It was homework night. You know the one. It inevitably ends in a meltdown, you both shout, it ends up barely passable but you couldn’t care less because it’s done, it’ll do, it’ll have to do. You know it’s not to her standard but it’s tough.
I can’t bear homework nights, I haven’t got the energy and I can’t be bothered with the fight. I wish I could curl up in a ball and uncurl when it was over and the homework was done!
But tonight was different, tonight I remained calm, tonight there was fuss but I dealt with it. I avoided the melt down, I achieved the unachievable, I took the pressure away; the pressure I didn’t think I was creating! And this is how I did it!
I have recently been following a woman who writes inspirational and motivational mantras. Her new book ‘Only Love Today’ is on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Today I bought it. I had read the sample and enjoyed the simplicity of it, the fact you could just pick it up read a few lines and feel empowered. I needed that. I’m struggling to cope…with any situation…but most of all homework! I’m looking for ways to be positive, change, lift my spirits. I fell upon this book, it seemed like the lifeline I was looking for.
And so tonight whilst I was cooking dinner and my 9 year old was panicking about her homework, which was overdue by the way, I decided to open the book. I looked at the contents, I looked for something which might help guide me through the desperation I was feeling and found ‘hope, encouragement and introspection.’ I looked down the list and chose ‘the words we choose.’ I scanned the page, this is what I picked out;
I could worry about it but I choose to focus my energies on what I can control.
I am going to ask for help. It’s brave to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength not weakness.
It’s not perfect but it’s good enough for today.
My eyes fell on ‘it’s not perfect but it’s good enough for today’…it was perfect, as if it had been written for this very moment. My daughter was to draw a picture and write a description. She’d previously drawn the picture but told me it was too small, the hair wasn’t right…the list went on. She had begun to try and draw it again but was getting herself in a state. I repeated the mantra to her it’s not perfect but it’s good enough for today, I said it three times. She replied it’s not good enough for today or tomorrow. I remained calm and repeated it again. By this time she was under the kitchen table with her blanket and cushions, I told her she could take her book with her too which she did. She asked me “what should I write?” I asked her what their special power was (she had to write a character description and there had to be something special about the character. Hers were twins). She said a few things, they were basic, below the level her teacher would expect but I remained calm and repeated the mantra to myself. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough for today. That’s fine I told her, just write that. I took away the pressure, the expectation and she began to write. She wrote a paragraph. It wasn’t great but it was done. No meltdown, no shouting, neither of else feeling like we had failed the other. I had coped, quite well I thought, I had managed the situation and completed the task. Ok it wasn’t to the best of her ability, it wasn’t perfect but it was good enough for today and that was good enough for me!