Why Our Best Is Enough

by Andi Franklin
AlbanyPictures / iStock

Can I be super transparent with you? I’m overwhelmed. As I hyperventilated through my sobs earlier today, I genuinely felt like the biggest mom failure on the planet.

I talked to my husband, and I talked to my mom, and both assured me I wasn’t. But I wanted to scream at them: “No really, guys, you don’t understand. I am not a good mom!”

Sometimes I think that even my own family has this unrealistic idea of my skill set. Sometimes I feel like everyone around me is blind to the truth, blind to my shortcomings.

Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel like everyone but you thinks you’re doing a good job? Being wholly responsible for another person is a big task. The pressure that comes with raising children into successful, happy adults is only elevated by our all-knowing, Google-at-your-fingertips society. Every single time we open Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest, someone is telling us how to parent.

We have to be gentle so that they are kind, but not too gentle or else they will become pushovers.

Don’t vaccinate your kid because they could die, but also make sure you do vaccinate them, because they could die.

Yell and your child will have major issues. Don’t yell and they will have major issues.

Remember to feed them organic, non-GMO foods at every meal to avoid cancer. But don’t forget—having a diet that is too healthy also causes cancer.

TV is bad for their brains, but also good for their development.

Playing outside is important, but exposure to any temperature above or below 72 degrees is dangerous.

You should teach your kid to self-entertain so that they learn independence, but if you aren’t engaging with them all day long then you are teaching them that they can’t rely on you.

Cry-it-out kids are isolated loners, no-cry-method ones are needy assholes.

Get my drift? How are we as parents supposed to find success in all of this? How do we live up to the incredibly contracting idea of a perfect parent?

We don’t, and that’s where I’m finding my peace. Because at the end of the day, we have to remember that we all get a big fat F in parenting. But that F doesn’t stand for “failure”—it stands for future.

We are the future of parenting.

We are living, breathing and shaping the path—paving the way with our mistakes and our successes, just as our own parents did for us.

The fact that we care enough to worry at all means that we are doing our best. And our best is enough. I am a good enough mom, and you are, too.

Our best, though different for each one of us, is what makes those sweet little faces light up when they see us. Our different styles and takes on this life are what create such a rich and cultured society for our children to live and learn in. Our differences make different people—unique individuals who grow to love and care for others based on those differences, as well as similarities.

So let’s go easy on one another. Let’s go easy on ourselves. And when people tell us we are doing a good job, let’s believe them.