I talk to moms—A LOT—about expectations.
That’s because we moms expect so much of ourselves (and, let’s face it—society expects so much of us). We want to excel in all things Mom.
But here’s the thing: none of us are perfect, which means none of us can Mom perfectly. Take me, for example: I am a complete arts and crafts disaster. Every time another parent asks me to participate in a school craft and refers me to Pinterest, I quake with fear. Frankly, I’m powerless before pipecleaners.
When my older son first started public school, I felt ashamed that I couldn’t be the Crafty Mom. At the kindergarten Thanksgiving celebration, many of my son’s classmates looked like they belonged at the first Thanksgiving. My son looked like a piece of seaweed the Mayflower had washed ashore.
At some point during that year, I realized that I had to stop feeling guilty about not being able to do something that other moms could do well and instead try to play to my strengths. Ok, so I couldn’t make my son look good on Thanksgiving. But I could sit down with him and write a story about the First Thanksgiving. I could take him to the library and read Thanksgiving books with him. I could sing him that silly Thanksgiving song I learned in second grade.
Now, “play to your strengths” is a common refrain in my office. I urge moms to stop feeling badly about the things they can’t do and start focusing on the things they can do. I challenge moms to figure out what they’re good at and incorporate it into their parenting, whether it’s crafting or singing, cooking or coaching.
None of us can Mom perfectly. Let’s all try to play to our strengths, and forgive ourselves for what we can’t do well.
Have a time in mind when you were able to play to your strengths? Share in the “comments” section below!