May 07, 2007

Did I tell you I had a sort of break-through revelation?

I just realized recently that parenting has at least one thing in common with some other organizing jobs in my life--like dissertating, say, or cleaning the bathroom. What all these things have in common is that they are jobs that can become HUGE AND DAUNTING if you let them. They will take all the mental and emotional and logistical energy you can throw at them. But the flip side of that is that if you stop worrying and just start doing it, already, it's really not so bad.

Which is not to say that hanging out with Elliot is like scrubbing a toilet, per se, or like dissertating either, really. But just that it's easy to get in this mode of "it's not worth doing unless you're doing it perfectly," which is ridiculous, because if you just take off the hairshirt and put down whatever it is you use to flagellate yourself (the diaper bag; your copy of PMLA) there's not really that much to worry about. You just do the best you can.


MAC said...

So true. A very good friend of mine, when I was in the midst of a over-achieving backlash meltdown, said to me "Michelle, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time". Somehow, that spoke to me. And, no matter what, all you can ever do is the best you can do. For what it's worth, having such a delight of a child (and Elliot is SUCH a delight), you must be doing LOTS right.

Amy # said...

As much as I used to hate the Nike swooshtika, I increasingly realize its perfectly accurate utility:

Just Do It.

"Check the box, check check check check check the box."