shoot for the moon and all that crap

Mom guilt.

It's a big old ape on my back, and on the backs of a lot of moms I know.

As we end our days and put our kids down to sleep, we cannot help but think about all of the fun places we didn't go, the meals we didn't cook, the stories we didn't read with enough patience or funny voices. We think about all the ways we were not enough. Good enough, efficient enough, fun enough, kind enough, patient enough, crafty enough, selfless enough, present enough.

Most of the time that feels like a curse, a flogging. I'm always coming up short.

But there's another way to look at mom guilt.

We are giving a shit.

We are actively reaching, every day, to be better.

We are the owners of superhuman hearts, beating ceaselessly in our tired mortal bodies, continuing to work long after we should just be all worn out.

Why not have out-of-this-world aspirations for the kind of parent you want to be, for the experiences you want to share with your kids?

If we went to bed happy every night, feeling like it was good enough to just keep them alive, maybe we weren't reaching high enough.

Hemingway always stopped writing before he was out of things to say. That way, he'd wake up the next morning and have at least a little something to start with. I feel like that should be us.

Not riddled with guilt, but propelled by the pursuit of excellence.

Not bogged down in regrets, but lifted up by our potential.

Not punishing yourself for making cereal for dinner, but proud of your decision to spend cooking time doing something the fuck else, and looking forward to sitting down at the table tomorrow with, I don't know, soup.

I'm not saying we should validate a sense of failure. Cereal for dinner isn't a failure. It is what it is, and starving kids in Africa yadda yadda yadda.

I'm saying we should accept what happened today - some was great, some could have been greater. And go to bed knowing that at the very least your superhuman heart wanted to do more, and tomorrow it will still want to be better, and the wanting is half the battle.

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