I loathe her.
I want to be her.
Oh you know who I’m talking about. The mom who seems to have it all put together. You see her at music class with her two kids. She’s the one with perfectly blow dried hair, flawless makeup, and in the cutest outfit you’ve ever seen.
When I see her, I think to myself, how does she do it? Here I am, a hot mess (or at least I feel like one). I bet after this she scheduled a play date, followed by a really cool sensory activity or five, and will end the day with an elaborate, delicious dinner. She had time to blow dry her hair this morning so she must, right?! Wrong.
You might really dislike me for this but I call shenanigans on this Do-It-All Mama. She doesn’t exist. So don’t try to live up to her. Odds are she feels the same way about some other mom in the room. As mothers we seem to have this idea that we have to do it all and do it right all of the time. We hang our heads in shame when we weren’t able to get to that really cool activity we just knew our child would have loved. We obsess over how to be better and do more with the hours in our day to give our child every experience they could possibly benefit from. We plan out what educational achievements they should hit for the next five years just so that they can be ready for what? Life? I too am guilty of this. I want to take Aedan to all the music classes, swimming lessons, story hours, and everything else. I think too much about how to ensure he will be ready for school in four years. When will he walk? When will he say his first word? AAHH. It’s exhausting!
I say enough is enough. At least for today. Breathe. You do not have to take your kid to every class or put her in every activity. They will in all likelihood still be wonderful and engaged children without ten extracurricular activities a week. One thing I’ve learned over the past year as the mom of a preemie is that children do things in their own time. Yes, they should be supported and encouraged and if there is real reason for concern, then early intervention is key. It took me several hours of worrying over whether Aedan would smile at the “right” age or lift his head high enough during tummy time to finally start to let go of this obsession. I’m not perfect. I still do it. I just try to do it less and catch myself when I do. Less is more, right?
You can’t do it all. Well, maybe some of you can but I cannot. And that is okay. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because you can never hear it enough: you are a wonderful mom and your child thinks so too – even if you meant to do that Earth Day activity with him that you saw on Pinterest but never got around to it.
*But just in case you really do exist and I have it all wrong Do-It-All Mama, can you tell me your secret?!*