Day 3: Something I Have to Forgive Myself For

I’m not perfect. I can’t do everything.

There, I said it.

I don’t like it. I want to be able to do everything. I want to be everything for everybody. I want to be the best mother, wife, friend, neighbor, writer, salesperson, blog citizen, volunteer, singer, supporter of the arts that there is.

I want to be well-read. I want to keep up with current events and pop culture. I want my kitchen to be clean and I want to have groceries. I want my kids to go to t-ball and scouts and do homework and clean their rooms and still have free time.

I want to have the house clean and dinner planned when my husband gets home from work.

I want to be an excellent salesperson and sell swag to everyone I know and still be able to keep writing for five websites.

I want to do more freelance work.forgiveness

I want to write a book.

I want to go back and get my masters degree.

I want to love my job.

I need to get back into shape.

I want to be able to volunteer at the elementary school once a week. I want to go to live sporting events. I want to see operas. I want to be able to go out with my friends. I want to go to every blogging conference. I want to learn how to use all of the settings on my camera. I want to paint my upstairs hallway. I want to be a better sister and a better sister-in-law. I want to be a better Aunt. I want to spend more time taking my children into Washington D.C. so that they can see all the amazing history that is 20 minutes away from our house.

I cannot do all of these things.

I need to let it go.

I can’t be everything to everyone and I know this. It is so obvious.

Why is it so hard to swallow?

I’m not really a perfectionist. I’m not terribly competitive. I don’t know why I feel like I need to do everything. I don’t know why I feel like I am failing at everything.

I am not superwoman. I need to forgive myself for this.

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  1. I only have 1/3 of the things on my list that you do, but I can’t do all of those either. But I still haven’t forgiven myself for it.

  2. OMG. Can I copy-and-paste this right on my wall at home?

    I think this is the anthem of the 21st century American mom.

  3. Love this.

    Funny that when my twins were newborns, the biggest lesson I learned was that I can only do so much. But as they’ve grown, I feel more pressure to be MORE.

  4. Totally hear you on this, Sarah. Sigh.

  5. I have this in my head, now. Which means, you should too:


  6. Oh Wow, honey, you have got to breath. You can not be all things to all people. You are amazing and I’m honored to call you a friend.

  7. UGH.

    Because there aren’t enough hours in a day? Because you can’t give what you don’t have? (Thanks for that one, Dr. Phil (one of the few things Dr. Phil, who I generally loathe, has ever said that made perfect sense to me.) Because if all you do is give — and to do it all you’d have to do just that — you’d be a shell, and no good to anyone, ultimately.

    Just spitballin’ here, because I have this same gut-wrenching guilt.

  8. You do more in one day than millions of people do in a week. Since I’ve known you, you have been a better, kinder person to me than so many others, and for no reason other than that’s who you are.

    I second Teh Switni’s comment that if you did all the things you listed you would be a shell. And I think I speak for everyone when I say you’re too beautiful, too good of a person to be reduced to a shell.

  9. I love this. I think that it’s human nature maybe to expect more of ourselves than maybe we can really do?

    I’m having so much trouble with this one.

  10. Wow.. I totally hear that. I seriously had to write this on the board near my desk:

    Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

    I look at it a lot, to calm myself down when I’m frantically trying to be and do it all, right now and perfectly, thank you very much.

    I’m seriously thinking of turning it into a tattoo so I can see it more often.

    Good luck with the forgiveness!

  11. While you’re forgiving yourself for the fact that you can’t be All Things to All People (including to Yourself), can you forgive me, too?

    WHY is this such a womanly trait we all seem to share, why do we continuously feel like we’re not “enough”?

    We rock the house, sister, just the way we are. Never forget it. (and remind me, too!)

  12. I think this is a universal guilt that all parents (umm… Moms) carry, at least most of the ones I know. Myself included.

  13. You’re busting out with some truthiness there, young lady.
    That’s quite a list to carry around in your head. I have a very similar one in mine.

  14. Sometimes it’s so hard to accept that I can’t do EVERYTHING. I try sometimes to sit and give myself credit for the things I actually DO, but it’s not always easy.

  15. So, what’s for dinner ? :-)

  16. You know what? you may not be superwoman but you are a DAMNED GOOD woman. That is so much more than good enough

  17. smart aleck says:

    Not just a mom thing–more of a human thing.

    In a perfect world I would commandeer free time from the idiots who have time to do the following:

    1) Beat their kids
    2) Con senior citizens out of their life savings
    3) Start wars
    4) Molest children
    5) Kill innocent people with drive-by shootings
    6) Develop debilitating drug habits
    7) Violate women (including deadbeat dads who don’t pay child support but drive brand new sports cars)
    8) Be D through Z List reality stars (Kim K, Paris H, Michael Lohan, etc)(except Kathy Griffin–sometimes she’s funny)

    and give it to the people who could use a few extra minutes in the day to make even more of a difference in the world.

    I’d be the love child of Robin Hood and Father Time. But hopefully more attractive.

  18. smart aleck says:

    [That smiley face was supposed to be number 8. How un-web savvy am I?]

  19. Ooooh boy do I know this feeling. I think we’re always going to want to give more than we can.

    We all need to forgive ourselves for not being able to do it all. Sometimes things need to take a backseat. Like clean kitchens.

  20. I’ve always thought you were pretty awesome.

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