There is no set of goals, or a target to be reached or a prize to be won.
There is no policy or plan that you need to implement in order to be “the best” or “better than” or “as good as” the next person.
It’s a myth that we all should be meeting some ridiculous set of expectations set out by social media, the previous generation who don’t have any idea of what life for us these days is like, by “experts” who write articles and books telling us how we should be doing this unpaid, 24/7/365 job. Those experts aren’t there at 2am when your baby is screaming and you don’t know why, or your teenager is angry at the world and nothing you do or say seems to help or your kid with special needs is having the meltdown from hell in the supermarket and you are so tired you just want to curl up and cry.
Society, other people, what we are exposed to on the internet, tv and well meaning family and friends have expectations of us, and we have expectations of ourselves. We are in fact pretty good at setting standards for ourselves and then feeling devastated when we can’t meet them because we are only human and can’t do it all.
You, loving your kids, getting food on the table (and if it’s leftovers or freshly made from scratch dinner, or breakfast cereal, who cares) folding laundry when you are so tired you can’t see straight to match socks, being at drop off and pick up every day or making sure activities are organised to keep your kids busy and safe. When you are up at 2am with a puking child, but you’ve got a work meeting at 9am, when you’ve helped with homework or made yet another costume on a Sunday afternoon.
When you do all the little things, and the big, despite being exhausted. When you can’t remember when you washed your hair last but you’ve managed to remember to get to parents evening on time.
When you just want to pee alone or bath alone, or eat a meal in peace hi there’s a little one (or a bigger one) that needs you NOW.
You are enough. You are meeting “the standard” and it’s no one else’s.
On the days when it feels like it’s all going to fall apart, you are good enough. On the days when you feel you are winning, pat yourself on the back, because you are, but not winning is ok to.
Mothers are held to a ridiculous standard set by everyone around us that we then take on ourselves and we bend to that until we almost break.
This is for a few of my precious mum friends right now who I know are feeling that it’s hard, that other people are looking in and judging them, that they can’t meet “the standard”.
You are the standard. In all your different ways and in all your ups and downs, the good days, the rough days, the unwashed hair, leftover pizza for tea days. The days when I see you hugging your kids and loving them fiercely. The days when I see how tired you are yet you are still standing, putting everyone else’s needs before your own.
You are not perfect, but perfect is impossible. You are my standard, and you are amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you different.