When my daughter was a few weeks old, my husband bought me a set of wireless headphones. They were to keep me company during those endless newborn night feeds, because I found their silence the hardest part of being a new mother. Awake when the world was asleep – or so it felt like to me. I could almost wear the silence, shrugging it on at the start of my night shift. Taking it off at dawn.
I loved those headphones. They brought me so much joy – the voices of podcast hosts, interviewees and musicians. I also binge watched entire seasons of shows I had been meaning to see for years, while locked into the (sometimes) silent misery of feeding my ravenous daughter during one of her many growth spurts.
Then one day, when my daughter was old enough to know they looked more interesting than her average toy, she grabbed them. My back was turned – trying to dry my hair or some other mundanity turned mountain to climb – and so I just let her have them. Anything, if it held her interest for more than 5 minutes.
She was teething at the time, so play quickly turned to bite. In one moment, I was down to a single working headphone. The left one, to be precise.
I also use my headphones for running and so now, I run with Oasis playing loudly into my left ear only. My husband and I keep saying in passing “we need to fix those headphones”, yet they remain broken.
Prior to becoming a mother, I would have stopped using them. Found a new pair or fixed them immediately.
Now though, I run with them. Motherhood has taught me, to run with it.
The messier house; larger pile of laundry; darker eye bags; later breakfast; shorter shower and (more often than I’d like) only one teeth clean a day.
Having my daughter has taught me to let go of so many things I thought were important. Now I know things don’t have to be perfect; imperfect is perfectly fine.
In 2021, I want to become an expert at running with it. This article is my first attempt. I wrote it in one go, unedited and unrefined. I’m trying to let go of tweaking my writing until it’s perfect. Until I’m mad and exhausted by it.
In fact, I think this is something we as women need to learn. That we are perfectly imperfect. We don’t have to have everything together. That’s not our job – it never has been. It’s ok.
We’re ok. We can…just run with it.