I find myself in a perpetual trap of feeling like I didn’t do enough. This weekend we hosted a Halloween Carnival for my almost 5 year old son and 1.5 year old daughter. I painstakingly made homemade games with my son’s input for weeks. I planned the little details and got the house looking presentable in the middle of a busy election season for us.
The final outcome should have been enough. My son was over the moon, my daughter was happy. The kids were thrilled with playing the games and getting the prizes. My son got to see his vision of “going through a robot’s stomach” materialize.
He loved it so much he checked to make sure it was there today.
And me? I was feeling guilty that I didn’t have time to be a “proper Pinterest mom” and decided to buy pizza at the last minute instead of making mummy dogs. I stressed that my homemade games looked cheesy. I worried about my daughter’s tantrum over her monster costume, and hastily put together an old Spock costume from a previous party that made her happier but wasn’t the cutest. I worried about the robot that never seemed to materialize for me, wondering how much better it would have looked with more paint.
Today I had snack duty for my son’s baseball team. I decided to flex my Pinterest Mom muscles and tackle baseball doughnuts. I used the wrong gel frosting (I should have used chocolate) and when I overheard a dad say “this looks like football stitching,” I almost died. I literally asked my husband five times this morning if he could tell they were baseballs I was that stressed out about it.
In the end, the boys happily ate their baseball doughnuts and the moms were complimenting me on being so creative.
And yet I still wondered if they really looked like baseballs.
In my mind I know this kind of second-guessing can be detrimental. It’s not conducive to success. And yet I still wander down this dangerous path.
It’s an important reminder about how closely we have to watch ourselves. Our “observing ego” is imperative to keep close by, allowing us to step away from a situation and be objective.
I’m still a work in progress, but I’m hopeful that some day I’ll learn to be gentler to myself. I look forward to the day when I celebrate my successes and let the minor set-backs be tiny reminders of what could be improved in the future.
I want to be happy with good enough without settling for mediocrity.