My day in a nutshell: up before the sun…because toddlers, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 snacks, 3 dinners, dusting, vacuuming, washing peanut butter out of said toddler’s hair, picking up countless toys, washing dishes at least 3 times, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, going to the Dr., running to the grocery store and pharmacy, doing some work, sorting and tagging for our local JBF (consignment) sale, taking out the trash and recycle, and working on load #9 of laundry as I type this.
From a distance it would appear that I had a busy and productive day. The crummy part is I don’t feel like it. If you refer back to previous posts, you’ll see that I struggled with “Enough Syndrome” long before having to juggle work-mom-wife life was a thing. As I sit and look around you would never know that I lifted a finger today. There are toys strewn across the living room floor. There are yet more dishes in the sink. There is another bag of trash waiting to be taken out, and despite all I’ve done today I don’t credit myself with the successes of the day but rather beat myself up over the tasks still left to be done.
We are so surrounded with perfection that it becomes all-consuming. There are the Pinterest perfect crafts, the Instagram perfect profiles, the Facebook moms that supposedly have it all together, the professional Snap-chatters that somehow catch their kids doing ALL-THE-THINGS. Once upon a time I strove for perfection. The perfect job, marriage, family, haircut etc. and I look at myself now and just have to laugh! Honey, I wouldn’t know perfect if it was on my front porch. My hair is rarely done, my house looks like a tornado hit it (and that’s after I’ve cleaned), I’m late to everything, my kid doesn’t sleep through the night. I could go on and on, but you catch my drift.
There is so much focus on the picture perfect that we lose sight of all the real life that takes place behind those pictures. One of my favorite quotes from Michelle Duggar is “Practice makes progress”. She taught her kids from day one not to strive for perfect, because no one is, but to strive to be better tomorrow than they are today. Even though I’m not the best at that it is something I wish to instill in my kids.
The long and the short of it is that we need to find a way to celebrate our small successes in the midst of the chaos. If you pick up the same dang toy 35 times tomorrow enjoy the fact that it stayed put away through nap time even if nap time gets cut short. Did you get to drink coffee in peace? Did dinner not burn? Did you get to grab Chick-fil-a? Take what you can and remind yourself that there is always more to do.
“Choose your attitude every day until eventually it chooses you right back.”
― Jon Acuff