As I sit here watching my 8-month-old become mobile through trial and error, I’m struck by the pain he’s going through learning to move around. He sits up, loses his balance and falls over. Sometimes he cries, sometimes not. But even after a particularly painful topple, he gets back up and tries to crawl, driven by the need to explore his world.
I feel like I can learn a lesson from watching him. Anything worth learning involves a bit of pain. Risk is scary. But when we focus on the goal, we can push past the pain. My goal recently has been to spend more time playing with my kids. “What pain is involved with that?” you’re probably asking yourself. For me, the pain of pushing past the exhaustion and recently, the migraines, to give that one ounce of weak energy to my eldest daughter in a rousing game of Battleship. Or leaving the laundry until after bedtime to read my youngest daughter the book about Dora that I’ve already read 3 times today. Change can be messy, and even the smallest risk can feel huge. I personally fight the need for perfection, even while knowing it is unattainable. My utopia is a perfectly clean house, laundry all clean, folded and put away and children quietly playing in their room. That is unfortunate, because my reality is typically dirty dishes in the sink, loads of laundry at various stages of progress, and kids pulling at my shirt wanting me to “play with us, play with us, play with us!!”
So here I find myself, pressing through the pain of imperfection. Of letting something go in favor of something more important. And much like my little newly mobile man-child, learning the new skill of redefining success hurts now and then, but I know once mastered will make my rhythm as a mother much more satisfying and much less stressful. And so I press on. . .