I have a confession. I’m always more focused on what I could have done rather than on all the things I do every day. It haunts me. I go to bed thinking about what I still need to do, what I didn’t do that I should have, and what I could have done better.
I was leaving the house yesterday disappointed in myself that I didn’t heat up raviolis for my two youngest before leaving with my older daughter. I had to ask my husband to prepare their dinner. This is not a huge deal, by any means. Hubby is capable of warming up dinner. Yet I still felt this pang that I could have done it for them.
Regardless of the fact that I signed homework, cleaned two bathrooms, switched laundry and got the dogs out – all between 3:40 and 4:25 – I was still disappointed in myself.
Where does this come from? This need to do everything and be everything? We all need to let go of this desire to do it all. It’s impossible. There is only so much time in a day and some of that time we deserve to rest.
Rest. What a beautiful word.
I realized as I pulled out of my drive yesterday I was beating myself up over raviolis. The kids were fine. The bathrooms were clean. The house was standing and their dad was perfectly capable of heating the ravioli.
Did I get complaints about the ravioli later? Minimal. Dad didn’t put enough Parmesan cheese on one and the other had too much.
But everyone survived. And I realized I need to cheer myself on for all the good stuff I do every day. So much of my self worth comes from what I do for everyone else. I crave happiness for my kids and I’ll go to the ends of the Earth to give them happiness. Even if it comes in the form of raviolis.
But the kicker is by letting them experience things on their own, or differently than what they’re used to, I’m teaching them resilience. I’m giving them tools to be out in the world. I know this and it’s a work in progress.
It’s what I teach them to do for themselves that will make them successful well-adjusted adults. I can’t do it all, and I shouldn’t. Every day I’m also accomplishing so much more than I’m leaving unfinished. And that’s a good thing. It deserves applause.
I just need to stop and breathe. We all do. I need to think first about all the good I’ve spread in my home on a daily basis instead of focusing on the five minutes I lost my patience. I need to remember the one hundred things I checked off my list instead of the one thing I didn't.
We’re only human. We do the best we can and our kids will survive on Dad’s ravioli’s.