Today has been one of those days. Not a good day or a bad day…just a day. But a day that seems like it’s been going on for years. It’s 7:15 p.m. I just put little B down for bed. It’s 45 minutes before his normal bedtime but thankfully he doesn’t know the difference. He’s been tired and fussy since I picked him up from childcare which is the worst because I miss him all day and then I finally get to him…and ugh. And then he yells and cries all the way home, no manners at all. “Use your inside voice” I say, forgetting that he’s only a year old and has no idea what I mean. So he refuses to listen, and I turn up the radio hoping to drown out the crying and in the end I get a headache from Miley Cyrus instead of BenJovi.
But today didn’t start out this way. This morning while I was driving Corey to school, he told me that I should write about being a perfect mom. I laughed and told him that’s silly, because nobody’s perfect. To which he replied, “I know you’re not a perfect person…but you’re a perfect mom”. I thanked him for thinking so, but assured him that I’m nowhere near perfect. And he looked at me, unconvinced and as serious as could be and said “Maybe you don’t think so, but you don’t get to decide because I’m the kid and I decided that you’re a perfect mom”. Well, alright then. Who am I to argue with his nine year old logic?
How can it be that he thinks I’m perfect, or even good, when right now I’m sitting here with a sink full of dishes, bath toys still in the tub and I’ve put the baby to bed early just to catch a break. My sleeve is still soaking wet from giving Ben a bath because I can’t even manage to control a toddler and keep him from splashing. My kids ate sandwiches for dinner since I didn’t have time to cook when I got home from work because we had to rush out of the house for play rehearsal and Jiu Jitsu class. The laundry that I started this morning is still sitting in the washing machine and the 87 loads that still need to be done are clearly not getting done today. Toys are still covering the floor which hasn’t been vacuumed and I should be packing lunches for tomorrow, but I still have to go back out to pick up kids again and all I really want to do is go to bed.
And then it occurred to me that my kids couldn’t care less about all of those things that I haven’t gotten done today. Nobody does. All of the expectations I had for myself today that I didn’t accomplish, I’m the only one disappointed by them. All of the crazy pressure I feel to juggle everything perfectly, never dropping the ball on anything…I’m the one that’s putting it there…and it’s okay if I stop doing that to myself. It’s probably actually even good for me to stop it.
My kids love me simply because I love them and they know it. And today is just that…a day. It’s one day which is just a tiny little dot in the big picture. It’s going to be over shortly and tomorrow I’ll get to start all over again. Being a not-quite-perfect but not-all-that-terrible-either mom.