We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by other people's lives. Everyday we see images of celebrities in the news, online, and in magazines. Everyday we see the lives of others plastered all over social media. Everyday we see Instagram moms sharing their highlight reels and assume the perfection they are showing is their everyday life.
How is my life so crazy and such a mess, we might wonder. The temptation to compare our lives to those we see virtually is very real.
Ladies, if your life doesn’t look like the life of your favorite Instagram influencer, you are normal! We have to let go of comparison and perfectionism and be okay with living our lives how we are meant to live them.
Here are five things you don’t have to do.
1. You don’t have to meal prep every week or cook a homemade meal every night.
Meal prepping is a trend right now, and I have seen so many jump into it without a second thought. If this method works for you, great, but please don’t guilt trip another wife/mom into feeling like she has to meal prep... and ladies, do not feel bad if you aren’t meal prepping like the moms you see on Instagram or if you are failing to make a homemade meal every night. It’s okay if you eat out sometimes. It’s okay if you buy simple-to-make meal kits or freezer meals. If you and your kids (if you have them) are getting fed each night, you are doing what you are supposed to. Don’t ever feel guilty or stressed because your meals don’t look like everyone else’s.
2. Your house does not have to be spotless.
In the day-to-day of normal life, keeping the house clean can be a challenge, but if you are in season, it is typically even more difficult to keep things organized and clean. So, let me repeat: your house does not have to be spotless. Choose which things are worth fighting to stay on top of and which things are okay to let go. Personally, when life gets really crazy, I usually get behind on dishes and try to at least stay on top of the laundry. Just eliminating stress and exhaustion in some way by choosing to be okay with letting a few things go is sometimes necessary.
3. You don’t have to do everything for the team.
Yes, being a coach's wife does include more than you might have realized, but it isn’t your responsibility to do everything for the team. Some of us are involved to extreme levels—doing team laundry, organizing fundraisers, or feeding the team every week. Others are content to be at games supporting the team and pitching in otherwise as needed. Neither way of doing it is right or wrong. We all have to find our niche and how we can best support the coach in our life and his team. Again, do not stress if the way you help looks different than the way other coaches’ wives help.
4. You don’t have to do everything in life.
Similarly, you do not have to do everything in life. American culture tends to push the idea that more is better ... busy is meaningful ... produce or you’re failing. Don’t buy this lie! Don’t feel like you have to commit to everything. It’s okay to say no sometimes. Be okay with not constantly running from one commitment to the next, and learn to enjoy the slower seasons. You will feel better and your family will thank you for it.
5. You don't have to be perfect.
If you are like me, you probably fight the perfectionist mentality and spend far too much time hung up on your mistakes or failures and too little time enjoying life and being willing to grow through the ups and downs. Obviously, we are not trying to make mistakes, but realize that mistakes are not the end of the world. We are only human. When you feel like you are failing, take a breath, assess how you can grow, and then move on. You will be okay.
My dear coaches’ wives, don’t be so hard on yourselves. We are all different and it’s okay that we do things differently. Embrace what works for you and your family and remember that we are all doing our best. You’ve got this!