Posted by Duff

I was recently thinking about how hard we are on ourselves as moms – how much pressure we put on ourselves to do things by a certain standard that make us look good and right.

For instance, I spent a lot of time on the color scheme of The Dervish’s first birthday. I spent time I didn’t have to get just the right shade of yellow frosting to match the table cloth and the pineapple in the Edible Arrangement. I think.  It was mostly yellow, right? (It was 16 months ago.)

My husband and I spent a lot of time photographing The Dervish on our front lawn to get just the right expression of glee and wonderment to put on the invitation.

The Dervish, by the way, didn’t care about the little details, or for her cake. She was much more into the fruit. Considering she was the guest of honor, the outside observer might wonder why I poured my energy into minutae she hadn’t been consulted about. Why we had loaded up the house with family during her fear of crowds phase. She was so relieved when she could have us to herself again and just relax and work on her latest motor skills.

What I remember most about that day was the that the weather was beautiful, The Dervish wanted to soak up each moment of the day awake, and the trunk of our Jeep broke at the grocery store (it still hasn’t been fixed).

But I also remember my expectations of myself, and how high they were, and how they needn’t have been. The Dervish still turned one, whether the frosting was the right shade or not.

I gave myself a break when she turned two. No I didn’t. Having set the standard that I would always make her birthday cakes myself, I cried when the cake broke in the center and I had to paste it together with frosting.  She didn’t care how it looked, though, and really enjoyed this cake.

I was thinking of these things the other day, about how I could follow her lead rather than my agenda, and so we spent the day after Thanksgiving in our pajamas. I never would have done this a year or two ago. I’m a dressed and out of the house by 9am kind of girl. But lately, on daycare mornings, The Dervish has been voicing her desire to just be for a morning – no plans, no errands. No expectations.

So we slept in, and spent the day in fleece. We abandoned the schedule. I gave myself a reprieve.

It was a really, really nice day.

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