“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
- Anna Quindlen
I’m a perfectionist, or so I’ve been told. Recently as a mom being perfect has been a tough calling. This summer I’ve felt like the captain of team Loser Mom. The kids are dressed – probably because they are ten and twelve now and dress themselves – but the rest of my household is an utter mess. Perfect started slipping in June.
Now, late August, when I look at my countertop I see urgent messages scribbled on notepaper from mid-July, my son’s report card from last year unfiled, popcorn crumbs, rasberry jam stains, and a framed print of a Massai Warrior we bought in Kenya leaned up against the refrigerator. My resolution to exercise last week resulted in an embarrassing fall, a trip to the emergency room, and heavy doses of ibuprophen and arnica.
Perfect is over.
Now that I gave up on perfect I am feeling more myself. And realizing that the craziness of this summer happened for a reason. For me it taught me a lot about my boundaries as a mother and birth activist. It also showed me that perfect and not-so-perfect aren’t much different and that resting in between – just Being – is my best mother-moment.
Next week on Labor Day – September 5 – the fruits of my efforts and many others this summer will be birthed at the brand-new Museum of Motherhood as part of the 5th anniversary of BOLD, a global movement to improve childbirth choices for mothers. There will be a reading of my play BIRTH and, even BOLDer, the play will be broadcast around the world via webcast 11 times in September. Audiences around the world will chant “My Body Rocks!” with Amanda as she gives birth, they’ll see the heart-tugging reality of Lisa’s c-section, and the triumphant (and new!) VBAC story of Sandy. It’s BIRTHistory. It’s an evening you don’t want to miss.
To get a ticket or register for the free webcast go to www.GetBOLDaboutBirth.com.
The perfect and not-so-perfect mom, spouse, and friend is gone – and with that I hear my voice even deeper telling me everything is okay.
About Karen Brody