Excuse me for ranting, but I have no choice. This isn’t personal, it’s purely business. There are a few operating procedures concerning the business of Mommyhood that (in my opinion) need to be fixed. I say this, because I love us.
The words “fail,” “failure,” “failing,” – and any and all derivatives – need to be eradicated from our vocabularies. Immediately. To me, “failure” is the worst word in the world. Before, during and after having my baby (who is now almost a year old), I’ve heard so many moms from all walks of life proclaim that they feel like they’re “failing all the time.” Stop it. Now. Because you’re not, and it’s bringing us all down every time we say it and hear it.
I’m no psychiatrist, but I feel as though the word “failure” carries more gravity when it’s said by a woman. It seems to irreversibly seep deep into our psyche, and the meaning multiplies in a mutant way… affecting everything we do and how we do it, for the worse. Doesn’t it seem to affect us more than it affects men? (Wait, let’s go back: Do you ever even hear men say “I feel like I’m failing?” Aha.) Moms often handle so many diverse responsibilities, with the innate longing to be everything for everyone, but maybe it’s time for us moms to start acting like men (when it comes to our own regard for ourselves, anyway). Yes, we are many times stretched too thin. Yes, we are constantly tired. Yes, we are all too often expected to be too many things to too many people. But women are truly the superior gender and source to all life, remember? (Didn’t anyone read The DaVinci Code?? Hellooooo?)
At this point in my life, I refuse to even think the word “failure.” Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel beaten up. On those rough days, here’s what I do instead – I accept that I’m exhausted and then move on… without guilt or wanting more from myself on that particular day. (In the words of my own mom, “Guilt is a wasted emotion.” It sucks the life out of you and doesn’t give you anything in return. Nobody has time for stuff like that.)
All you can do is give your best for each particular day (even if that day turns out to be junk), go to bed and start anew. I’m finding that letting go of this evil F-word puts my mind in the right place and sets me up for success. If someone constantly told themselves that they felt like they were “failing” at their job/profession (outside the home), chances are their quality of work and productivity would downward-spiral, and cut their chances of getting that promotion to zilch. Chances are that person would be really unhappy, too. The lesson here – if you tell yourself you’re failing, you probably will.
I suppose I’ve become somewhat resilient, working in an industry that constantly blows smoke up my butt only to kick me in that same tushy later, but learning to constantly pick myself up when I lose a job or don’t meet someone’s expectations is one of the most valuable traits a mom can master. I always saw my mom approach challenges head-on (still do) and it inspires me to do the same. It’s good for the mom’s soul and (based on my personal childhood), it’s good for the family’s soul.
When I have an off day at work or at home, I give myself no choice but to let go and tell myself that “I am fabulous” regardless. Brainwash yourself. It works for me. So, if I hear any more mommies say “I feel like I’m failing,” you might hear another F-word fly outta my mouth. Now give yourself an F for fabulous!
What word drives YOU crazy?