Years before, when life was perfect, before I knew how perfect it was, I often let myself get overwhelmed with being a grown-up. My husband, partner in crime, often had the words to lift me up, help me out, do what needed to be done to help make life better again. Now, he’s gone, and I’m overwhelmed everyday, trying to pull myself out. On a daily basis, I try to forgive myself for the messes that don’t get cleaned up with grace, or the meals that are thrown together with more resentment than love. Many nights, before bed, I look back at the day, and realize I failed time after time in those moments when I wasn’t true to myself.
Deep down, I know, having one parent is less than two. One cannot do what two can do. It’s impossible, and when I try to be us both, I fail. I’m simply not two people. I’m one. I’m one mom, with more faults than I care to admit. I don’t possess enough patience for two demanding children, nor can I figure out how to make them less demanding. I try and try, and will continue to try, but I’m still just one. I have to let go of what I believe my children deserve, and accept the way it is. When I try to be two parents, I fail.
When I try to parent like my parents did, I fail. I’m not them with their circumstances, and it’s thirty years later. Our world is a different place, and I’m parenting in a different situation. I’m me, doing my best, living in my circumstances. My best is good enough, because it’s all I can do. Anytime I try to parent like others, I fail.
Those days I try to live like a supermom, who is unstoppable, I fail. I’m not a supermom with super powers. I don’t have the energy to be unstoppable. My kids will eat unhealthy snacks, and beg for screens instead of nature, despite what I’ve modeled, tried, or banned. There will be days where I just don’t have the energy to exercise or pizza from the freezer is dinner instead of organic chicken and veggies. Any time I try to be a supermom, I fail.
Somedays, I try so hard to smile and laugh, instead of cry and mourn. On those days, I also fail. Not letting my emotions show, or constantly trying to show everyone that I’m okay, despite this loss, is false, fake, and dishonest. It’s been two years since cancer came, and I’m still mourning the storm that left our lives in rubble. We do our best each day, but pretending like it never happened is wrong. When I hide my feelings, and plaster a smile on my face when I really want to cry, I fail.
I often ask, “How will I ever succeed, with so many failures?” The answer, to me, is easy to say, and harder to live.
I will wake up, and feel my feelings. I will move in the direction I need for the day. I will be my best single parent, and make it up as I go along. I will try not to care how others see or view my life, no matter who they are. When I am me, being honest and struggling through this season of life, I will win.
Today, I did not live my best life. I forgive you, I say to myself. Tomorrow is another chance to fail, but maybe it will be a day I succeed.