When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

when your best isn't good enough

I’m missing the mark. I can see it…but it’s just out of my reach.

Beautifully cut up fruit triangles and crust-less bread in the lunch boxes.

Getting the kids to school on time.

Putting neat bows in the girl’s hair everyday.

Making sure my son’s clothes match when we’re out.

Baking daily.

Having a perfect home.

Finding stability and routine in my varied life.

Everywhere I look, I see lines. Lines everywhere, and I can’t measure up. There are too many and it hurts to stand on my toes so much.

Where do the lines come from?

The Media? Friends? Family? School?

Yes, sometimes, but mostly the lines come from me. Me trying too hard. Trying to be perfect. To somehow measure up to the invisible lines I see everywhere.

I can’t measure up, but I can do what is right. Right for my kids. For my husband. Right for me.  For my life circumstance. Right for my heart. For my Faith.

Forget perfection Kelly. Don’t try and please everyone. DO what is right. Be the best you can be.

When your best isn’t good enough: Stop. 

Be the best you can be and do what is right; that’s the line to aim for.

Do you see invisible lines? Do you feel like you don’t measure up as a Mum?

Relevant Links

Sorry the House is in a Mess

I Stay Up Too Late

What Sort of Mother Am I?

Terrible Mother Moments

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  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I feel that quite often, though my bar is much lower than yours, I can tell! I gave up on bows in the hair and a perfect home looooong ago. But still, I can judge myself harshly. I’m trying not to do that. I’m trying to see how what I am doing for my kids is the most important. I hope you can see that in yourself as well. x

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I think we all feel like that at times Kell. However the lines of which you speak are actually lies that are whispered to us. Over time we tend to believe them and so they make themselves apparent in our emotions and and our lives.
    Praise God, he has over come that, and we have the power to stand on the truth.
    Spend time with your heavenly Daddy and let him shine his light on your life, light that burns up all of the thngs he doesn’t want there. Let him lighten you load. It is the only things that works for me.
    We must get together again one day soon. I want to give you a hug <3

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 7:51 am

    You have inspired me to write a reply in response – I’ll leave a link here later today.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 7:57 am

    What a beautifully raw post kelly, i think we all feel like this at somestage and the sad thing is most of the pressure comes from within ourselves, i know when i became pregnant with my first i read every single baby book known to man, attended every prenatal class, i had set the bar before i even experienced what it was truly like to be a mother, and then what did i feel dissapointment, until a little switch went off in my head my “lightbulb” moment when i realised that you can only do what you can do, and most of the time those “perfect” mothers that we see out and about and not as happy as they appear, im happy to be me, i still have my moments when im down and not feeling up to scratch..but my kids are happy, hubbys happy, so im happy =)

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

    As a mum, I swear I’ve elevated fail to an art form. That doesn’t stop me beating myself up over it. Luckily, most of the time I concentrate on doing what you said: doing my best, and what I believe is right for me and those I love.

    If this blog were BeAPerfectMum, I for one wouldn’t be reading!

  • Reply
    Angela Hall
    April 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Seems like we share the same wave length sometimes Kel xx

  • Reply
    Stacey K
    April 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Yesterday I said to my mum I didn’t get much done today, then I actually thought about it & realised how much I did do & focused on the did do’s instead of the didn’t do’s & realised I had a pretty good productive day, we played, I showered & did my hair & makeup!, we baked cookies, I got two girls asleep at the same time, I ate lunch!!, we played outside, we went to the pet shop to look at fishes, I cooked dinner including damper from scratch all with a sick baby. When I look at it like that & see all I did do instead of the washing not done & the cleaning neglected & the to-do list waiting for ticks & the planned quality time activities still a plan I am amazed by myself & I gave myself a big bowl of ICECREAM as a reward.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I am plagued by the very same things. I think it’s a combination of the media and the tyranny of ourselves. It strikes me that mothers have become an almost anti-feminist image. We now are expected to be the perfect, almost 1950’s style mothers. Making homemade food, keeping a perfect house, being understanding of how hard it is for our partners, raising perfect children, perfectly behaved but also balanced, securely attached individuals. It’s EXHAUSTING.

    I haven’t yet found the perfect mode of self-acceptance but I’m definitely working on it. With 3 young children, I just can’t keep it up for that much longer!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Thank you Kelly. We can so often be our own worst enemies. We need to be content with being ‘good enough’!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I wrote a very similar post a couple of days ago. My own expectations of the kind of mother I wanted to be are way higher than any that society can impose on me. I’m learning to say that my best is good enough. Children don’t care about a perfect house or bows in their hair, they care about a mum who is present and available and happy.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    A Mother’s guilt is so cruel. We are so hard on ourselves. Love this post. I’ll never be perfect in every area of my life – I just have to do the best with the time and energy I have – and learn to accept that.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Kelly my lovely girl, I could have written this myself.

    Letting go of perfect is one of the biggest hurdles I battle with mentally every. single. day. I truly enpathise. Reading this, knowing that you are int he middle of this makes me want to cry, for you.

    You know where I am if you need to spill. I mean that.


  • Reply
    April 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I always say to myself when I’m getting carried away and trying to do everything for everybody….”Keep it simple”
    It helps.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Oh kelly, how I wish I had read this last night. I went to bed feeling thoroughly inadequate. I hadn’t acomplished as much as I had hoped in my house, the kids had been naughty so I fely like I had become screaming banshee mother and my blog is just not ‘sounding’ the way I want it to – somewhere along the way I have lost my voice to the many many voices I pretend to be – wholesome mother, caring friend, loving partner, obedient daughter – who am I? After reading your post I realise it is me who is setting the bar unrealistically high and I don’t need to lower it… I need to dismantel the darned thing and burn it!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I’m having one of those days, weeks, months. And sadly the bit I’m failing at is the being fun. Routines can take care of the rest, but interaction and generally ‘being nice’ can be so hard.
    Parenting seems to have become a compettitive sport, but I’m competing against my own sense of perfection. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    April 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Yep thats me
    Very true kel very true

  • Reply
    April 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I was revisiting an old post from 2007 yesterday on twitter –

    “Oct 2007 ‘If I give myself permission to fail somedays does that mean I’m giving myself permission to fail as a parent?’ http://t.co/BNrbzjM

    Sometimes we do just have to stop and say we have done our best and that is okay.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    January 22, 2013 at 9:06 am

    i am so low today. i needed this. i can’t keep things straight in my head for more than 3 days at a time then i’m so down i sleep for 2 days then when i can get up again it takes a full 24 hours or more just to get caught up to baseline. my kids deserve so much better. i feel i have nothing more to give but thank you for your encouragement. i will try again tomorrow. i did well today. i was awake all day and i cleaned and i was cuddly. maybe tomorrow i will be able to leave the house for a while. please God give me just a few more days than 3. i could get so much done if i had 5 in a row. thank you.

  • Reply
    You’re not quite reaching the mark Kelly
    February 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

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  • Reply
    November 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Wow! That explains me in a nutshell. It constantly feels like a struggle for me.

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