Lots of things are hard these days, and so many of us are feeling the stress. Beyond doing everything in your power to keep your loved ones healthy, there’s so much day-to-day stuff that can go sideways at a moment’s notice. Whether your kid has a full meltdown while you’re on an important conference call (naturally making you feel like the parent of the year) or the grocery store is yet again out of the few things your picky eater actually likes—none of it is easy. And when you’re used to juggling many different priorities pretty well, it’s easy to be hard on yourself when things aren’t going right.
Stop. That. Right. Now.
Here’s the thing: we’re dealing with a totally different reality right now than even just a few weeks ago. And when you’re on new terrain, the standards of success have got to change. We’re all learning how to live life in a radically different way, so expecting yourself to flawlessly manage a budget, parent flawlessly, be a good friend and community member, and maintain a spotless household right now is plainly unrealistic.
The best any of us can do right now is, well, our best. Some days that might look different from other days. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or a family friend. Or your girl is having nightmares and keeping you up all night when you have to work in the morning. Maybe you’re still trying to get unemployment benefits figured out and operating under a much smaller budget. Perhaps none of those things have happened, but the news of the world just has you feeling really down. It’s all understandable and perfectly normal to not be at full speed right now.
So be kind to yourself. Instead of focusing on the dishes in the sink or your Mount Everest of a laundry pile, stop and take a minute to congratulate yourself for every little thing you’re doing right. Everyone in your family got fed today? Victory! Your girl learned something (whether it was multiplication or how to make Grandma’s spaghetti recipe)? Amazing stuff! There was genuine laughter in your home—or at least no sibling fights? Gold stars all around!
Everyday acts have become superhuman feats for so many of us. And you might not realize it, but just by putting one foot in front of the other and doing your best, you’re showing your girl what it means to be resourceful, brave, and hopeful when faced with a real challenge. That’s some impressive parenting!
So, if you can let the dishes soak overnight while you soak in a bubble bath, do it. You deserve a break and a big bravo just for being you.
A missed field trip or party can still be upsetting, even if it seems minor.