If everyday you get your butt out of bed and you plod through the day fiercely focused on loving your children and doing everything you can with every resource, whether its financial, mental, emotional or physical, that you have in that given moment (which is the best any of us can ever do) then you are succeeding. Your success as a parent is not measured by whether or not you get all the laundry folded or hell, if it even makes it into the dryer before it gets what I'm told (cause I have no sense of smell), is that musty stench. It is not measured in the amount of homemade baking you can get done while you separate fights over pokemon cards, nor is it measured by the height of your lawn or streak free mirrors. It is not measured by whether or not the lunches you send to school are Pinterest worthy (I constantly refer to lunches as "stuff the dog will likely get to eat tomorrow). It is not measured by whether or not you remembered to fill out the 50lbs of paperwork and forms the school sent home with a very short turn around mandate, nor is it measured by the lack of pet hair on your carpet, the socks all perfectly matched, your ability to buy brand name clothing, the yard work done, the microwave splatter free, the library books returned on time, how many toys you buy them, how many movies you take them to, the clothes stain free, the hair perfectly brushed, cavity free mouths, messless houses, tear free days, or having everything and everyone in perfect order....
Tell me this? Do you love your children? Do you make every effort to provide for them in every way you can? Do you hug them and tell them you love them, and speak to them with kindness in your heart and your words? Do you teach them to be kind and generous and respectful and diligent? Do you do what you can to teach them the lessons that will turn them into adults you'd be proud to know? Do you nurture their spirits and their little souls by letting them be who they want to be? Do you do what you can to put smiles on their faces? Do you do what you can to protect them from getting hurt and when you can't, do you help give them the tools they need to get through it? Do you show them your love in how you treat them and converse with them and support them through all the trials of your life and theirs, despite the chaos, despite the mess, despite the stressors, despite the times when you either have very little patience left or none at all....do you hold love in your heart through it all?
I know you do. And that means you are amazing; you are succeeding.
We all have our mix of days. There are the ones we manage to get everything done; like parenting rock stars. Somehow all the chores are done, everyone is happy, there's been nothing but good news all day, you did crafts, made soup from scratch, you were on time for everything.....but those are not the norm. Most days feel like you have to walk across hot coals, whilst fending off birds of prey and reciting the alphabet backwards....most days are hard. You feel your patience wearing thin, you feel tears welling up in the back of your throat, you're so exhausted most of your sentences don't come out straight and the kids just stand there staring at you like you're having a stroke. You feel like you're not going to make it. You feel like you're failing at this whole parenting thing. Because it's hard. It's so, so, so frickin' hard, and the fact that you are still standing, means........that's right......that you're amazing.
So hear these words....know them in your soul....YOU ARE AMAZING. You really, really are. You're a guardian of the next generation of amazing people...how super cool is that?
Know that we're all struggling, we all have our good days and bad days, we all feel like we're just about to fall down sometimes, but we won't. Because we love our children with everything we have within ourselves and we won't fail them. We may run out of milk, and dog food, and not be able to get those hot chocolate stains out of the carpet, or cut the toast into the right shapes, or be able to find a single pair of clean underpants for anyone in the house, when we're already 20 minutes late for work......but we won't fail them.
You're amazing. Tell yourself that everyday.....and on days you can't.....I will.
Love to you all and keep up the amazing work.
"Relinquishing the delusional hope that we can or must be flawless - allows us to seek happiness in the only place it can be found: our real, messy, imperfect experience" - Martha Beck