“I can’t do this. You do it.” My toddler says to me, completely frustrated, red in the face—done.
“Yes, you can. I’ll help you, but you can do it yourself.” I say back, and start showing her how guiding her through her frustrations. This happens often. She gives up so quickly. Sometimes she gives up before she even tries. “I can’t” has become her new go-to phrase and I loathe that phrase—because of course she “can” do it. She can do anything she really wants to do.
Because we all can if we try.
Well, the other day I had one of those days--an I can’t do this day. I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything but be the mother to my kids which is a lot of work in itself.
I couldn’t be social with other adults.
I couldn’t wear anything but my comfiest sweats that may or may not have holes in the knees.
I couldn’t be productive with housework and work, and when I tried, nothing was getting done or making sense. I was too distracted in my "blahs."
It was just a sad, feeling bad, tired, depleted kind of day where if my kids weren’t in existence I’d call in sick and take to the bed.
But, mommy doesn’t get time off.
So, I pushed through, just like I encourage my daughter to when she thinks she can’t. When you’re a mother, you have no choice.
I stayed present, loving, with it, and engaged. Eventually, I did feel a little better because my kids have a lot of cute moments that can put an off-feeling day into perspective--at least a little, not completely when I am having “a day.”
My point is, it’s okay to have an I can’t do this day as long as most of your days are filled with I cans.
The other day I couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't, and that's okay. It was what it was.
So, I will accept days when my daughter thinks she can’t, because I have those days too. But even if she thinks she can't, I will encourage her to try because sometimes that feeling changes once you start. If you try and can’t that day, well then that’s a different story. In that case, it’s okay to be done—because you made an attempt. Some days we are sold on “the can’t.” We are sold on the couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't.
And that's the best we can do, and that's more than okay.
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook.