A little warning for you, dear reader: If you’re interested in a light chronicling of daily events, this isn’t it. Although there would certainly be daily events worthy of telling—most of which pulling from a terrible sense of potty humor—this is something deeper. This is about a common thread that has spun itself into each one of my days over the course of the past six months, the course of my new life as a mother.
I recently stopped wearing my fitbit. I had it for less than a month and was pleased on the days that I achieved my 10,000 steps, but that wasn’t everyday. I became annoyed that my fitbit wasn’t counting the other forms of exercise I had been doing, like picking up a baby 1,000,000,00000000 times a day. Come on fitbit, can’t you tell that I’m working here? Eventually I started to resent those little blue blinking lights, reminding me that, yet again, I didn’t accomplish my goal. Akin to the precious ring in the Lord of the Ring series, the fitbit became a most demonic accessory. Although, I would like to consider myself a bit more attractive than Gollum, I mean, I at least have better hair.
I realized that the fitbit had become an ever-present reminder that I was a failure. Every absent blue light on the display screen came to represent every unachieved goal in my life, every way that I prove to be less-than.
So naturally, I passed the fitbit off to my husband. Now he can deal with the nagging feelings of failure when he doesn’t reach his step goal for the day. Just kidding. He doesn’t overthink this stuff like I do. Here’s the thing: I can get rid of the tangible thing that symbolizes failure, but this isn’t really about the fitbit. This is about the state of my heart and how I am “coping” with the transition into motherhood.
Mommyhood is the greatest juxtaposition I’ve ever experienced. It’s great and sometimes—awful. Like at 3am when you have mastitis and your 3 week old baby just pooped all over himself and it’s in his hair and you have to bathe him because poop in his hair is disgusting and your body hurts so bad and you’re so weak that you can’t even fully stand, you have to lean over the sink to bathe your poopy baby. Folks, that just effing sucks. Learning to handle the juxtaposition is a confusing transition, especially when you think you can still mimic perfection.
So that’s my day, my everyday. I fight the incessant need for perfection. Is my son listening to enough classical music to enrich his mind such that he will be great at math? Am I reading to him enough? Why isn’t he crawling yet? Am I back to my pre-pregnancy weight and do I look fashionably put together?
Probably not, and that’s ok. I know perfection is unattainable, if even unattractive at times; it’s a matter of convincing my heart. This proves a continuous work, albeit a work worthwhile. So I’ll continue to try out grace, no matter how much I have to fight the perfectionistic tendencies. Battle on.
Kristin Morgan, originally from Gloucester, VA. New to Lynchburg (here since January 2015). Currently a stay-at-home-mom to her 6 month old son, but hopes to one day use her counseling degree for things other than to annoy her husband about talking out his feelings. Enjoys long walks on the beach and Cabernet Sauvignon, not necessarily together, but she would be into that.