One line at a time

Hi blog, it’s me, Kim. Just here to catch up ’cause, ya know, it’s been little crazy around here! In case you missed it, H turned one… which means we’ve been at this parenting thing for over a year now too. We survived!

At her birthday party, (one week after her actual birthday) we had all the neighborhood babies over for a splash party in the yard. The cuteness was almost unbearable.

Us parents gathered around the baby pool to gaze adoringly at our gaggle of girls, who were delighting each other by splashing and giggling. A good friend and fellow mama recalled that the same day the year before, she had dropped off a casserole for us (I was bedridden after giving birth and friends very kindly brought us meals!)

I was surprised she remembered, because after all, she was also keeping up with a toddler. She shared she kept a single line diary and had checked back on this date a year ago, and her entry was basically “took casserole to the Newton’s”!

I considered my own writing efforts over the past 20 years or so since I started journaling… and how hard I found it to just churn out an entry sometimes. Why?? Didn’t I have so much going on, so many thoughts and so much to get out of my brain?! I knew though, that like too many things in my life, I judged myself harshly if I didn’t have something polished, just right, dare I say, nearly perfect. The freedom of having a one-line diary seemed simply wonderful.

Why have I put such pressure on myself? Surely, no one but me cares whether I write one line or 500. I know it’s social conditioning, and that a significant factor in why I experience these feelings is because I’m female…I’m not alone in feeling this way. As mothers, partners, and co-workers, we live under the false idea that unless our work is anything but perfect we might as well not try at all.

Well, I’m making a turn and am aiming to try something totally radical: I’ll sum it up with the phrase “one line at a time”.

Instead of perfection, these days, I’m aiming for progress. Instead of trying to be everything for everyone, I’m taking a step back and reframing my own expectations of what I should or shouldn’t be able to accomplish without also being Wonder Woman. I’m giving myself a little grace to be more myself and less what others might expect. I’m trying (and it’s really hard) to be OK with one line at a time, instead of churning out polished perfection… because that kind of expectation isn’t realistic. It’s not human! It’s super-human.

So, to all the human mamas out there… remember, one line at a time, one breath, one day… and it’ll all add up to wonderful, glorious progress.

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