This week I've been on my game. I've been the Mom I always imagined I could be. Energetic, happy, organized, and scheduled. We've made it to school, play dates, Tot Kwon Do, library play dates, tumbling, open gym, and speech therapy.... on time. I've made muffins, healthy dinners, painted toenails, volunteered for Mystery Reader, attended the grand opening of the new local health food store, and voted in the Presidential election. Also, I've worked out every.single.day. I mean, this is who I've always wanted to be. This is the Mom my kids deserve... But, as I reflect on the greatness of the week, I can't help feel guilty and showy for even beginning to pat myself on the back for my successes. Because you know what? This is what a lot of mama's do every day too. It's not just me. It's every mommy who volunteers, waits, chauffeurs, peels, chops, picks up, drops off, loves deeper than they ever thought they could. It's just what we do. Motherhood is no joke. It requires more of us than we feel like we have. It demands us to push through what we don't always feel like doing. It's hard. Sometimes it's terrible. But, most of the time is it's wonderfully busy, hectic, and the greatest joy of our lives. Moms everywhere are busting their butts. They're working, and planning play dates, and practicing spelling words, and pinning dinners they hope will fuel their families. Moms are doers. Moms push themselves too hard everyday. But, for every week we feel accomplished and triumphant, along comes the "reminder week." The kind of week that "reminds" us that motherhood is bigger than us. The tantrum at Target, the forgotten school function, the missed play date, or the up all night sickness puts us right back in our place. These weeks remind us that we can't do everything, nor do we need to. These weeks are necessary and just as important as the glory weeks. They show us, our kids, and other mama's who are trying to keep up to look for the light among the rubble. Life is an ebb and flow of greatness and despair. Our kids don't need perfection. Our spouses, friends, and families don't require it either. Moms are our own worst critics, and damn do we hold high standards for ourselves. I've even found myself this week wondering still if the kids were fueled, lifted up, and felt truly loved. That's what happens though. We have an "on" week, and we still question if it was enough because surely there was more we could have done, right? Then, the "reminder" week comes along to answer those doubts that yes, we are good enough. Because whether we feel like we're at our best or our worst, love comes naturally. It shines through the crappy dinners, crumpled homework that was thrown away, or the missed opportunity to show our best. The love doesn't stop, and those around us continue to feel it even if we're doing a bad job of showing our best face. I'm learning that lots and lots of people don't expect perfection, or really anything close to it. The "perfect week" only exists once in a great while. It pops up for us to feel gratitude. Real life is all about those reminder weeks that show our babies we push through and continue even though it's hard. We continue to hold our heads high, despite the blips that don't feel so good. We take the good with the bad because both are necessary and both make a difference.
As the week wraps, and the weekend begins, there is still much to look forward to. Mom and I are taking our girl to a production of Cinderella while Daddy takes my boy fishing. Tonight we are hitting our town's Holiday Celebration Kick-Off. My girl will continue showing off her new found skill of counting by 5's, and my boy will continue putting puzzles together and counting to 10. We will continue trying our best. And, while the fun continues, and I'm sure a reminder week could surely creep up soon, and if it does I will hold on to the love that exists no matter what.
Images from our week...
*Of course, when I say "Moms" throughout the post, I really do mean Moms AND Dads. Because, you know, Dads are awesome, too!