In my music world there’s a saying I use quite a lot when tuning kids’ violins/guitars/ anything they can twang:
“Good enough for Rock and Roll” -
a somewhat derogatory way of saying it’s in-tune enough to play power chords, even if Bach might sound a bit bleurgh.
Since having my children I’ve found myself adopting this phrase with ever increasing frequency.
Cleaning my son’s teeth (for cleaning read stopping him biting the brush and my hand to bits) “did the brush at least make contact with his molars?! Well, good enough for rock and roll.”
Sorting the washing (why is the washing basket never empty?!?!?!) “is the clean washing upstairs? Not quite made it the drawers yet?! Well could be worse. Good enough for rock and roll.” Making dinner for the kids - “classic combo of dippy egg, pasta/ oven chips, baked beans, sausage and peas and sweet corn AGAIN?! It’s a balanced meal isn’t it? Well, good enough for rock and roll.”
But there are some areas in my life where I can’t compromise, where “good enough” just, well, isn’t.
Where needing to feel like I’ve succeeded, I’ve “won”, is so important to making me feel happy, to the way I approach to being Mum, or even dare I say it, to just being me!
1. Wearing lipstick - yes I know it’s a bit of a Mum cliche, yes I know it’s “just lipstick”, but for me it’s so much more.
Since I started as a 21 year old teacher in front of a group of noisy teenagers, wearing lipstick has been my armour, my shortcut to feeling fabulous, my “LET’S DO THIS” magic! Going to the park with naked lips (gosh), popping to the shops without my lippy, having a play date without my @mac #loveforever (why did they stop making it) just makes me feel a bit meh. A bit “I suppose it’s ok.” And that’s not ever going to cut it for me.
2.I LOVE FOOD. If you asked me whether I “live to eat” or “eat to live”, I fall firmly into the former category.
Food for me means friendship, laughter, socialising, twinkly evenings with family and friends, sharing, crying, talking, love. I am also like a toddler - every time I feel truly weepy or washed out, it normally takes a reminder from my mum (yep, we’re that close) or husband that I haven’t eaten properly for a while. “Eating properly” can mean a delicious slice of my mum’s homemade toast with thickly spread crunchy @wholeeartg peanut butter. It can mean cooking a @hellofresh box with my husband (scratch that, we don’t get on well when we’re in the kitchen simultaneously). It can mean BRUNCH (all you need is eggs and wonderful things can happen). True kindness for me in both pregnancies and in those postnatal hazy early days (and still today with the wild toddlers) equals someone bringing me a hot meal AND doing the washing up afterwards. Subsisting on sugar and caffeine might be good enough for rock and roll, but I know it’s not enough for me.
3. My friends - sending the odd WhatsApp picture, liking their IG posts, winging over a quick “you ok hun?” Oh what a poor substitute for seeing them in person.
But here’s one where I get frustrated - I so want to keep those relationships nurtured and blossoming, but how to do that when you’re already putting so much of yourself into your kids, relationship, job and “self care.” Still working on that one, but I think Skype and just picking up the phone (though I know I’m not alone in staring at my mini computer in horror when IT’S RINGING?!?!) is key to much of this.
4. Reading - I am a better friend, mother, wife and colleague when I read books.
I mention a lot my love of libraries - it always feels like Christmas to me when I go into my local library and there are so many books, just waiting, all for ME! So often I let this fall by the wayside, and whenever I do the mindless FB scrolling, googling, online shopping for things I don’t need begins and my mind doesn’t defragment effectively. Reading a clickbait article is all well and good, but I want more than that.