One scroll through Facebook or glance at Pinterest, and it’s easy to feel like everyone else has better plans, better ideas, and better results than you. I would love to see a post that says “I overslept and created complete chaos before sending the children to school, we all have a terrible, cranky day ahead of us.” Of course, I’m not posting these either, so I can’t throw stones here. This is what a ‘perfect’ week of parenting looks like for me. If we’re Facebook friends and you’ve seen my posts, you may recognize about half of them. I’ll let you guess which half.
Monday: My daughter has softball practice this afternoon so I made homemade protein bars for her to have after school and during practice. The other moms were so impressed and couldn’t believe I made the effort to make them from scratch. I know, right? I felt pretty great. I also felt pretty great that no one noticed that her practice uniform was dirty. But seriously, how did I have time to do laundry and look up protein bars on Pinterest and pick out the correct protein powder?
Tuesday: I had an epic parenting moment when my daughter was sitting on the couch on her phone. I sat next to her and said “I’d love to look through your texts and Twitter messages with you, I’m so curious what everyone is up to!” She rolled her eyes, but agreed and we scrolled through several different apps and a bunch of her text messages. Huge points for monitoring her social media – yay me!! Points deducted when I realized we’d have to order pizza for dinner. Hey, it’s not my fault that I got wrapped up in the fact that Ashley was supposed to tell Jackson that Rachel liked him, but Jackson’s friend Chase told Rachel that Ashley actually told Jackson that he shouldn’t like Rachel, he should like Megan. It was very time-consuming, I can’t possibly have been expected to cook!
Wednesday: So today I had to redeem my laundry and cooking fails. I managed to get 5 loads of laundry done, cook a fairly healthy dinner, and do all of the dishes and wipe down the counters. Awesome! And it’s only 7pm so I have a few hours left of the day to watch my favorite shows or read for my fast-approaching book club meeting. By 8pm, however, I realize that the chores I thought I completed are piling up again for tomorrow because the members of my family insist on wearing clothes (many outfit changes in the case of the teen) and eating. Every. Single. Day. So alas, I still went to bed with a few more dishes in the sink from evening snacks and emerging new piles of laundry. Was any of that laundry in actual hampers? I think you know the answer to that.
Thursday: Today I managed to get a healthy meal in the crock pot before my day started. One task down! Turns out this was a good move, because late in the afternoon, my daughter asked the one question that sends chills down my spine – “mom, can you help me with my math homework?” Ok, game face… don’t looked panicked or she might think that if you can’t do it, she can’t either… must look confident… why does she need help on the one night of the week that her dad (aka math whiz) is out of town? Fast forward to the end of the night, where we managed to get through the homework (with the help of several online videos) and ate our healthy dinner.
Friday: A whirlwind day of meetings and errands. But I’m proud as I’m driving home to know that I had such a productive day – I might even count this as a good-female-role-model day! Feeling a little less proud as I slowly realize that I didn’t take anything out to thaw for dinner. Crap, why didn’t I do the crock pot thing today? No worries, I’ll stop at the store for a ready-made meal. That works out because I’m pretty sure I promised my daughter that I would buy poster board for a school project and I think I ran out of laundry detergent on Wednesday. See? It all worked out – turning forgetfulness into efficiency. I can still hang onto that pride now, right?
I’m hoping you read this and realized that you, too, have had many perfect weeks! Celebrate these victories of parenting! After so many nights of feeling defeated that I did something awesome in one area only to realize that it meant not doing something in another, I have realized that I do fantastic things for my family all the time, I just don’t do them all in the same day. We need to give ourselves a break from thinking every aspect of our day must be flawless, and we need to realize that when someone else looks like they’ve done something perfectly, their ‘perfection’ probably rises to the same level as ours, and that’s great!