To be grateful for the good stuff—the 1.6 hours of snuggling I get every day, even if some of it is in the middle of the night when I’m desperate to sleep—I have to let myself off the hook about the bad. To on occasion leave the house a mess so I can spend more time playing with my daughters. To worry less about succeeding at some impossible ideal of womanhood and instead stay present in that moment of placing my cool hand on my daughter's forehead to see if she feels feverish. To stop and listen to her when she tells me that she'll only play Princess with the girls if she gets to be the police. To laugh when the hot slap of spit-up cascades down my new sweater. And to bid fond farewell to the old me and embrace the new one: an overachieving but continually failing part-time worker and part-time mom who does the best she can.
For I do realize that the great tragedy of life would be to get to the end and realize that I had it good all along, if only I’d stopped complaining long enough to realize it. And I know that I need to revel in how things are instead of rail about how I want them to be.
And I will do that, just as soon as I clean the kitchen, take a nap, throw together something vaguely nutritious for dinner, take a seven-second shower, earn a paycheck and, oh right—raise my kids. Because let’s not forget that even though I’m almost too tired to rise each morning, my girls are the reason I get out of bed.