On Being Perfect, Part 2

read Part 1 here

The conference room was full. The oval table that filled the long room was itself full with a few extra people sitting in chairs lined around the perimeter. The meeting’s casual appearance belied its importance: It was my first meeting with a lot of my higher ranking coworkers. It was my chance to prove my commitment and my knowledge.

I had just started to use Cozi.com, and its free Android app the week prior, and I felt pretty smugly satisfied with my success at juggling multiple calendars. My meeting was scheduled until 5:00 but realistically could last until 5:30. Nick was all set to pick Claire up from daycare.

But then I saw a missed call on my phone and a new voicemail. I surreptitiously checked my missed calls. It was daycare. I snuck out of the room during a slower, less critical part of the meeting to check my voicemail. And my scheduling smugness evaporated. Claire was supposed to be picked up at 4:00. It was 4:10. I quickly arranged with Claire’s provider to leave her with her responsible teenage daughters.

After my meeting, I called Nick who confirmed that he’d picked Claire up. It seemed to be fine. Except I couldn’t stop worrying about it. It almost completely consumed my thoughts on the drive home.

I revealed here that I’m no stranger to worrying about my shortcomings. I feel like I’ve made progress since then, but I also feel like the harder I try to remember everything the more mistakes I’ve made. This week alone I’ve made two grocery store trips: on trip one I forgot a bag of purchased items and on trip two I replaced those items but forgot to buy the chicken nuggets that are crucial to my toddler’s diet.

Sometimes it’s easy to laugh off my forgetfulness. Claire and I laughed at my silliness after I’d confirmed that I’d left the items on my first trip (most likely in the shopping cart) and received a refund. Or I remind myself that I remember the really important things. My phone and/or my purse might be lost, but I have Claire! But other times I mentally beat myself up about it. (And, let me tell you, I’m very brutal mentally.)

So, how am I dealing with this (besides not well)? Notebooks, lists, sticky notes, Cozi.com and the Cozi app. I write things down as I recall them; I make lists. And, most of all, I enter events into my Cozi calendar ASAP because it’s not Cozi’s fault if I don’t enter an appointment.

Do you struggle with trying to be perfect? Anxiety? How do you cope and/or overcome?

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Two Weeks Back at Work

And all goes well. At work at least. Home’s not terrible, but the transition hasn’t been smooth. Laundry is piled high. As are the dishes.

My first day back at work was Monday the seventh. I woke up nervous but excited for my new opportunity. But Claire, well, that little sweetheart woke up with a barky cough. Nick wasn’t much better after pinching a nerve between his neck and shoulders on Saturday.

Nick immediately announced that he would stay home with Claire, so I got ready and headed off for my first day. My day went well, and Nick sent me a text that Claire felt better and was at daycare. And–good news–he had an interview at 3:00 (turned out to be a questionable interview). Day one down and things are OK.

Then day two dawned and Nick was feeling some cold-like symptoms. He stayed home by himself, and I came home after work and provided all the child care while Nick slept. Day 3 and Nick went to the doctor–ear infection, etc. He was prescribed some meds and felt pretty good after one dose.

Thursday and Friday went smoothly–that is except the car fire on the highway (not my car) that made me late by a couple minutes. But then Nick picked Claire up from daycare, and we learned that she had been misbehaving all week, requiring more attention from our provider who was now requesting $5 more a week–extortion! What bothered me most about this (besides someone saying bad things about my kiddo–the nerve!) is that she hadn’t indicated an increase in bad behavior all week. Claire usually has a time out or two a day, and we’re working on the behaviors that lead to them, but I hadn’t heard that things were getting worse. That’s a communication issue that we need to work on. (I’ll share more about this later.)

flowers

As upset as that made me, I felt better when I got home and saw two bottles of wine and a dozen pink roses waiting for me on the counter. Three glasses later and the problems of the world no longer bothered me.

medicine

Rolling around to week two and Claire woke up crying on Tuesday morning. Her right ear hurt her badly, so I brought her into our bed. Thirty minutes later and she threw up on the bed. Nick stayed home with her again, and took her to the doctor. She had a rough day, but she started perking up around 8 p.m. (and still went to bed on time!!).

The last few days of the week have actually gone smoothly. Claire’s behavior is improving (also more on that later), I’ve made it to meetings on time (and even early), and most of the dishes are clean. I have no doubt that we will continue to have struggles, and that being a working mom again won’t be easy, but I’m happy about working and having the wonderful family that I have. I’m blessed!