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Just 3 Women & Some Shrimp

I went out with a couple friends recently for a happy hour and small meal. There was a special somewhere local and it was the perfect excuse to take a break and catch up with one another. This isn’t something I do often because things don’t usually work out with schedules, child care or some other situation. Yet this time it did for most of us and we went. We all piled into my mini-van and went. The cool part was the women who went with me were two neighbors that I don’t get to see that often. As we sipped our drinks waiting on our food we talked about our kids and husbands one of us commented that stories like this always make it seem our life isn’t so bad.

I hadn’t gone out with these friends to compare my life to theirs. I seriously went for the cheap drinks and grilled shrimp. My reason was for some fun, connection with other moms, a meal someone served me and just a change of scenery. Maybe that was shortsighted and I was naive of what it would all mean. Yet here we were talking about our families, each of us building up the stories we shared and comparing it to our own family. I wondered as we each went back to our homes that night if we weren’t thinking “wow my family isn’t so bad after all” and smiling in appreciation while saying a little prayer for the other two we shared time with this evening.

When I look at my own family and life I feel love of course but also pride and accomplishment, survival and a lot of figuring it out as we go. I wouldn’t call my family or life perfect by any means. Like most I worry about making sure my family gets vegetables, how to cut back on processed food and how we’re going to get all the homework done on time. I wonder a lot about if my job is going to last so I can support my family. I also then turn thoughts to how I can continue to grow Dragonspit Apothecary to offset that risk. Then the big question always come up for me. I’m betting you ask yourself this question a lot too. Am I doing the best I can as a wife and mom?

There it is.

That million dollar question that never seems to have a complete answer. I ask myself that a lot. Am I doing all I can to give my family the best of me? Am I doing this wife and mom thing right? At the end of the day the question isn’t about how to solve major world problems or influence society but rather am I doing this right? Am I not messing it up to the point my family won’t love me anymore? Am I doing it at least as good as I hear my friends doing it?

The two friends I went out with that night, myself and probably you too all ask this question or a variation of it almost every day. I believe it’s why we’re always so busy and not taking time for ourselves. It’s most likely why we’re so stressed out and exhausted all the time too. It’s why we’re always the last to eat and first to get up in the morning. It’s why we cram so much into our daily schedule we don’t have time to eat well or exercise. We are all seeking that confirmation and affirmation that we’re on the right path, what we’re doing is good and we’re good at it. If that is even possible. It’s why we naturally compare ourselves and our families to others we know and see. It’s why we always feel like we’re failing or at the very least not graceful at it.

I looked at my two friends that evening and saw them as ideal moms. They were both stay at home moms where as I work full time and run a small business. They have free time while the kids are at school to run errands, go to the gym, clean the house, do the laundry and make meals where I cram thi