Dear Self: It's Okay to Have Imperfect Parent Days

05/30/2013 03:26 EDT | Updated 07/30/2013 05:12 EDT
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playful mother and daughter

Dear Tired and Cranky Self,

It's okay to rue the day you've just lived. And thank your lucky stars that The Fam knows you are still the greatest Mom. And if not, you know they should. And it is also okay if there is not one single, solitary moment of today in which you lived completely and joyfully in the moment. Or even one moment wherein you can point to yourself as being a super mom on top of her game. Mediocrity all the way, lovey. Even heroes get a day off. So should you, Mama: so should you.

It's more than okay to take today as a freebie.

It's okay if your children think you are the meanest mother ever for hiding their iPods in their father's underwear drawer. Everyone is entitled to his/her uninformed opinion. It's also okay that your opinion trumps all others. Really, it's okay. It's also okay that your children are subjected to such tortures as setting the table, helping younger siblings with piano practice, or wiping the dishes. As long as you realize that by asking them to make their beds, it can place you in the Meanest Mother Ever category (if only on certain days where bribery is not an option). You might want to avoid that one. But if not, that's okay. Because you can reverse the 'meanest ever' cycle when the time comes and to your advantage. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. As do you- you're me, after all.

Look it: kids are mean, too. And it's okay to freely admit it by telling them once in a while.

Seriously. It's okay to serve your children microwaved K.D. that has been cooked into oblivion. And it is your right as a mother to insist that everyone outwardly appreciate and verbally declare their appreciation for such. It is okay to also send your children merrily on their way to evening activities with a tub of yogurt, a banana, crackers and cheese. Do not let your child tell you this does not constitute supper. Because we both know that it darn well does! And it's okay to look hungrily at your child's toasty garlic bread remainders and then end up eating them on the way to piano lessons. Never resist the urge to eat what will otherwise end up in the garbage. If it makes you happy and keeps you smiling, then it's okay. And it is more than okay to later in the evening buy double-chocolate muffins, making up for the suppertime loss. You have earned this luxury.

It's okay to be the laughing stock of your child's music class because you forgot to do the music review with her. You will remember to do the review with her after the class is over, while you are driving home. Please keep one hand on the wheel while you attempt clapping. But as for the music review...better late than never!

And it's also okay to forget to pick your child up at the evening birthday party to which she has been invited, even if that means she is the last one to go home. Even if you did ask the hostess beforehand what time the party would be over. DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR THIS! These things happen. Pretend you planned it this way and that you were having a nap. Even if you were really killing yourself driving from one community to the next at lightening spend. Because you forgot. It's okay to forget sometimes! Your daughter knows you love her. One tardy slip is not going to convince her otherwise.

It's okay to sometimes end the day wondering why you and your Hubby ever thought making a family the size of a baseball team was a good idea. Everyone questions their life motives once in a while. And if you cannot think of one good reason why there are four little monsters roaming your house, eating your food and monopolizing your household technology, just remember. If we all waited for one good reason to do the best things in life, some of us would wait forever.

It's okay to write today off, to throw in the towel and cross your fingers for a better tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. Full of promise, full of hope. And the best we can wish for is this: that it will be okay. Because if we aim small and think glass half-empty, usually things end up being better than we think.

And of course. We all know that's okay too.