I should mention that I was supposed to be his "birthday buddy" and bring in a treat for the whole staff to share . . .
I should also mention that I work in a pretty small town, with one small store, and no bakery . . .
So forgetting meant no treat for a happy staff to share. Forgetting meant totally having to own up to it. And, for me, forgetting the birthday treat completely ties into my monthly goals I'd hoped to set for May. (Only those too, like the chocolate cake currently baking in my oven, are coming a little late this month.)
If you know me personally, or have been reading long enough, you can probably guess this is the kind of thing that I don't forget often. This is one of those weeks where I've overbooked myself just a tad too much and spread myself a little too thin. Not because I have to, but for some reason I feel compelled to. My roles as a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a community member all are balancing. And in the end, when lots of balls are juggling, something is bound to come tumbling down.
But here's the thing, for the most part, only I cared. My boss, who should have been disappointed, completely understood and told me not to worry at all. My coworkers poked gentle fun at me. My husband just shook his head and laughed.
But me, I ruminated on it much of the day. In fact, the mere fact of forgetting took away from all the other things I had accomplished, created, and managed today. I just couldn't cut myself some slack.
This is a trend I'm noticing not just with me, but with a lot of moms I know. When I look up the hashtag #momfail on Instagram there are over 100 versions of the tag, and #momfail alone has almost 50,000 posts. My own #fail today could have gone under a whole slew of posts- including #workingmomfail and #workingmomproblems.
The point is, I'm not alone. At the end of the day most of the moms I know spend a whole lot of time thinking "I should have . . . I could have . . . If I only I had . . . I can't believe I didn't . . . I wish I'd just had a little more time for . . ."
It's like the opposite of the "Little Engine That Could." Instead we're the tired mamas that struggle to find our own positives at the end of the day. Although of course, ask us our children's successes and we can almost always find something to say.
This is not because we have to be "Super Moms" and have tackled it all by the time we rest our weary heads. In fact that phrase "Super Mom" tends to make me cringe because it is unrealistic and unattainable. I'm the first to admit that while I would never trade in being a mom, it truly is one of the hardest jobs you'll ever have. But even knowing that, somehow, no matter what we do as mothers many of us don't feel like it's quite enough.
There's been a lot of different articles and posts written already about this; some blame culture, some blame other mothers and social media, some blame the differences in parenting expectations from twenty years ago to now. No matter where the source might be, I know that in the end most of my internal pressure comes from just that place- internal pressure. I set these expectations and I'm the first to find my own faults.
But I'm also coming to realize that only I can change that expectation. I can begin by cutting myself a little slack when things don't go as planned, when I forget something, when the laundry piles up, when the day turns into too many errands and very little fun . . . for whatever reason I'm most fixated on that day. I'm human: balancing all the pieces takes work, and sometimes some pieces of my day need extra focus and others great dropped.
It can also begin with celebrating our "mom wins." The need for more emphasis on this phrase struck me a few weeks ago when our week off just didn't turn out as I'd hoped and planned. Not for lack of trying, but the week was just a bust. And I kept focusing on what wasn't going right instead of the ways things were going right. I started wondering why and thinking about what I could change.
It's true that on this blog you mostly only get to see posts that equal one type of mom win - the ways I find to learn, play, and create with my boys. But these wins are not every day, and they aren't even always every week. Sometimes they are several in one day, just spread across several posts. Sometimes we luck out and we have a great day, other times they are small moments across a long day that overall feels really hard. Sometimes, even though the house is a mess, the boys are starting to fight, and everyone is way passed being ready for dinner- they are the mom wins I personally need to stay positive over time.
But more often mom wins come in simpler forms- the boys had more than a few minutes where they played nicely, we were on time to school without any grumpiness, we got to play outside for an hour before dinner, the laundry was all done and folded (just kidding, that literally NEVER happens in my house), a new recipe was easy to make and everyone ate it. These mom wins are the everyday positive moments that we all need daily to keep us moving forward.
Whichever type of win it is, my goal this month, the month when we celebrate mothers, is to start celebrating more of these mom win moments. At the end of the day, I want to find several moments to be proud of, to be glad I had the time for, to think "I knew I could and I'm glad I did."
My #momwin moments today? My kids went off to school with sweet treats for their teachers, we ate a family dinner together despite a late t-ball practice, and I made the boys laugh out loud at bed time with a new, silly book.
What were your #momwin moments today? Share below or join us in tagging your wins all month on Facebook and Instagram.
And don't forget to check out the other monthly goals posts this month.