Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Resisting the bar

This post is seriously bugging me. I know what I want to say- and I have in some measure said it below- but its not coming out exactly right. But I've spent more than a week staring at the stupid thing and I'm just going to send it out, mediocre and incomplete. bleh.

I know what you're thinking, but not that kind of bar. I mean resisting the bar of perfection. I mean resisting the allure of looking like Superwoman while raising children, taking care of your house, your health, your husband, your friends. I just read this and felt every word this brilliant lady was saying. She puts her guilt in a backpack, but I am trying not to carry it at ALL. It can live in my notebooks and Ipad and blog entries.

Guilt when you do something wrong is a healthy reaction that helps you improve behavior.

Guilt that you lug around, bound to you by perfectionism or others' expectations or others' PERCEIVED expectations is just extraneous baggage and its HEAVY. Shed it.

I am taking up the song of the new mom revolution. We don't live in a carefully cultivated Pinterest-worthy universe. We don't live where the dishes are always done, the makeup is always on, the children are always dressed. (I'm lucky if the grownups are dressed) Our food isn't organic all the time, our plates don't always have vegetables, and I give my kids cow's milk because its full fat and has all the vitamins.  I used leftover party decorations for my son's first birthday, and not only did I not have party favors for the kids who came, I didn't plan any games, either. (We had bitchin' cupcakes from a local bakery, though.) We may choose public, private or charter schools for the kids, and any of those choices are perfectly fine. I may still be 20 pounds overweight this time next year, OR I may lose all the weight and it will be because I was able to put my health on the priority list- some mommies can't and they know why. Its their business and the rest of us should stay out of it.

That's just a small list of the things that I allow to eat me up with useless guilt. Once I make peace with some of those decisions, others pop up to leave me uncertain and guilty. But if I am still for a few moments, if I take the time to turn inward for a bit and listen, I know I am doing a good job. I know my kids are happy and pleasant and creative and amazing. I know that I am happy and pleasant and creative and amazing. Hopefully by treating myself with gentleness I can become an example for other mommies and make it okay for them to do the same.

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