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This is as good as it gets

I am sitting at my dining room table. Dinner is hot, the kids are eating, and they are making tons of noise.

I’m looking around and it seems like chaos.

It is noisy. There is mess. There are things that didn’t get done that “should” have gotten done.

I am frustrated with the lack of order and apparent disregard for cleanliness illustrated by my kids stuff being strewn onto every possible surface of our house. (Ok it's not just their stuff, it’s mine too.)

We’re all so messy. I really need to organize my house so we have places to put stuff away. I really need to teach my kids how to pick up after themselves. I really should be more organized, more on top of things, and a better mom.

We really are failing at having a Pinterest worthy home at all times, and the pressure to measure up is really wearing on me. I should be better. My kids should know better. I am really failing at this whole mom thing.

Then I stop.

Why am I choosing to beat myself up for this?

Why is some stuff not put away such a problem?

What is really going on right now?

I am spinning in my head, thinking terrible thoughts about myself and my life, all because of what my eyes see.

So I choose a new thought intentionally: This is as good as it gets.

There is no future moment that is better than the one I'm in right now.

That moment in the future where the house is clean? It has grumpy kids who are mad because mom made them clean. (Or something else like that.)

I think it will be better there, but there will just be a new set of challenges.

So I ask myself: What is going on right now that is available for me to love?

I look away from the mess.

I see my kids. They are eating their dinners as they laugh at each other’s jokes, tease each other playfully, and tell stories.

Their eyes are sparkling.

They are happily eating their food and enjoying their lives.

All of this is available for me to enjoy right now, but I have been blind to it.

Instead of enjoying the meal as a family, I have been lost in my thoughts of self doubt and criticism for myself and my kids.

I feel disappointed, frustrated, and worried. It feels so terrible.

But I stop it all with that thought: This is as good as it gets.