This weekend, my daughter painted my toenails. Purple and sparkly blue. With all the precision that a busy six year old (with admittedly good fine-motor skills) could manage. And I took my purple and sparkly blue toes all over town. In sandals.
This was a big deal for both of us. To her, it said, “Mommy and I have matchy-matchy toes. We belong together,” and “Mommy let me use wet, potentially stain-producing stuff in the dining room. She thinks I am responsible.”
To me, it said “sometimes good enough really is good enough.”
I am a recovering perfectionist. Achievement and mastery have motivated me since I was a kid. I want to perform well not to beat anyone else, but just to say I’ve done it. I spent lots of years polishing my perfect student routine in school, and then I made a career of it. I was on a quest to be the perfect teacher. I went (many, many hours) above and beyond to be the absolute best teacher I could be.
And then I became mommy. Overnight, my life changed and my priorities shifted. I came pretty quickly to the realization that I had to let go of the quest to be the perfect teacher. I remember saying, “I want to be a good enough teacher so that I can be the best mom.” And so the quest for perfect mom began.
But here’s the thing, friends. Mommying is hard. Really, really hard.
(Not a passive-aggressive cry for words of affirmation, I promise. Just the truth.)
There is freedom in good enough.
I am a good enough mom when I let my daughter buy chicken poppers and tater tots for lunch at school instead of packing organic produce and free-range eggs in a bento box for her.
I am a good enough mom when I refuse to play Barbies because I find it terribly boring.
I am a good enough mom when I get angry and yell and kick inanimate objects.
Sometimes good enough is good enough. In pedicures and parenting.
I am not a perfect mom.
But I am good enough.
And so are you.