Lowering the Bar. At Least for Today.

2012-10-18 11.13.52
There are days I feel totally and completely incompetent.

Take today for instance. My bedroom floor is littered with toys, books, and clothes. There are far too many water glasses on my dresser. My kitchen is messy, a side-effect of my son’s insistence that we make an apple pie. All my daughter’s cloth diapers are dirty, so she’s in a disposable. It’s almost noon and I’m still not dressed. And my son is watching probably his third or fourth TV show of the day. Oh. And I still haven’t done any of the revisions that I promised my novel I’d tackle today.

I haven’t taken my kids to the playground in ages. My dog needs a walk. And these little beings sometimes seem to exist only to torture me with guilt and, well, incompetence.

I am not one of those moms that does it all. I’m more like one of those ones that’s just muddling through. And this is my job. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. Or, actually, I like to think of myself as a work-at-home-mom seeing as how I spend at least a few hours a day writing, reading, revising, networking with other young adult writers etc, but since that hasn’t started paying the bills…

I’m not going to lie. This is a pretty terrible feeling. It feels like juggling. Badly.

But I have a prescription on days like today when I don’t feel like enough.

1. Read a book with my son. Marvel at how many letters he knows.
2. Enjoy nursing my daughter to sleep for her nap.
3. Get a little something done around the house.
4. Read one chapter of a good book.
5. Take the kids outside for half an hour. Bring the dog.
6. Kiss both my kids. Tell them I love them.


My house may never be clean. (At least not every room at the exact same time.) And my kids may watch more TV than I like. We might eat only pretzels for lunch, and I may not be able to convince my son that green veggies are good.

But the yardstick I choose to measure myself with, at least today, is whether or not my kids feel loved, and healthy, and safe. And, yes, they do. So it’s a good day.

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