As parents, we have so much to remember and complete. About the time you finally get in the groove of a routine, it’s time to change it or add something new. Homework, extracurriculars, sports, volunteer work, co-ops, tutoring, music, choir; the list just goes on and on. It’s no wonder we’re always exhausted. Trying to do it all for our kids is noble but-let’s face it- is pretty much impossible.

In my own life, I know that I have felt pressured to be the do-all mom- the one who works full-time, has her kids in every activity, volunteers where possible, and still manages to be smiling while serving a hot, home-cooked meal at the end of each day.

Spoiler alert: that never happens.

More often than not, I would sign up for these positions or activities and try to get everyone to every place they need to be. If we made it, we were too exhausted to enjoy the moment. If we missed it then I felt like a piece of you-know-what for letting my kids and everyone else down. My self-imposed prison of a schedule would lead to colossal failures. Inevitably, I would end up focusing on all my shortcomings.

I have allowed myself to associate these deficiencies with my identity. For entirely too long, I affiliated my worth as a parent (and a human, in general) with my accomplishments or- in all too many cases- my lack thereof.

The Lesson

What this taught me is that it is easy to dwell on those moments in our lives when we are at our lowest. I am learning that in the world of parenting, there will always be those breaths in time when we feel as though we are less-than.

Just tonight, I realized that my oldest has a big assignment due tomorrow, I have absolutely no idea what it is or how to do it. We gave it our best shot but needless to say, there will not be a shiny red A on that paper. Winning!

How about those cute, incredibly posed, monthly pictures that new moms take of their kids with a special sticker? Yeah, I forgot all about those for the first three months of my daughter’s life. Mom of the year!

Those  moments do not define me; not as a parent and certainly not as a human being. We are so much more than what we’re not.

As moms and dads, we must learn to replace the word “failure” with “overcomer” and “inadequate” with “sufficient.” It is important to remember that we are exactly what our kids need, imperfections and all. Parenting isn’t a contest. There will always be pressure to do more and obstacles will always arise; it is how we handle these things that will shape us and our children.

I may never be Mom Of The Year, but I am the OK-est Mom for my kids and I am good with that.

Photo Credit: Hannah Moore

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.