Good, better, best

I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I was disappointed in myself for spelling “encephalopathy” wrong in the spelling bee. In high school, I cried when I got a B in biology. In college, I cut down my calories if the scale rose higher than I wanted it to.

Then came motherhood. Messy, marvelous motherhood. There isn’t much room for perfectionism here.

Last year my therapist mentioned that I’m probably setting myself up for failure by always expecting to have these super smooth and productive days, when in reality there is a spectrum: good, better, best. (A lot of my days seemed way worse than “good,” but I got the point she was trying to make.)

A “best” day is one where you wake up feeling great and hit all your goals. A “better” day might have a few pitfalls, but overall you accomplish what you set out to do. A “good” day is one in which everyone’s basic needs are met… and that’s about it.

This morning I walked out of the bathroom to find CJ and Kyeler completely naked, diapers chucked to the side, standing over a giant puddle of pee. Sweet Cece was fussy with a cold and emitting geyser-like spit ups. I cleaned up the messes as calmly as I could and started getting everyone ready to leave the house, only to be derailed by a thirty minute toddler brawl over a pair of shoes. When we finally settled on who would wear said shoes, they didn’t fit.

We made it out of the house, eventually. I kept my cool, mostly. I went through the Wendy’s drive-thru for lunch and only felt slightly guilty. I let the boys watch 30 minutes of television and didn’t feel guilty at all.

The boys were funny and sweet and couldn’t stop kissing Cece. We read Corduroy’s Shapes over and over and laughed about the word “cornucopia.” We saw a beautiful bluebird perched on our fig tree in the front yard. All the kids napped and nobody went hungry. A friend unexpectedly dropped off homemade bread. When Josh came home from work, he played with the kids and then we ate leftovers for dinner. Right now the boys are in bed, Cece is resting on her Boppy, and I’m about to read another chapter of The Chamber of Secrets.

Today was a good day.

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