"I don't know how you do it." I get that frequently, usually after I inform someone that I am a mom to three young boys. It is said with awe and wonder as if I might hold some super-power which enables me to meet the demands of my three offspring. Trust me no, super powers here. If only.
Truth is, I "do it" because I have no other choice. I don't claim to do it with grace or wisdom, no, like the old Nike ad, I just do it. I have to. My greatest strength is not my IQ, my patience or my maternal instinct, but rather tenacity. I have never been the smartest, the most talented, or the best at anything, but I have the drive to stick with it, to get things done, and I suppose that applies to child rearing as well. I simply can't give up, as much as I would (sometimes)like to.
Wonder Woman or Super Mom I am not. If I did have a cape or a magic wand, trust me, my house would not look as it does, chaos swept into closets and drawers, all smoke and mirrors. If I had super powers my kids would watch no more than one hour of television a week, eat three wholesome home-cooked meals per day, follow my directions, write thank-you notes, have matching socks, eat homemade birthday cake, plant carrots in our backyard garden, and be genuinely shocked upon hearing a four letter word. But alas, I am cape-less and have misplaced my wand.
No Wonder Woman here. Just me. A mom who relies on far too many prepared meals and babysitter SpongeBob. A regular-Joe who is embarrassed to host a dinner party, since my table is now nicked, the chair cushions soiled and my flatware dull and water-stained. A selfish lady who would rather spend the little free time I have at the gym or at drinks with a friend rather than at a PTA meeting.
How do I do it? By pushing myself to accept that it doesn't have to be perfect, that sometimes good enough, is...enough. I do it by believing that my tenacity has value. The art projects I do with my kids may pale (dreadfully) in comparison to the crafts I see in Parenting Magazine, but at least I'm showing my kids the effort. I do it by prioritizing and setting my own limits. So the living room is a disaster, but at least I cleaned up the cat puke, so it's sanitary.
It would be fabulous to be a super-hero, and I do believe the pretty costume suits me well, but alas, I'm only human. I'm just a mom trying as hard as I can and praying it's good enough.