Sunday, January 18, 2009

Perfect Imperfection

Whenever I get a few days off, I always get super-ambitious & make a to-do list with a few easy things (pay bills, make doctor's appointments), a few things which require a more marked effort (write & send thank you notes, clean out fridge), and a few things which require dedicated time and effort (plan Big Sis' party, make crib skirt, paint wooden letters). I crossed off all the easy things, most of the medium-difficult, and only one of the hard stuff.

I suppose I'm disappointing no one but myself, as the list really affects only me. I think I was so overwhelmed by planning Big Sis' party that the other stuff took a backseat (which in itself is not great, as I need the wooden letters & crib skirt to implement part of my birthday gift to her: a room makeover). Good news is that I think I have her party pretty well planned out. Bad news is that I only have 2 weeks to get my act together & finish the other things in order to pull off her full birthday experience.

I Know.

She's going to be 5.

Not 15.


As she has no idea about the room makeover, whatever I do or don't do will still be a surprise to her. And she could really care less if I don't find the right party decorations or giveaway bags. As long as there is cake, tiaras, pink balloons, and a few friends, she will be pumped.

Every time I start to sweat the small stuff, I remind myself "No one cares about this but me. If I buy white sheets for her bed instead of the precise shade of pink I really want, it will still be adorable. And NO ONE but me knows the difference".

There is nothing wrong with having strong opinions. It's better to have an opinion than to say you don't care. Not caring is a cop out. But there's also a difference between being rigid and inflexible, and picking your battles (even if the battle is with yourself). When it really counts, I want it my way. But more and more frequently, I realize that I can relax a little and not get so worked up about the more minor details.

Case in point: Snack Day at pre-school. I simply don't have the time or the foresight to make organic fruit kebabs for eighteen 5 year olds. When it's our turn for snacks, they usually get Go-gurt or vanilla ice cream cups. Cheap, portable, single-serving, and kid approved. Done and done.

Does this make me a more imperfect parent? Or have I finally discovered the secret to keeping my sanity?


Chrissy Jo said...

I don't think you're a cop out mom. I think you're a great example to me of balance. I often find myself getting all stressed out about making dinner parties, gatherings, brunches just so. I get all grouchy at Nick for not caring as much as I do about where the streamers are taped, and if there are enough balloons... and then in hindsight I realize that he doesn't have my vision, nor do any of the guests, so if I'm missing that one little thing they don't know the difference. Is this getting long and ranting? Yes. I'll stop now.

Robyn said...

Congratulations, you have discovered the secret to keeping your sanity. You nailed it, girl. I'm proud of you!