Throughout the year a theme has followed me. It came with my friends, it came with my family and it especially came with my kid. The question that haunted the back of my mind was, “Can we lower the bar now?”
With every fancy Pinterest blog showing you how to make the most elaborate Easter egg hunt and every blog post about being burnt out, we have found a way to lift the bar to insane heights. The kind of height we feel we need to touch or clear. It’s like a silent competition on who can mom the absolute hardest.
It goes for our kids as well, they are feeling the pressure too. This is not to shame the mom who truly loves going the extra mile, you do you, girl! It’s permission to the mom who feels like she can’t keep up, to simply not. Let us celebrate the big fancy birthdays but let us also enjoy the simple ones. Let’s allow for vacations that stay local as well as the ones that take us on adventures. Make ugly Christmas cookies, and love the store-bought ones all the same.
Let us embrace ourselves at that lower standard. Wanna lose weight this year? Wanna stay the same? Wanna get in shape? Yes to all of this, but do it at your pace! Stop expecting and comparing to the social media mom who lost 15 pounds by drinking green smoothies and breathing in candy bars. Don’t guilt yourself for taking the easy way but don’t try and run a race that will only leave you on a bench because female standards are hard to navigate.
I want to let my kid know she doesn’t need to sparkle and shine every time to feel blessed and fulfilled. I want her to know her mom will do what works for us both and give a satisfying result. She may get an hour of screen time but mommy got an hour to reset and unwind so she can be a better mom. We may play a little too long and skip a bath here and there, but it’s all in soaking up a moment instead of needing to feel perfectly on routine. We may eat junk food, we may have a messy house and pile up laundry another day to marinate because keeping up can also look like keeping centered and realistic.
Let’s embrace the brown sack lunch alongside those bento boxes built for a king. Let’s meet up at Chick-fil-A with friends so we can feed our souls and kids without turning on an oven. Let’s stop filling our kid’s plates with so many activities that they forget how to just live in the moment of being a kid. Let’s also let our schedules have blank spots so we can have days that we can enjoy doing, nothing.
This year I’m not ditching the crafts, the adventures, the fancy desserts or the posed pictures. I’m just lowering the bar that we keep setting too high. Moms are burnt out for a multitude of reasons, but trying to be perfect shouldn’t be one. I’m permitting you to do the same.