I didn’t intend to write a “perfect moment” post this month. Now if it was a “perfectly crazy moment” then OF COURSE I could participate. Because I have had so many of those lately, selecting one would be like choosing your favorite flavor of old-fashioned striped candy stick, only a lot less sweet, and slightly disturbing. In fact, I think that’s as close as I want to get to describing my crazy moments other than to say: Hormones matter, folks. A LOT. And when you mess with them everything goes from ok-I-can-do-this to OH-MY-GOD-WE’RE-ALL-GONNA-DIE faster than you can say Clomid.
But it turns out I DO have a perfect moment post. It took my people — you — to help me find it. I posted what, at the time, seemed to be a help-I’m-failing-at-this-parenting-thing-will-you-hold-my-hand post on facebook and…well, darn it, the people who love me turned it into a CELEBRATION. A celebration of me and my mamahood. It made me four dozen candy stripe flavors of grateful.
So, thank to you, here’s my perfect moment:
“Every year the holidays are a huge struggle for me. I WANT to relax and enjoy what matters most: family and friends….but I also want a sparkly house, thoughtful gifts, and now that I’m a mom, to make the holidays magical for our amazing daughter. So my wife and I adopted a new mantra this year: Follow the Joy, which translated means, do what you love and don’t do what you don’t love. I am trying friends, really I am.
But it is hard to clean a house while chasing after a toddler tornado who is an expert at food messes and the redistribution of EVERYTHING. It is also very hard to grocery shop with someone who insists on walking, toddler speed, through a store full of busy, anxious people.
So today I finally surrendered. My house is a wreck, the laundry is in a heap on the stairs, half the groceries aren’t put away. But I just spent an hour playing with an empty to-go coffee cup with the girl. It was so much fun learning how to put the lid on. And off. And on. And off. And on. And off. Because I want our daughter to remember a Mutti who was present and loving and played WITH her, not cleaned around her and shopped in spite of her. It is so hard but I am trying.”
And here’s some of what I received in response:
“What a good Mutti”
“I struggle I the same way…”
“Big parenting win. Way to go!”
“You are wonderful. You will not regret the time you spend with your child.”
“Although, I have to say that when I look back, there really are some times when I wished I had cleaned the floors instead of going out and playing ball with my now-grown sons–okay: I can’t even finish that one. I’m laughing too hard…”
The kicker is that I really DO NOT do well when my living environment crosses the threshold of okay-messy into panic-messy. It isn’t about being ready for company or impressing people. It is about my own need for internal calm and that illusion of order in the midst of chaos without which I would lose all hope. Hope for living. So you understand..the stakes are high.
So I did clean my house later that day, after that perfect moment with my daughter. I HAD to. For my own sake of holding on to hope-for-living.
But you know what was awesome? When order was restored and the clawing panic in my throat abated and I laid in bed that night mentally rehearsing the food prep order for Thanksgiving, what I returned to again and again was…
that moment with my daughter.
THOSE PEOPLE WERE RIGHT.
They were right when they said: “The mess you will always have with you. The young daughter you will not.”
So, yeah, I’ll always have my own brand of crazy. But sometimes, in a rare moment of undeserved, abundant grace, I will choose wisely. And if I am especially lucky, this community of people who live down the street and across town and in the next city and thousands of miles away — you — will help me to recognize and claim it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is a Perfect Moment Monday post inspired by Lori Lavender Luz. Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Read more perfect moments on the blog hop.