I seem to have it in my mind that I have to be perfect. Maybe you can relate? My dearest, closest friends are not perfect. They are all amazing women, and somehow I can accept (and even love!) that they aren't perfect.
But myself? I expect perfection from myself...and I get mad at myself when I can't achieve that.
Consequently, when I'm not able to do things perfectly, I'm constantly trying to critique myself, to see what I'm doing wrong. Am I not being patient enough? Shame on me. Am I not getting enough things done? Shame on me. Did I not wake up early enough? Shame on me.
But every now and then, I have a glimpse at what's really wrong, and it's rarely my fault. There usually is a perfectly understandable reason why I'm struggling. Sometimes it's health (even mental health) related. Sometimes it's because Andrew's been working longer hours and I'm exhausted.
At some point during our conversation with Rebecca last week, Amy and I shared with her the ages of our children. I can't remember exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines of, "Ohhhh, you're still in the hard years. It gets much easier!" I'm one of the "old" moms in my group of friends (not age-wise, but in terms of how long I've been a mom) and so sometimes it's easy to forget that I'm still a young mom. I think that because my oldest is one of the oldest in our group of friends, that means that I need to have all the answers. But what Rebecca said reminded me that...I'm still new at this. I'm still a new mom, even five years in.
I've been having a really rough week this week. The girls have been sick, and I've been feeling more overwhelmed by usual. I thought there was something wrong with me, that I wasn't able to be "patient" or "calm." I was worried that it was a bout of depression and/or anxiety rearing it's ugly head.
But this morning I got to sneak out for an hour. I went to a coffee shop, and even made a quick stop at the library to pick up a book that people keep recommending. I even stopped briefly at a church to pray. And I felt human again.
Then, we got to go to Mass and lunch at the seminary, and I had a wonderful conversation with one of our seminarian friends, and when I got back in the car I realized, "Ohhhhh. Right. I was missing adult conversation. I'm not crazy."
I'm just an ordinary mom, after all. And today, that's okay.
Any other ordinary moms out there?