Thanks to my sister’s suggestion, I started an online course with Brené Brown on The Gifts of Imperfection. Which is perfect timing, considering the new state of affairs in our household. So far, one week in, I am fast recognizing my propensity to want perfection. Of course it’s easy when life, relationships and circumstances resemble expectations– but the unplanned, undesired or imperfect are a struggle.
Who isn’t dealing with some degree of this in some way at some time? I figured I had been making the transition into this new phase of motherhood pretty well. It was this morning while on the phone with a good friend that I broke down in tears and realised I have a long way to go with this new deal.
I’ve been struggling with a wicked virus for weeks – which means no gym visits and toned down everything else (walks, vinyasa, social outings) in an effort to get well. The typical outlets and small sense of accomplishment that comes with them are not available to me.
Thinking I would be back in the gym by this weekend, I was struck for the fifth time with the down swing of said virus a few days ago. The low energy also means housework and little chores that I usually whiz-bang off no problem are piling up before my eyes. Working from home means I get to stare my lack of efficiency in the face too. Yay!
Darling came down with conjunctivitis earlier in the week – meaning no day care and an envisioned productive workday down the tubes. That’s all right, I told myself, you’ve got Thursday; tackle the work 100% then. Her condition has meant more frequent waking at night, which has not helped with my health or patience.
This morning I hand my screaming baby, who desperately clings to me, over to the day care, feeling a huge sense of relief and excitement about the chance to get some work done, even though I am plugged up with a cold again. Of course as I drive out of the parking lot I feel guilt, is it normal to feel so happy to off-load her?
Less than two hours later I get a call, and it’s confirmed by a visit to the doctor: hand, foot and mouth disease. Sparing details, there’s no swimming, no day care, no outings until she’s better. After my taste of freedom this morning, it’s another round of virtual house arrest for baby and me.
I ask for a blood test; surely there is a way to chalk up the hell I’ve been going through. Perhaps it’s my Hashimoto’s acting up again? “I just want to get something started and finished in my life,” I say to the doctor as I tidy up the blocks girlie has tossed around the office.
“Oh you won’t,” she laughs, “Didn’t anyone tell you about being a parent?”
Uh. Not really.
So I’m in an extended “just get through this” mode. The cycle is taking on a never-ending tone and I admit my patience is slowly eroding into anger. This is more imperfection than I signed up for!