For too long, I ranked my success as a mother on whether or not I could keep everything balanced. It was almost as though my life resembled spinning plates in a circus act, perfectly in sync and never wavering. My career, my marriage, the cleanliness of my home and the happiness of my child all spun around above my head. As long as a plate never lost speed, I was a good mom.
But keeping up with the circus act was nothing more than a performance meant to appease the audience. I looked as though I had it all, but really I was crumbling under the weight of everything. Having it all, suddenly wasn’t worth it anymore. I just wanted to have enough.
I had to learn the hard way that my value as a mother wasn’t tied to whether or not the world thought I had it together. It was based on how I felt at the end of the day. If I was honest with myself, keeping all plates in perfect sync meant 95 percent of the time, I was exhausted. I felt as though I was only meeting the minimum requirements – never really giving 100 percent to anything or anyone.
So I decided to let some plates slow down, and maybe even sometimes fall completely.
Nowadays, my inbox at work almost always reads 10 (or more), and dirty dishes sit in my kitchen sink for longer than I’d like to admit. My Instagram feed includes pictures of my son’s latest tantrum and the same load of laundry has been fluffed in the dryer for four days and counting. My nail polish is chipped, and tomorrow I will be rocking another messy bun at work because washing my hair is taking a backseat to extra snuggles at bedtime.
My plates are no longer spinning because I don’t have it all. I don’t even try to keep up the façade and honestly, I’ve never been happier.
I have enough. I have a job I enjoy, a husband I love, a roof over my head and a son who fell asleep while caressing my arm and whispering “mama” and that’s everything.