How Embracing “Good Enough” Can Help You Be a Better Mom
Wanna know what my kids have for lunch these days?
It’s pretty much the same thing every day: homemade lunchables. Thin deli-sliced ham or turkey, and cheese, with Ritz. Sometimes I have fresh fruit on hand to go with it. Other times, it’s canned fruit, nuts, or packaged cookies.
It’s not in cute Bento boxes. It doesn’t include kale, whole-grain-anything, or almond butter. (Except on accident.) But you know what it is?
It’s good enough.
And you know what that lets me do?
It lets me be sane.
Truth is, there are seasons where aiming for perfect is going to do one or all of the following:
- steal your time
- steal your joy
- push you into the emotional “red zone”
- make you feel incompetent (when, really, you’re just being a normal weak human person)
- use up your precious energy and precious time on things that really don’t matter that much
In this postpartum season, homemade lunchables are an easy, inexpensive lunch I don’t have to think about. Heck, I don’t even have to be present at the table. If I’m nursing, or sitting on the couch, or tidying something, or laying the baby down, they can still manage lunch. It’s filling. It includes most of the food groups.
It’s good enough.
That same-thing-most-every-day lunch helps me be a better mom. I’m a better mom to Luke, because I can keep sitting and nursing or snuggling him longer. I’m a better mom to all of them because I have more time and mental energy to devote to the things that matter more than lunch– math lessons, reading practice, character training, and enough mental space left over to admire the Lego creations brought to me.
I’m also a better wife because I’m not crazy-ville-stressed by the time Doug walks through the door. (At least, not most days.)
You might be sitting there thinking one of the following:
- “BUT FOOD MATTERS TO ME; I love cooking!”
- “I *want* my kids to eat kale in cheery-toned bento boxes.”
- “We have kids with allergies.”
- “Lunch meat is the worst ever and I wouldn’t feed it to my worst enemy.”
- “My kids are too little to get lunch for themselves.”
Here’s the thing:
Food is one of MY “good enoughs.” Every now and then there’s something I care about and want to make (vanilla-rum pecan pie with shortbread crust, I’m looking at you right now), but for the most part, when it comes to cooking & menu-making, good enough is the address where I live.
But food may not be your “good enough.”
Your “good enough” might be:
- Throwing all the dishrags in the drawer, unfolded
- Using paper plates for a season, instead of dishes, guilt-free
- Throwing all the kids in the same bath, twice a week, rather than more often
- Opting to invest in a backyard play structure to simplify your life by providing outdoor playtime without running to several practices and games each week
- Tossing all flatware in a drawer rather than sorting it, to save a few minutes here and there (that’s how my awesome friend Katie rolls)
- Reading through a chapter of Proverbs aloud over breakfast, rather than feeling guilty and ashamed because you never seem to manage “family worship” time like the preacher talks about
Sometimes, “GOOD ENOUGH” is:
- what separates stress and sanity
- the thin line between emotional breakdowns and emotional margin
- the difference between getting it done or not
- the thing that enables GREAT things to happen in other areas
and sometimes… sometimes… there really are times when “good enough” is “awesome.”
When you embrace “good enough” in some areas of your life, it can free you up, mentally, emotionally, physically… and create just enough space in your SOUL… for you to stay sane, do some (other) things GREAT, and live life with joy & delight.
What’s one area where you need to STOP feeling guilty and START embracing “good enough?”
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