow." but instead I put myself down. Just because my kitchen is messy today does not mean I'm a horrible homemaker.
I also say things like, "My kids don't go to church because I'm a crappy mom." or when I say no to doing something or being charge of something, I'll say, "I'm sorry, but I can't. I'm really flaky these days." My kids don't go to church because they have their own agency and they choose not to. That doesn't mean I'm a crappy mom. I have taught them what I believe and been an example to them. That's all I can do.
I can't be in charge of as much as I used to because I'm a full time caregiver with a lot of appointments and our day to day can be unpredictable. That doesn't mean I'm flaky. It means I'm in a different stage of life right now and can't do all that I use to.
As women, we seem to put a lot of unnecessary guilt on ourselves. Every time our kids rebel we think it's our fault. Every time our house isn't spotless we think it means we aren't clean enough. Every time we say no to someone we think we aren't good enough. WHY DO WE DO THIS?
We will never have perfect kids, a perfect marriage, a perfect house, be able to help everyone we want to help or do everything we wish we could do. We. just. can't. We KNOW we can't do it all. If we heard a friend putting guilt on themselves or being mean to themselves because of something like this we'd tell them to knock it off! If we can be forgiving of the "faults" of our friends and neighbors, why can't we be forgiving and understanding of ourselves?
I'm doing the best I can!
Every day, sometimes all day every day, I say to myself, "I'm doing the best I can!" I say it to my husband. I say it to my kids. I say it out loud and I say it in my mind. It's so easy to get overwhelmed with everything I feel like I'm failing at.
One thing I'm working on is letting go of the word "fail" in my vocabulary. Just because I'm not where my brain tells me I should be, doesn't mean I'm failing. I'm doing good! My house is reasonably clean and organized, my kids are smart and funny, my marriage is happy, I have great friends and I have a lot of gifts and talents. The end... not my house is clean, but blah blah blah it's not as clean as it could be. It's fine! We as women need to learn to state the facts and leave off the negative buts or becauses at the end. We owe it to ourselves. I'm doing awesome and so are you!