I don’t know if it’s the fact that I have 3 kids now, and my life is a total and utter shit show 90% of the time; or that I’m just getting older. But I’ve accepted mediocrity in so many ways.
1. I’m okay with being an okay mom
Honestly. There was a period of time that I wanted to be the best mom. The coolest mom. The mom that always made the treat bags, chaperoned the field trips…and did it in sparkling Converse and trendy hairstyles.
Somewhere along the line, though, I realized that being a stressed out but spectacular mom was not what my kids wanted. They wanted a happy mom. To be a happy mom, I have to be a little mediocre. Not like a do nothing mom, just an okay mom. The okayest mom ever. Like yeah-I-breastfed-but-also-you-had-cheez-its-for-lunch. Like sure, let’s throw a big birthday party, but I’m definitely not DIYing shit for it.
2. With that in mind, I don’t beat myself up about screen time
Look: I’ve read all the articles and examined all the studies. I know the affects of too much screen time on every age group.
But remember…I’m okay with being just okay. Which means I’ve accepted my limits of what I can do, how much I can facilitate, and to what extent I can resist. When it comes to screen time, I’ve just given in, but not so much that it’s gotten out of control. Like not 100% given in, but a lot more than my pre-mom self would have ever imagined.
Here’s the thing: if you can tell me how to keep a toddler happy and entertained, as well as a tween not bored and behaving well, all while a teenager plays hour after hour after hour of sports …I will probably still let me kids have the screen time to keep them under control. It’s just where I am in my mediocrity as a parent and person.
3. Sweatpants and Target t-shirts > Pinterest outfits
I used to spend hours – literal hours – staring at magazines, and – later – Pinterest boards, to put together stylish, yet practical outfits. My outfits always had a theme, or were appropriate for the activity. I even paired my makeup to the outing, which was also paired to the outfit, and by the way even my underpants matched perfectly with my pajamas when I went to bed.
I was just so put together.
Then I turned 30 and had 3 kids, Advil and caffeine became my best friends, and all that went out the window.
Now my wardrobe can best be described as: 76 black shirts in various styles, Target brand t-shirts with food stains on them, a million and one sweaters (in spite of the fact that I live in California), a variety of yoga pants and leggings, most of which have been worn to the point that they are no longer black, but a slight off-black-ish-gray; and exactly one pair of jeans.
3/4 of my clothing is stretched out, stained, or contains some sort of a child-related rip/tear/breakage.
And, for the last couple of years, my decisions of what to wear have been largely determined by how comfortable I will be, coupled with how easy it will be to lift my shirt up so my kid can have easy access to his boobsnacks.
4. Holidays are pretty blasé now, and honestly that’s how I prefer it
One year I made seven desserts for the Christmas Eve party at my in-law’s house. I’m not sure where I was going with that, but here I was showing up with box after box after box of desserts. Some old lady who is a family friend showed up with a box of Otterpops and stole the fucking show, though, so my carefully crafted Santa belt cupcakes and Christmas tree brownies wound up in the trash.
Since then, year after year has grown to be less of an ordeal from me for the holidays. I still do all the stuff for my kids I do every year – the decorating, the light drive tradition, the Elf on the Shelf, the cookie baking together…
But as for the over the top shit, I’m done with it. Beyond being under appreciated, it’s just too much work. Santa belt cupcakes look cute and all, but mediocre Otterpops win every time.
5. Cheats, hacks, and short cuts have become my lifeblood
For those that aren’t familiar with me: I have 3 kids.
One is a teenager who homeschools and plays competitive tennis. She is training to play in college.
One is almost 11, so a tween, and if you know anything about pre-teen girls, it’s that they are a handful of emotions and drama.
My third is a toddler and he’s crazy. Like saying he is quite the handful is an insult to handfuls.
Since the birth of my little ball of terror complicated life as a picture perfect mother immensely, I’ve adopted the philosophy of Ockham’s razor: the simplest answer is always the best answer. Or, the easiest way to do literally anything is the way I’m going to do it. Otherwise it ain’t getting done.
So I’ve become someone half-assing her way through life – sue me. So I’ve embraced my mediocrity and decided it’s better to be mediocre and present and happy than amazing and perfect and miserable all at the same time.
For some people, doing all the things and being great is essential to their happiness in life. To me, being good enough seems to be just that: good enough.