Am I even qualified for this job?

Some days I think I was born for it.  Other days, like Saturday, I feel very doubtful of my abilities, my fitness for anything, least of all the job of full-time exclusive motherhood. And, spoiler alert, I’m not going to have an epiphany somewhere in this post. I don’t know the answer. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel confident that I can do this, let alone do it well, and doing it well is what matters to me most. 

Part of the reason behind my self-doubt is my ridiculous need to be perfect and the consequential, okay inevitable, disappointment.  I’m doing more and more things, and doing more and more things half-assed.  And my mother says to me, after I’ve whined about how other moms I know seem to pull it all off effortlessly, “but you have a full-time job.”  She’s right. I just hope my job is the reason for my being constantly scatter-brained, disorganized, late, and full of excuses. Saturday was a great example, and like too many other weekends [you know, the excruciatingly brief interlude between hellish commutes and pointless meetings, that somehow always gets full with social commitments and chores].

It all started out fine, good even. I managed to get a 3 year-old and a 9 month-old to the haircut place, the Hallmark store, and even the fire station to donate recycled cans, with negligible drama and a bonus for being charitable and green at the same time. Donate. Recycled. Stay with me people. I even left the house with brushed hair and teeth. In a rush, I made my final stop at the book store to pick up a birthday gift for my 3 year-old’s friend’s birthday party later that afternoon. On the way to the register, herding my 3 year-old through the land-mine-riddled point-of-purchase displays, I rationalized how I could spin the gift as thoughtful and cleverly disguise the fact it was anything but.  And then I forgot the birthday card. I always forget the card.  Was I raised by wolves for crying out loud?! Then I got home, with no time to shower, and realized my clever stash of recycled gift bags didn’t contain a single one appropriately sized for the super trendy square-shaped book I bought.  Okay, party’s in 15 minutes, plan b is go. Ha! Plan b – a plan so frequently implemented it’s a contradiction in terminology at best, and an indictment of my competency as a project manager at worst.  We’ll just say we forgot it. Have we used that already? Okay, have we used it *recently*?  Ugh.

We arrived at the party a half an hour late, after a quick detour [a misinterpretation on my part of an adorable theme detail, yay].  At this point, with my son’s 3rd birthday a month away, I hadn’t even decided if I had the mental stamina to throw him a formal party, much less decide on a theme. How did she make it look so effortless, and look like she walked out of a J.Crew catalog all the time?  And it makes me wonder, is her resume full of qualifications for this motherhood gig that are glaringly lacking on mine?  Will I always have to work double-time and still come up a half an hour late and a birthday gift short? 


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