Happy new year!/How to fail like a champion
Sitting here in the calm of a New Year's morning in the cool still of the day. There is a real sense of promise.
Now I will be honest, in the past, this sense of "cleanness" and "newness" although inspiring and full of possibility would actually just be a set up for disappointment.
Because no matter how much I would intend to start something, perfect something, or do something perfectly, ultimately it would fall down. And then I am left feeling pretty low. Being a mother just constantly opens me up to life's little failures.
Trying to make it to an appointment? Or work? Getting ready takes twice the time when you have a little one to help you. No matter how hard you try to plan, be organised and prepared it can sometimes feel as thought the tide is against you as you try to do the most basic of tasks. Like, for example, walk out the front door.
Happy New Year!/
Suck it 2018
"Hug me Mummy!" She shouts as she leaps into my arms
This is why I can't have nice things" I thinks as I smile sweetly into her eyes.
Typical reasons I am late:
A child is up overnight and i haven't slept.
- A child is sick.
- A child says they are sick but really just don't want to go to school.
- A child wants to have porridge but we only have weet-bix.
- Toddler undresses themselves moments after being clothed. Now refuses to put on previous dress. Cue costume change.
- I find the porridge but don't put the milk in the correct order.
- The other sibling took the child's incorrectly made porridge and it has now become the bowl of porridge that they really want.
- The need for other child's porridge is really just a symbol of all the ways the other child is favoured.. cue long emotion-filled conversation.
- Toddler decides halfway into breakfast to pour cereal on herself and launch at me like some extreme trust exercise. Even though I'm on the other side of the kitchen.
- Toddler and I are now both covered in breakfast cereal. Cue costume change.
- Can't find hairbrush.
- Can't find shoes.
- Can't find bag.
- Can't find keys.
- Found everything. Miracle! Everyone is dressed, bags packed and walking to the car. A child remembers that today is sports day and they are dressed in the wrong uniform. Cue costume change.
- Second attempt to walk to car and toddler smears unknown substance onto my blouse. Consider the time it will take to change shirt and very real possibility that children will not make it back for a third attempt. Decide to keep the shirt and try to clean with a baby wipe in the car.
- I am now late AND wearing a dirty shirt. All before 8:30 am.
How else can I fail at 2018?
Planning on making this the year of the perfect relationship? See above example. Add 8 hours. Possibly overreact when asked a simple question. Argument follows.
Planning on making 2018 the year of the perfect mother? See above 2 examples. Add weeks/months/years of sleep deprivation. Possibly respond with not the gentle loving words and actions I intended.
Planning on making 2018 the year of success at work? See above 3 examples. Add guilt for not being available for every emotional and physical need for children plus sadness at own mortality/time passing quickly/ desire to squeeze every single moment of parenting joy. Add frustration at not being able to throw my complete self into a career I love, and feeling as though there is always more to that I could achieve if only there was more time. How's that for cognitive dissonance?
Planning on making 2018 the year of building friendships/social success? lolololololol. Have you even been paying attention?
There are literally millions of ways I will fail in 2018. From the small to the not so small. But I am learning over time to be ok with that. For things to be messy. To allow myself to be imperfect. To realise that really all I have to do is keep trying.
I take heart in the fact that I do love my children, and mostly try to meet their needs, and if I can do that about 30% of the time they will probably be ok.
I am nourished by the knowledge that I found a calling and a career that I love, that actually excited me and energises me, and I feel like i can make a positive impact in peoples lives, so if I cant do it all, I'm ok with doing a bit.
I am relieved that I found a partner that I can struggle with. Knowing we are both committed to this whole relationship thing and in the (rare) moments when it is just us (no kids, money, scheduling, family, work issues to distract us) we can still make each other laugh.
My commitment to 2018 is to celebrate my failures, to be comfortable with being vulnerable and trying my best.
My self-care isn't a spa day, it is about self-acceptance, taking a moment to step back and view my life in all its chaos and appreciate that these are the moments that we will look back on with nostalgia.
So celebrate your failures with me! I would love to hear the ways 2018 is kicking your butt, and I'll happily share mine.