I was chatting with my co-worker-friend Katelyn the other day. She’s a new mom, freshly back from maternity leave, and dealing with the realities of motherhood: Sleep deprivation, pumping, nursing, daycare, a full-time job, household responsibilities, marriage, dog care, self-care, and so on.
She wanted my advice on how to manage: “You have everything so together!” she says.
Wait — come again?
On the heels of my burned-out breaking point, I have to admit: I was relieved to hear her say this. I, of course, laughed out loud at her statement and said, “Well I’m glad YOU think so!”
Because being “so together” is tough for me these days.
But it got me thinking…
We Penelopes are really hard on ourselves, aren’t we? There’s a certain self-criticism that is always ringing in our ears. Our houses aren’t clean enough, we’re not attentive enough as mothers, we could be more productive at work, we should be paying more attention to our significant others, we need to get our asses to the gym more, yoga pants aren’t “real” clothing, put that donut down, one bottle of wine is not a serving size…
But you know what? F*ck that critical noise. To the outside world, we’re superwomen.
And it’s not because we pretend to be perfect. I know I’m the first to admit when I’m flailing. There’s absolutely no shame in it. And it’s not because we hide behind our Type A tendencies; we simply use them as tools to help hold our chaotic lives together.
It’s because we don’t settle for less than our personal best. (And the great thing about the Penelope personality is that when we are flailing, we can usually pull ourselves together fairly quickly; perhaps before anyone notices.)
So the next time you’re feeling a bit out of control, here are some Penelope truths that will no doubt make you feel better:
- You are more “together” than you feel.
- You are stronger than you think.
- You are doing your best.
- You are doing enough.
- You ARE enough.