I immediately felt unprepared. In my hands was a tiny little plaid shirt and the matching pants. The outfit I had chosen for Caleb to wear. Nothing monogrammed. Nothing smocked. Nothing requiring knee socks. So. Not. Perfect. I was 'that' parent on school picture day. The one who obviously hadn't thought it through (please note my sarcasm here). The one whose child would be getting a picture without a precious little shirt with his name, or some cute little bear or pumpkin monogrammed on it. The one whose child wouldn't be getting his hair freshly brushed because Mama didn't think to bring his brush. The one whose Mama was more concerned with getting us out the door alive and well that morning instead of alive, well, AND school-picture ready. I had been so proud that I had remembered an outfit in the first place. And the diapers. Seeing the children coming in around me made me feel so defeated. Part of me wanted to take my son, turn around and just go home.
But you know what? I didn't. Because my son will be precious no matter what he is wearing. He is perfect regardless. Perfect to me, at least. Thinking about that later this morning during my daily pumping session, I had a little epiphany. And it went a little something like this:
"I can't be everything to everyone."
Woah. What a revelation. For someone like me - who is always striving to be the best I can possibly be in every single situation - this was big. There was something so freeing in looking at myself in the mirror while admitting this. As if I was admitting it to myself somehow. Admitting that I can't be perfect. I can't be 110% all the time. I can't be everything to everyone.
Even more shocking? After finally admitting that, I think that I am actually ok with it. I am ok with the fact that this realization means that I am not going to be the best employee at my office. I am not going to be the most organized mom at the daycare. I am not going to be the perfect daughter or sister or friend. I will try my hardest, but I also know I will never be the perfect wife. And as much as I'd like to hope the opposite, I also know that I can't possibly be the perfect mother. I am releasing myself from my own unrealistic expectations. Giving myself some grace. Allowing myself to say, "No" when I need to. And focusing on the things that are most important. Like, my family. Because my husband and my sweet son deserve my 110%. And so, they'll get it. They still won't get perfect, but they will get my best.
Perfect isn't my job. Perfection is God's business.
So, my child may be the only one at daycare today without a monogram on his plaid button-up today. He may be the one with a few flyaways in his hair. Heck, by the time they do pictures, he may be the one fussing for a bottle and refusing to cooperate. But he's perfect to me, and I know he think's I'm pretty perfect too. One happy baby = one happy Mommy.