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How Good is Good Enough?

In today’s world, we are always striving for perfection—whether it be keeping an orderly house, making sure you’re put together, or being the perfect parent—people today give 110%. So, when things don’t work out your way, it’s easy to become depressed. One of the recurring themes that I see in the One Mom’s Story interviews is that these mother’s hit a low point because their baby won’t stop crying—and there’s nothing that they, as a mother, can do to make their child feel better.

Andy Borowitz, a writer and pediatrician recently wrote an article for the New Yorker on this exact subject. Though his story is tongue in cheek, it explores the point the same—why, when we become parents, do we have to raise the perfect baby? It’s as if the pressure machine just turned on—the baby needs to be in the cutest clothes, on a great schedule, and sleeping in twelve hour chunks—it just doesn’t work that way.

For me personally, the exact opposite has seemed to happen. As soon as I became a mom, everything else went through the window. My perfectly dusted furniture and nicely groomed dogs were a thing of the past. I wasn’t wearing anything unless it had the word “sweat” in front of it—as in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. And my hair? Well, I bet if you asked ten people who knew me nine wouldn’t be able to tell you the length because it’s always in a bun.

Not that any of this lessens my stress—it just increases it. I try not to have panic attacks as the dogs track in mud or the kids empty an entire toy bin just after I finished putting it away. . . AGAIN. I count to ten, take a deep breath (all that yoga in my pre-kid life has come in pretty handy) and remember how truly lucky I am to have two healthy kiddos. And once I do that, I feel a bit better.

So my advice? Just be the best mom you can be. You know in your heart what your limits are—stick to them. And, take a break. Get a sitter and get out—whether it’s to your local mall or a walk on the beach, alone time is key. Can’t do that? Take extra long showers after everyone is in bed. It’s heaven, and at least you’ll be clean in those sweatpants.

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