Why I Will Never Be an Exceptional Mom


Today I’m an exceptional cook.


I made a dinner my children loved, and they even asked for seconds.

Today I’m an exceptional teacher.

My daughter cried that the addition was too hard, but I brought out the counting cubes, and she mastered the skill of adding to 100.

Today I’m an exceptional friend.

My best friend called to talk about her troubles. I listened, I reflected, and I supported her need to be heard.

Today I’m an exceptional blogger.

I wrote two posts, I commented on 15 more, and I answered emails.

Today I’m an exceptional housecleaner.

I vacuumed, scrubbed, dusted, and organized. I even managed to donate unwanted clothing to my local homeless shelter.

Today I’m an exceptional student.

I completed all of my readings and finished the assignment for one unit of study. It was hard, but I put my mind to it, and I got it done.

Today I’m a decent mom.

Today I’m an okay mom.

Today I’m a just-enough mom.

The realization is grand. I can say I’m exceptional in so many areas of my life, yet for some reason when I lay my head down at night, I can’t be an exceptional mom.

Why can’t I say that today was a good day and that today I was an exceptional mom?

I lay there and wonder why I’m failing and why I can’t get this parenting gig right.

Today I’m far from exceptional.

I didn’t play a game with my girls.

I didn’t sit and colour with them.

I was going to make play dough but never got around to it.

We were going to bake cookies together, but I was too exhausted.

My girls watched more than an hour of television, and their laundry is still sitting on the floor by the washing machine.

My mind wandered some more.

Today I helped my girls negotiate the battle over a toy. I calmly listened to both sides and supported each of them as they voiced their claims to it.

Today I bandaged my daughter’s ankle and held her in my arms as she sobbed. I did this not because I thought it was what she needed but because I knew it was what she needed.

Today I sat on the floor beside my 4-year-old as she pretended to read a book. I nodded along and pretended that I understood every word she said.

Today after my girls had their baths I dried them off and kissed their pruned up hands and feet.

Today before bed, I snuggled with my girls, and I told them how much I love them.

Today I’m far from exceptional. I could do more. I could be more.

Today I’m far from exceptional because the bar by which I measure myself keeps raising.

I’m not an exceptional mom. I never will be. Every day I move, I progress, and I strive because every day I long to be better than the day before. I learn, I grow, and I expand with every conflict, issue, and opportunity.

No, I’m not an exceptional mom, but I’m the best mom I can be… today.

This post was originally published at The Deliberate Mom.

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly is the author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, she's also the creator of the websites: The Deliberate Mom and Deliberate Homeschooling. Jennifer writes about parenting, homemaking, her faith, homeschooling, and life with her husband and two girls. You can stay connected with Jennifer on Instagram or follow on Facebook to get notification of similar articles. This article fist appeared on The Deliberate Mom.