“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”
For the Love of Naps posted this quote yesterday, and it’s been following me around ever since. It’s very true, of course. 95% of the time I’m a great mom. I know this. I know this by looking at my kids, my house, our life. But that last 5%–the once in a while–is what gets me.
See, I’m a perfectionist. An A- was a source of shame. Bs weren’t in my vocabulary. I expect myself to be perfect, now more than ever. What if I’m not, and something were to happen to one of the kids as a result? I live in constant and vivid fear of that 5%, and my memory feeds right into it. It has a tendency to forget that 95%, the times I’ve locked up something dangerous from my kids or fed them something healthy or set aside whatever needed to be done to be there and present for them. It brings up the 5%, often with the dreaded: WHAT IF? Like the time I forgot to strap M’s carseat. It was a mistake, what could be a very dangerous mistake, that I hadn’t made before and haven’t made since. But still, instead of focusing on that, my memory brings up that moment as this: I forgot to strap him in and then someone hit our car and M was hurt all because I made one little slip. But that’s not WHAT WAS. What was is that M started crying halfway down the street and I pulled over and strapped him in, profusely apologizing, and have triple checked their straps from then on. But my memory, prefers to rake me over the coals indefinitely.
Living in fear, living in WHAT WASN’T, sucks. I won’t be perfect, always. God’s cornered the market on that one. So there will always be those moments of failure. But there is also 95% success! And joy that the failures that happened were without dire consequences! Because there will be failures with consequences, and those need to not be muddled up by what came in between. What came in between–the WHAT WAS–should be appreciated, as should the WHAT IS (you know, that thing passing me by while I’m all wound up about the WHAT WAS or the WHAT IF).
WHAT IS today is that I am trying harder. WHAT IS today is that I know I’m a good mom because I’m still here for my kids, still trying, still pressing on in the face of that fear. We will all miss the mark; it’s not an excuse to stop playing the game. The WHAT IS today is good, and that–no matter what my memory will say–is the true memory of tomorrow. If memory really served, 95% of those memories are good, warm, positive. Which stands to reason that the 95% I’m yet to make will be good, warm, positive. That’s WHAT WILL BE.