Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Gift of Lowered Expectations

You may have noticed I did not post anything yesterday, friends. The reason involved two two-year-olds in my house all day. A good friend works at/near/around/for/among the Supreme Court (I'm protecting her identity), and yesterday was the first day back in session. It was also the week that her daycare fell through. So I am watching her two year-old for a couple of days.

Needless to say I was having massive anxiety dreams about managing the exuberance, both positive and negative, of two toddlers over multiple days. I was in that desperate netherworld the night before of absolutely knowing I needed to sleep and be rested, and being unable to stop my mind racing about what in sam hill I was going to do to with two certifiably "high energy" toddlers for two days to keep the train from coming off the tracks.

In the end, I just decided to lower my expectations of myself from "have a great day and have the kids love it while learning Chinese greetings and singing songs in French!" to "live through it; no one gets injured, maimed or killed in traffic."

Man! You want liberty?! Live every day like you just need to be okay, not great. Like you just need to do what you can, not the ultimate-best-most-amazing stuff ever. Like you are not curing cancer (unless of course, you poor dear lab researcher, you are).

It was the most freeing thing in the world. And ironically, my house never looked cleaner and I've never been less stressed. Yes, we had no blogging going on, and I certainly had no real client work going on. But I was a pretty d*mn good mother to two nonstop active girls for 13 hours yesterday...and I think I can do it again.

My little muscle-pulling self-pat on the back last night reminded me of a quote I used to think about in grad school before doing a public speech or in my job before presenting at a conference:

"Perfection is something you should aim for and dismiss at the same time; it robs you of a certain spirit." (Merce Cunningham)

Mommy Perfection. At least where two year olds are concerned, I'm dismissing it. Think about where you can dismiss it too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another maxim for us layfolk: "Done is better than perfect." Live it.