For moms, it’s oftentimes not enough go to just show up every day — you have to show up and give it all you’ve got. But where did that standard come from? Sure you can try to blame it on the above-and-beyond moms in your real life community and Instagram feed, but if you’re being honest, the person who judges your parenting the most is most likely yourself.
At the Mom 2.0 summit, Kia Motors Association, a premier sponsor of the 2019 event in Austin Texas, invited mom bloggers Natasha Nicholes, Michelle Garrett, Miranda Wicker, and LaToyia Dennis to speak on a panel discussing what it means to them as mothers to give everything. For these women, ambition and hard work are an important part of their day-to-day and crucial to their success, as is the self awareness to recognize those moments when the best thing they can do is to step back and not do anything at all.
“We have to carry the world on our shoulders and still look good doing it. And if you don’t look good doing it, something’s wrong at home,” said Nicholes of House Full Of Nicholes and founder of the community garden initiative We Sow We Grow, of the unfortunate double standard set against moms. If you’re not doing it all, you must not be giving it all. Right? Not even close.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you run as fast and hard as you can (with or without a smile on your face) until you’re utterly burned out. Then all hell breaks loose and you’re lighting everything you touch on fire from your relationships to your to-do list. Instead of someone offering a helping hand, a strike is set against you — not only are you not doing enough, you’ve got a bad attitude to go along with your unimpressive contribution to society. It’s your fault for being a slacker and for doing it with a frown on your face. But here’s what we forget we have the right to do: delegate, ask for help, and even say no. You need to “[be] truthful about what you need and what your expectations are — and don’t apologize for it,” said Nicholes. If that means you’re not responsible for any laundry (like her), so be it.
The reality is, giving it all does not mean doing it all, and it’s up to each of us to not only acknowledge that, but forgive ourselves for not bearing every single responsibility on our shoulders.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You’ve done what you could,” is a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that Wicker of Caffeine and Cabernet lives by. On some days, it may seem like you’ve only crossed off one or two things on your to-do list, on others you may tackle 30, but no matter what, be proud of yourself and the accomplishments that you’ve made each day, hour, even minute. Instead of focusing on your to-do list, try focusing on your I-did list and jot down all the things you complete each day. It might help you realize that while you’ve been stressing about and punishing yourself for not doing enough, you’ve actually been giving it your best all along.