We All Have Things We’re Good at…and Things We’re Not

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Haircuts, couch cushion access to Narnia, and hairy babies? Life as MOM contributor Deanna hilariously brings them all together as she shares her thoughts on our individual strengths and weaknesses as moms.

We All Have Things We're Good at...and Things We're Not | Life as MOM

So it’s no secret that I have 3 very small children. And it’s no secret that they keep me very busy. And it’s no secret that my babysitting help just went back to college and/or got a full time job and could no longer help me.

But apparently what WAS the secret was what my hair was doing in the back.

I hadn’t been able to make a hair cut appointment in some time because I just couldn’t line up a sitter to go. This spring my sister got married, and I had gotten my long front/short back style done with a very severe angled cut so that I would look dressy with little effort for the big day.

What I didn’t realize was that as this grew out, it would stop looking stylish and start looking like a two year old cut off a hunk on both sides perhaps while I was asleep.

I gasped when I looked in a hand held mirror and saw what everyone else had been looking at for a month. Way to give me the heads up, children.

I looked at the super long strands in the front. I looked at the short cut in the back. Really- all that I needed to do was to cut an inch off each super long strand and the whole thing would look even again. Right? How hard could this be?

I grabbed the scissors from the boys’ hair cutting kit, carefully grabbed the long piece, and while biting my lip, I cut with the precision of a 3 year old using dull scissors to open the secret couch cushion to enter Narnia.

I flipped it around a bit. Not bad. It looked a little different, but not bad.

I went out into the Living Room and high-fived my husband. Look what I just did! I saved us $40! I am so thrifty and frugal! I rock!

He said it looked awesome (especially after he heard the $40 part), and then I returned back to the mirror to gloat some more at my obvious hair cutting prowess.

It was upon the second look when I noticed it. Random uncut hairs floating down below the hair line. Where did they come from? I cut them and studied it again. More hairs to fix! I got this! I adjusted and adjusted until I looked in the mirror and realized- this looked horrible.

No, this looked worse than horrible. If Horrible got married to Awful and had uneven, hairy babies- that’s what it looked like.

I went back out to my husband and bawled. “OH my goodness I can’t believe I just did this to my hair! It looks awful! I can’t ever leave the house again! Hat season is a month away. It’s too short for a pony tail. My life is over!”

He muttered something about it looking $40 worth of good. I then started to worry that he was also going blind.

Long story short, I found an awesome friend who actually DOES have hair cutting prowess who fixed my little mess as well as the grown out layers in the back. She had an opening for that evening, and as I sat on her kitchen stool and meekly let the professional do her job, I started thinking about how we all have things that we are good at. And things that we’re not.

She snipped effortlessly with her scissors WHILE holding a conversation. It was like a surgeon standing over the surgery table with all of his knowledge and experience behind him instead of the janitor wearing scrubs, asking where he should cut next. I bowed to her. Never had I appreciated her skill more than I did in that moment.

Sometimes as moms I think we all somehow think that we should all be good at the same things. But even more than that- I think we hold our children to this impossible standard. That somehow our child will be the one to DO ALL THE THINGS. and be good AT EVERYTHING.

But the truth is, my degrees in music education do not qualify me to cut hair. Your child might be super smart and super quick, but there will be things in your child’s life that he will naturally be good at. And things he won’t be.

What am I getting at with this?

My daughter has Down syndrome. When you hear that, you might automatically think of all the things that she won’t be good at- things that will make her struggle- things that set her apart as different.

But I want you to know- there are things that my daughter is awesome at. She has her own set of gifts along with her own set of struggles- just like any other child.

Being extremely sensitive to emotions around her, owning the best laugh in the entire world, sharing with her brothers, babying her babies with finesse, helping mommy make pizza, downing a bowl of M&Ms in record speed before Mommy catches her, giving hugs, setting the table, holding hands, shouting “AMEN” at the dinner table after prayer, dressing herself, rocking a day at school, and on and on and on I could go.

Maybe even one day my daughter will grow up and learn to teach music like Mommy. Or learn to cut hair. I would say thank goodness! Save the $40! But if I know her? She’ll charge me $50. She’s smart like that.

We All Have Things We're Good at...and Things We're Not | Life as MOM

We all have things we are good at. And things we’re not. I love celebrating the difference amongst us. There is so much to learn from each other. And so much to celebrate.

Tonight I am celebrating a fixed hair cut. Cutting hair is no joke. I completely admire those with the gift. As the “got stuck in the weed whacker” look that I was sporting a few hours ago can attest? I ain’t got it.

deannaDeanna is passionate about special needs advocacy and new motherhood- two things that go hand in hand for her right now. Three kids four and under, the oldest of which has Down syndrome- keeps her quite busy. But there’s always enough time left at the end of the day to write all about the insanity at her blog Everything and Nothing from Essex. And to laugh- always, always there is time to laugh.

Technically labeled a “special” mother, Deanna really finds nothing special about herself. Truly, special needs parenting is just about taking it one day at a time- enjoying the highs, sloughing through the lows, and stumbling through the mundane while drinking too much coffee. Read all of Deanna’s posts here.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Such a good reminder! Thanks, Deanna.
    PS My hair cutting skills are closer to the weed-whacker variety.

  2. great post! i learned long ago that cutting hair is so NOT my gift…unfortunately with 3 daughters. but it just wasn’t. another gift that just wasn’t mine was homeschooling. back when my kids were young, there were very few tools available for it. but it is wise for us to realize, some are called to that and have the gifts to do it and others aren’t.

    i wasn’t called to do it. my husband definitely didn’t think i was called to do it and deep down, i knew i didn’t have the gifts for it. i’m so not a teacher. i could add to the job our daughters’ teachers did. some years they were better than others, but thats just the way it worked out.

    i also am not great in the kitchen when it comes to serving large groups of people. someone who know what they are doing can tell me what to do and i’ll do it, but i am clueless. sadly, those are often the people who are unaware that some of us in this world just don’t get kitchens and how to do them in other places than our own. it is a huge area of ineptness for me. but i can cook in my own and make decent meals there.

    i can encourage other people. i know how to see the possibilities in other people out the wazoo! i have done it often. in many ways, i am an optimist. but when it comes to me, i have this voice that tells me all that is wrong and awful. i’ve learned to silence it with the sound of the love, mercy and grace of Christ, but it still raises its ugly head at times.

    great reminder as we look at both our kids, our spouses, ourselves and others around us…no one is good at everything…or bad at everything. we need to see the realistic truth of where they are good at things and encourage them in those areas:)

    thanks for your good words!

  3. i have learned this with my three – one on the spectrum and two not. I always assumed that my spectrum kiddo would have ALL the challenges. Truth is – they ALL struggle in some areas. My spectrum kiddo is AWESOME at things my “typical” kids really have to work on and vice versa. God fearfully and wonderfully made each one of them different.

    That realization is HUGE and more freeing than I would have thought.

  4. You have a great sense of humor, Thanks for sharing

  5. christy angeles says

    I love Deanna’s posts. I’m a brand new mother. We are adopting a 15 year old with special needs. She was abandoned. We don’t know if it’s because of the special needs or if the abuse she survived caused the special needs. But I so appreciate Deanna’s thoughts on special kids. And Claudia sure is special.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts