As a single, working mom who is self-employed, there is literally NO END to work. Every second of every day, there is more I can be doing to provide financial security for me and my daughter. Trying to keep the house as a liveable level of orderliness and cleanliness, along with working, and being a mom feels like a never-ending slippery slope that I can't ever get on top of. I used to be absolutely religious about exercise, but over the last six months, I've been letting that slide, feeling guilty about getting sweaty when there is work to be done, a dirty kitchen, or a daughter who wants attention. And despite that, I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough, like I'm not a good enough mom. I would need a thousand hours in every day to accomplish all that I feel like I need to in order to be a good mom.
And then, last night, I pulled out a book that I have to read to judge for a contest. I was flipping through the pages, and then I came across this note that my seven-year-old daughter had written and stuck in between the pages:
In case you can't read it, it says:
I whant you to now realy how much do you love you and care about me
your a rock star at being my mom and your my movie star.
For those of you not accomplished in "first grade English" the general translation is:
I want you to know how much I really do love you, and care about me.
You're a rock star at being my mom, and you're my movie star.
When I read that, my heart simply stopped and was filled with the most amazing sense of peace and love. I realized that even though the house is messy and I'm not as fit as I wish I was, and sometimes I'm tired because I stayed up too late working, that I'm actually doing just fine in the area that matters: being a mom.
Just as we don't ask our children to be perfect in order to get our love, we don't have to be perfect parents in order to be everything our children need.
I think sometimes we need to remember to love ourselves as much as our children love us.