This morning as I looked in the mirror to give myself one last look before moving on with my morning, I sighed heavily and muttered “this is the best I can do today.” Truth is, this is day two of wearing a hat with my hair in pigtails, I wore sweats the first two days of this week and today I stepped out of the box with ankle pants, but I’m still wearing tennies.
I look tired (note…I am tired) and I also have this eye-watering thing going on in my right eye that is making mascara a challenge (if you know me well you know that I do not participate in life without mascara…must…wear…mascara…and lots of it). Yesterday after I dropped the little girls at their bus, I was walking back to my car wiping my right eye, and I realized the other parents probably thought I was crying. Jesus.
I probably don’t look like a hot mess, but it may be right around the corner. It’s one of those weeks in which there isn’t enough time to do anything aside from simply getting through the day. Free time, sleep time, gym time, all snuffed out by more pressing matters.
As I drove into work this morning, feeling less than thrilled at my appearance and all around ability to be productive this week, I thought about a conversation I’d had yesterday when I dropped my little girls at the bus. I was talking to another mom who was commenting on the little girls’ tutus. She’s the mom of a girl in my littlest little girl’s Girl Scout Troop. The last time I’d seen her, I’d been saying goodbye to the troop for the summer, and I was sending them off with a “scrapbook” (scrapbook is an egregious exaggeration) I’d made for each girl in the troop. Let me be clear…that “scrapbook” and the tutus I made this week are literally the craftiest things I’ve EVER DONE in all of my 37 years. No joke. So she commented on how cute the tutus were, and I said “yeah, I made them this weekend and have two more to make tonight.” She kind of laughed and said “Oh of course you did.” I immediately started to backtrack. “No…no…they are really really easy…and you can use ribbon for the waistbands…but my girls were worried they’d come untied…so I just used elastic…but they’re so easy.” She gave me a confused look and I said “I just sewed the ends together.” She again laughed and rolled her eyes a bit. Again, I backpedaled and said “no…not like real sewing…no I just did it with a sh-tty needle I had in a sewing kit I have for jumpy buttons.” She gave me a side look and said “HA! I couldn’t even do that.”
When I left I felt a little uneasy. Usually I am the one making self-depricating comments to moms who clearly have their sh-t way more together than I do. Usually I’m the one saying “of course you spent all night on your kid’s student council poster” or “of course you handmade this amazing costume for costume day” or “of course you put your kid’s achievements in a well organized and beautifully decorated scrapbook.” Because…clearly…I am not that girl. I’m the one who usually looks at a packing list at 10:43 the night before they leave for camp and realize I have to run my a-s to any store that’s open 24 hours to make up for my procrastination. I’m the one who flies by the seat of her pants and decides, six hours before a Girl Scout meeting, what badge they will earn that night and how they’ll do it. I’m the one who, in this week of Girl Scout Day Camp, is so flustered by the earlier wake-up time that I wear sweats to work with my hair in pigtails hidden under a hat. I’m that girl and…seriously…it’s the best I can do.
Here’s the thing. The mom with whom I was talking? She has at least three kids, all relatively young, she stays home, and she keeps it all together. Her kids are all in activities, the little girl I know is well behaved, polite, smart, and clearly feels loved and taken care of. So why is this mom scoffing at the little things that I’ve done like they are remarkable feats?! Because if they truly were remarkable feats, I likely wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Right? She pulls off remarkable things every day by simply getting that many kids to places they need to be…plus laundry and meals and anything else that goes with that many people living under one roof.
What is it that we’re expecting of ourselves, exactly? I may feel frazzled, and I may look…umm…less than amazing (I personally think the pigtails are cute), but do my little girls have any idea whatsoever that it’s not just a normal day? If anything, they are having the week of their lives, with evenings laying low at home and hanging out together. Is anyone else out there (except for my trainer who is likely looking at MyFitnessPal account and my gym attendance with dismay) actually judging me on the things on which I’m so hung up? Well…okay…there may be a couple people but I certainly don’t give a damn what they think. But is anyone else?
I’m just going out on a limb here…but maybe my “this is the best I can do today” is actually simply fabulous. More than enough. Above and beyond even. And wouldn’t that be a kick in the head?!
TODAY: What if the best I can do is more than plenty? And what if we stop downplaying the things we do and instead be proud of what we’re able to pull off each and every day?