On being a good enough mother (or wearing many hats)

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I love hats. I think I was blessed with a face for them, and I adore wearing hats of all kinds. My mom used to laugh at me when I started getting into my hat thing, mainly because I would wear my hats even when at home, while watching TV. But this isn’t a post about my weird fashion interests, it’s about trying to figure out how to be everything all at once.

I like to think that I’m a pretty good wife. My husband and I are happy and I do whatever I can throughout the day to think of him and do nice things. From running the errands that I know he hates to do himself, to ensuring his favorite snacks are stocked in the pantry, to pre-ordering the latest Collector’s Edition of a From Software game, it’s about doing all the things both big and small to make him smile. It makes me happy to make him happy, and he generally strives to do the same for me.

Zoe in a hat (oh so young)

I also like to think that I’m a pretty good worker. I write for a gaming site while also doing a bunch of stuff behind the scenes to help keep things running. I adore my colleagues and we all rely on each other to do whatever is necessary for the site to carry on smoothly. It’s an awesome job and I absolutely adore it, even on busy and exhausting days.

And I’m already excited to be a mom. I can’t wait to just hold that little human. To touch her tiny nose, to play with her tiny feet, to watch her eyes light up with excitement at the sight of Dean coming home, or my boob when it’s time to eat. I can’t wait to read to her, to find the right position to hold her so she can watch me play games, and to one day play board games with her. I know it will be exhausting, but it’s a new adventure that I’m psyched to experience.

But I am starting to wonder how it all balances together. Amanda Palmer recently responded to a “fan” with an open letter explaining all her fears about balancing her artistic life with motherhood. And closer to home, the Blessed Barrenness is wondering about a simpler life. It makes me wonder just how I will balance everything, and if there even is such a thing as balance. Can I continue to work and still be a good mother, and a good wife, and still have those precious moments I need to live inside my own head? Can I take care of myself while looking after my family and the workplace that I so enjoy? How on earth can I even hope to wear all those hats, even if each of them is so well suited to my head?

Thankfully, I was sent this rather helpful and wonderful article by my equally helpful and wonderful mom.  You see, it has nothing to do with being perfect. Not even close. I will not even hope to do everything with excellent balance and ease. Instead, I am deciding through a strange and awkward process to strive to be “good enough”. A good enough mother is one who tries, who provides their kid with a loving and stable home, who nurtures her baby and tries again when she fails her family. She sacrifices and loves and does her best, and really, that’s all I can hope for.

Maybe it’s weird to be writing this now, before the baby is born. Theoretically, I like to think that I will be able to do everything, but I also know that I am only one human and only capable of so much. I will do my best to raise a happy, well adjusted kid. I will do my best to continue to make my husband smile, to be a good friend, to be kind and present for the people in my life. I will do my best to work hard and be a valuable asset to my coworkers. I will probably fail at some or all these goals, though, on one day or another. And so, I’m writing this blog to look back at on those days. To remind myself that failing is okay sometimes, and I will just keep trying and that’s what will make me a good enough mom, and a good enough wife, and a good enough worker, and a good enough friend and a good enough human.

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