I’m usually really hard on myself. I mean, REALLY REALLY hard on myself.
I know that perfection is an illusion and that doing the best I can do is the best I can do, but sometimes I don’t do my best, or even half my best, because I’m stressed or I’m exhausted from juggling everything that’s on my plate as a single mom.
There are also times I compare myself to other people and expect more from myself than I should. I want to do what I think is the right thing. I want to push myself. I want to be the bigger person. But when I don’t or can’t I will beat myself up relentlessly for it.
Monday I snapped at my son for the stupidest reason and made him cry. We were walking out of the house for the bus and instead of holding the screen door for me like he usually does he happily skipped away and let it go, causing it to swing back and knock the contents of my coffee cup all over my pants.
I yelled at him, which I rarely do since there is rarely a reason to, which caused him to cry because it caught him so off-guard.
The moment the tears sprang from his eyes I realized what I’d done and felt horrible about it. It wasn’t a reason to yell at him at all. It was just coffee. He didn’t do it intentionally. Hell, I wasn’t even upset about it, but I was majorly stressed about other things that morning and when that hot coffee spilled on me it unleashed all of that stress onto my boy who didn’t at all deserve it.
I immediately hugged him and apologized with sincere remorse. My heart ached I felt so bad.
He said he forgave me.
But after I put him on the bus that morning I couldn’t stop thinking about how horribly I’d treated him by snapping at him for something so silly. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about how me yelling at him was going to be the last memory he had of me that day, since he would be with his father after school. And then I kept thinking how he might remember that his entire life and it would somehow fuck him up.
I punished myself the entire day for it.
When I met him after school at the bus stop to give him another apologetic hug, he’d already forgotten all about it. He stepped off the bus and ran up to me smiling, his arms spread wide. He didn’t hold a grudge or punish me for my slip up.
After we said our goodbyes, I vowed to try harder to not be so hard on myself in those moments when I’m not perfect.
The older I get the more I realize that the people that really care about me love all of me, including my imperfections.
And I should too.
* * * * * * * * *
Yesterday my ex accidentally left a set of keys in our son’s backpack and sent his girlfriend to come pick them up.
I’ve been around the other woman twice now, yet my ex has never made the effort to formally introduce us. It makes anytime we’re around each other extremely awkward for me.
I can sense it’s awkward for her too.
When he told me she was coming yesterday, he asked that I leave his keys outside on my porch for her.
My immediate thought was that doing that was just plain stupid. I wanted to have her ring my doorbell, be the bigger person and finally formally introduce myself and then hand her the keys like a mature person would.
But I just couldn’t make myself do it.
So I sat the keys out on the porch.
Normally I’d beat myself up over it. I’d call myself a coward and criticize myself for being weak, but yesterday I didn’t.
I’m just not ready to look her in the eyes and have a conversation with her yet. And that’s okay.
There’s something so freeing about embracing your imperfections.
I dare you to try it.