I’ve been a bit rough of late–rougher than usual. Sickness, demanding work schedules and general lack of ability to manage this life gig have definitively booted showers into the “possible” category and well, let’s just say the playroom is temporarily off limits until some form a trail can be blazed through the horrifying clutter.
Yet the worst victim to all this helter-skelter isn’t my overworn black leggings. Nope, it’s my sense of peace.
As in, I have none.
But fear not! So as not leave my emotional state in a lurch, lots and lots of self-depreciation has valiantly rushed in to fill void.
The pile of dishes in the sink doesn’t get washed until 4pm? Loser! Any proper homemaker gets them tidied up first thing in the morning.
No make-up AGAIN? All the other moms can get it together–c’mon!
Your kids are taking forever to eat their dinner and you’re all wiped? Wait it out! Give in even once, momma, and you will be destroying all of hope of responsible adult development.
Didn’t sign your kiddo up to attend the school fundraiser night because you feel like your week is already overjammed? Don’t be so selfish!
Sunny day out and you allowed your son an extra ten minutes of iPad time because he was insanely excited about getting to the new level in Angry Birds? What kind of mother are you? Seriously…
So overwhelmed with work you hire extra sitting hours? Shame you can’t properly sort your priorities on this earth.
Dying to pick up a book and relax after you get the children in bed? Appalling. Fold all the laundry NOW so tomorrow the family can wake up to freshly cleaned stacks of undies.
Simply can’t squeeze in time to crank out another blog post? Do you care about this business or not?
Daughter super-whiny and you could both use a good nap? Lazy! It’s really sad you don’t take advantage of these special opportunities for sweet Mommy and Daughter dates.
In short, GET IT TOGETHER, MOM!
Get it together. And every day I try. And every day I fail.
And every day I feel like the crappiest mother to ever walk this earth.
One recent evening, while I was hanging out in my all sad glory and handily beating my self up, a friend uttered the most genius advice I’ve ever heard, “Lower the bar.”
Lower the bar.
Lower the bar.
LOWER THE BAR.
As phrases go, I’ve heard it before. And I understood the general concept. Yet there was something powerfully God-ordained about the timing of my gal’s words and the exact way that she said them that night.
They were so simple, yet so powerfully full of all the truth that was needed for my current non-adorable ritual of pummeling my self-worth to a pulp.
Lowering the bar means having lower expectations. It means acceptance of good enough. It, most challengingly, involves forgiveness for falling short of perfection.
It demands giving my control-freak Type A personality a swift kick in the pants and acknowledging that I am solidly achieving the most important things (feeding, dressing, keeping my kids safe and making sure they know they are loved). It allows for unmade beds, lollipop bribes when needed, frozen chicken nuggets and family naps.
Lowering the bar calls us to say to ourselves at the end of the day “Well done”, not ever, “Perfectly done.”
It allows room to breathe.
And in that room to breathe, my roughness doesn’t look so bad. In fact, unlike when I case it out in comparison to the perceived perfection of others, in the light of lowered standards, my roughness looks sort of down right normal.
I like that light–the light that is allowed to shine through when I lower the bar a whole lot better.