It is incredibly easy to feel like you are falling short as a mother. We often learn about motherhood through our mothers and our own experiences as well as those who are around us. Sometimes, the expectation of mothers is beyond what is even do-able for each and every single one of us and we have to be able to know what we expect of ourselves and what the world expects of us. Because what the world expects of us, is not always the same as our own expectations.
I have so many friends of mine who ask me, "how do you do it Lina? How do you get everything done as a full-time single mother, working, side projects, a life, dating, friends, family, travel? How are you not absolutely losing your shit and breaking down?"
A big ass glass of wine every single day?? Haha just kidding.
Truth is, it's not any easier for me as it is on you, but I know that each and every single day I wake up with intention and never, ever do I get too hard on myself for not doing everything I set to do for that day. I am the type of woman who was raised to have high expectations of myself. See when other people expect shit from you, that is one thing. But when you have high expectations for yourself it is much easier to convince yourself that you have failed entirely when you don’t reach the bar you set for yourself. There is no one on the other side of that narrative telling you any different, so you have convinced yourself that you are a fucking failure, when you are truly not!
It is all in the mind and what you allow yourself to think. It would be much easier for me to sit back at the end of the day and say, “Fuck Lina! Why didn’t you cook Ari a 6-course meal filled with proteins, veggies and bullshit? Why didn’t you take the time to clean the bathroom, didn’t you see that nasty ring around the toilet bowl? Why didn’t you go over every single homework problem with Ari and make sure he got every single answer right?!”
And don’t even try to fool yourself that you aren’t mom-shaming yourself in this very moment of all the things that you didn’t do today. But honestly, I rarely allow my mind to go that direction. Every single day, when I get home from work I think of all the things that I have done that day that made a difference in our lives. I remind myself that I am by myself and that I am doing my best, even if my best didn’t include a 6-course meal but rather mac-and-cheese and hot dogs. I remind myself that maybe I didn’t have the time to go over Ari’s homework with him, but I have taught him how to take ownership of his homework and make sure he does it on his own each night. I remind myself that I am only human and it is okay if the laundry doesn’t get folded right away because spending time with Ari is much more worth my time.
I have learned that my mindset is the most important thing to my well being. We control everything that we think about and we also get to choose whether or not we see the positive in things or the negative. There are two sides to every coin right? You get to decide how you see your life, how you see your decisions and how you see yourself as a mother. You’re not perfect so don’t expect yourself to be. But you can always expect yourself to be even 5% better than you were yesterday by one small little adjustment or change, if that is what you think needs to be done. Do your best and see yourself for the strong and amazing mother that you are. And if it at the end of the day the best thing you did was wake up and kiss your kids and love them, then hey! You are by far a truly amazing mother that should never go unsaid.