Let’s just cut to the chase – there is no perfect day.
I know, super shockingly surprising, right?
I know I write about the moments and grabbing the moments and savoring the little things, but let me tell you – that doesn’t mean that you are going to sit in your house and love every single moment in your day – you can try, but honestly there will be moments that you miss, where you lose focus, or that are just plain challenging. In fact, truthfully, most moments are often hard, boring, tedious, frustrating, or just simply stressful. I am trying to think about how many times in a single day when I stand in my kitchen and look around and in between words of don’t bug your brother and stop it and let’s be a bit quieter (when I really want to shout be quiet!) that I think what in the world am I doing?
Take my day – kids that didn’t want to do their homework, who didn’t respond to sweet let’s work on it together, who tried to run to their rooms and hide like I didn’t notice, who crumbled up their papers, who sassed back – and that was just one of them in five minutes.
Those moments? Not really enjoyed. Not at all.
Those are the moments in my life that often inspire the writing – moments of patience, breathing deep, and pushing of the parenting self to the edge. They’re simply real.
Real moments that punctuate motherhood blasting holes into the perfect day myth.
So what about finding joy and savoring the little things?
It’s being willing to be able to see some good things in the midst of the not so perfect life.
And that takes discipline and work and sometimes it takes a really large extra hot caramel macchiato at Starbucks with a gluten free cookie. Sometimes it takes a friend calling you and you bursting into tears about how you are so overwhelmed with laundry, cleaning, and that someone stopped over when your living room had an explosion of toys. Sometimes it takes sweet little words of I love you from the preschooler who has been trying your patience and all of a sudden answers with that when you ask what now?
Perfection is a myth.
In fact, perfection and the chasing of the hypothetical perfect day can actually create this underlying feeling of discontent and not doing enough and not being enough. That’s the hidden side of that pesky myth.
It can leave us as mothers wondering why we don’t measure up, or why we’re aggravated over the toddler singing the same song in a row for 14 minutes, or why we just got irritated at the pile of snow clothes strewn in the entryway (it might be because you just stepped in slushy wet snow), or why when someone says that they don’t like dinner that you want to throw your hands in the air and walk out the door and get yourself something really good to eat. And you know what? I did that once. No one liked dinner, they complained, and later that night I went and got myself a really good dinner.
That truth that we all simply know in our guts?
Life is not perfect.
These beautiful motherhood moments that we’ll talk about when our hands are wrinkly and our hair white or grey will probably be the ones tucked in the midst of the imperfection. It’s the imperfection that I believe we’ll celebrate and laugh and cry over as we reflect on these years of being in the depth of motherhood.
If you live your life thinking that every single breath is going to be this breath of absolute perfection and that you must enjoy every single thing – seriously now, is it that enjoyable holding the puke bucket for a not very good puking aiming three year old? – you can drive yourself to discouragement because we’re not sucking the joy marrow out of every moment. However, I will argue that after you get all of that puke cleaned up, and a new shirt on, and the washing machine going (thank goodness for those inventions – that needs to go on my gratitude list), and you sit in the room with the weary three year old and they rest in your arms that that moment is one that is beautiful in the midst.
Just keep that cleaned out puke bucket near by. Arms reach. And keep towels by you.
So breathe, today, breathe.
Are you going to have to count to twenty, brush off your pants, sweep the floor, deal with really aggravating moments? Absolutely yes. But, live aware, awake enough to see the little gifts tucked within the gift of normal. It doesn’t mean that normal is perfect – normal is really just normal – but what it does mean is that even with the ups, downs, no-sleeps, tiring times there are moments of beauty and joy nestled within.
There is no perfect day.
Repeat it after me – there is no perfect motherhood life day.
There is simply real life.
Real life, messy life, dealing with crabby kids, piled high laundry, saying no a million and infinity times, kids that don’t listen, constant noise, and a moment of I love you mom smooshed right in the middle.
That’s a loving the little things kind of life.
It’s giving yourself grace to live and to mess up, but also pushing yourself to keep trying, keep laughing, and keep pushing. And in the middle of all that you live with eyes and a heart that is aware that this life, this perfectly imperfect life, is actually a bit beautiful. A gift. A gift even in holding the puke bucket for the three year old. Was that moment fabulous? No. But you were there – you gave, you loved, you dodged well (sometimes), and you moved on. That’s a moment to celebrate.
Real imperfect beautiful crazy life.
That’s perfect to me.
Rest in that, and kick that myth of perfection to the curb and instead celebrate today with it’s messes and do-overs and flopped dinners and beautiful moments tucked in the middle of it all.
That’s the stuff that matters.
Real. Intentional. Motherhood.
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