Today I did four loads of laundry, including folding them and putting them away. I did two loads of dishes. My kitchen is clean and I cooked a delicious dinner for my family. I watched a puppet show my daughter put on and then sat and talked Minecraft with my boy.
Where is my report card?
Where is my A?
Who is going to say to me “way to go,” “thank you” and “you’re the best”?
That’s the answer.
I NEED a report card.
It’s ridiculous. Don’t you think I know that? Crazy even.
Don’t care. I still want one.
I need someone, anyone, to tell me that I’m doing a good job. I need that passing grade as mother and homemaker.
Please, just give it to me.
I’ve worked for it.
I’ve earned it.
Growing up, I was the teacher’s pet (big surprise). I got straight A’s. I was that kid that always raised her hand, was excited for tests, and loved homework. I was a regular Hermione Granger.
The older I got, the more I craved that approval. I would seek it out anyway I could. Please notice me teacher. Tell me I’m good. Tell me I’m smart. Tell me I am pleasing you.
Praise became necessary for me to move forward in my day. It didn’t matter what I thought about what I did, only if I got the approval.
This didn’t stop in college and continued even when I started working for a major newspaper. I would actually look forward to my reviews.
The funny thing is, I knew I was a good employee. I worked hard and showed up every day. But it wasn’t enough to know it.
I needed to be told it. Better yet, I needed to see it in writing.
So I am asking you again…where is my report card? Where is my written affirmation that I am doing a good job?
Is there somebody who can provide me this service? Come to my house with your clipboard and follow me around. Give me a daily grade. Please?
I grade myself every day, but I’m not doing so well at that.
I am a very harsh, judgmental grader with very little empathy or patience.
Yes I did four loads of laundry, but you know what? One of those loads was put into the washer on Friday. FRIDAY! It sat in the washer all weekend so I had to rewash it.
Yes I cooked a great dinner for my family; it was tilapia with an almond crust, asparagus and rice pilaf. But my husband cooked the fish and he did it better than I would have.
Certainly not an A.
Yes I watched my daughter’s puppet show, but I was bored and spent most of the time praying for it to be over.
That’s a C grade at best.
Yes I talked Minecraft with my boy, but this is after he has been asking for months to play the game and I finally relented. I’m as overprotective as they come and as we talked about it I felt sad instead of excited for him.
I wonder if someone else graded me if they would be more…forgiving. Maybe they would be more generous with their approval, because I am not.
Over the last few weeks I’ve read two books by SARK. If you haven’t heard of her or seen any of her work, prepare yourself for something amazing. I’m in love with her and it got me thinking.
It’s time I make myself a report card. Not a daily one, but one that I can hang up that says all the things that I need to hear. A reminder of my need for praise, but also recognition that self-praise is the most powerful of all.
I need to say these things to myself, because they are true.
So, here it is.
Please, if you find yourself identifying with me, print this out or make your own. Hang it on your wall and read it every morning.
Let’s be kinder to ourselves.
There is no reason not to.
The pressure to be the best at everything is exhausting.
Maybe we can just be ourselves and know it’s enough.