When “Not Good Enough” Is Actually Good Enough
Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to not be doing as well as you’d like to be. It’s easy to feel like what you do is not good enough or that you’re failing.
But sometimes we aren’t able to reach our lofty standards for ourselves, and it’s time we accepted where we’re at instead of where we’re not. And to realize that if it’s all we have to give, it IS good enough.
Failure Of Expectations
Today is one of those days for me. I had goals and hopes for the past couple of days, that now I feel like aren’t working out. I’m learning to accept that and remember that it’s ok.
Today I’m potty training my daughter. And she’s had a LOT of accidents. She is definitely ready, but she is slow to warm up to new things. I learned this about her during her gym class– new things kind of wig her out– but I failed to connect the dots.
I wish I’d realized that even though she’s ready, it might take her a while to get used to the idea of peeing in the potty.
I feel like I failed to have the proper expectations for what today would be like. I was envisioning very few accidents. I have no idea why because I knew in my head she’d have them. But I thought she’d just pick it up. I wish I had been able to prepare myself for feeling like I was doing it wrong and not good enough of a mom, just because she hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
And when the books say, “they’ll have accidents,” I wasn’t able to envision the emotional side of cleaning up pee all morning and how much of a bummer that is. And then picking up dog barf (yuk) because the dog ate too much grass, and then having the child pee while I did that b/c I wasn’t watching her and so didn’t get her to the potty. Ugh.
I didn’t expect potty training to be so emotionally draining. I knew I would have to focus on her but it’s really quite a challenge to pretty much do NOTHING else except make sure she’s not peeing on the floor. When I finally put her down for her nap, I collapsed on my bed and ended up falling asleep for 30 min. I guess I needed it.
After my glorious nap, I realized that in the middle of it, things can seem worse than they really are. Earlier it had felt like 100% accidents, but it really wasn’t. When I went out to the kitchen and looked at her potty chart, I realized we were doing ok after all. She has 4 stickers. She earned a toy train and a lot of M&Ms. She may have more accidents than stickers, but that’s still four successes!
I’m so proud of P for trying. It was so sweet to see her smile of satisfaction when I said I was proud of her. When she earned the toy train, she was so thrilled!
So I realized that when things didn’t stack up to what I’d hoped, that’s absolutely ok. When I didn’t live up to my own expectations of myself (especially since mine were off base), and I didn’t feel like I had more to give, I could still forge ahead.
Because there’s nothing else to do but accept it and say, “Hmm I didn’t love how that turned out, next time I’ll try it differently.” There’s no use in “should-ing” on yourself if you catch my drift.
“I should have tried harder.”
“I should have done better.”
“I should have known.”
“I should have gotten it right.”
That’s perfectionism, my friends. I’m guilty of it sometimes. But what’s the point?
The past is the past. Accept where you’re at. Even if you feel “not good enough,” hold your head up. Try again next time.
If you can’t give any more or do it any better until the next day, until your ship comes in, or until deployment ends… well, that’s fine. Do what you can. Put the rest in God’s hands.
And I will too.