Today didn’t go as it should have. 

Ideally, my husband and I would have been sitting on a beach in Hawaii sipping a cool drink and reminiscing about the honeymoon we took 10 years ago. 

However, we knew with a 6-year-old, 4-year-old, and a 4-month-old, those plans would be postponed. Instead, we would stick to our yearly tradition of dining at a local pizza bistro that we only dine at on our anniversary. 

We have a booth tucked back in a dimly lit corner that suits us well. I was looking forward to adult time since we were coming off a two-day stint of my husband being out of town. 

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It should have been a smooth day. We’d gotten into a loose routine with my husband being gone. Not today. My baby girl wouldn’t nap unless I was holding her. She would hardly nurse. My boys sensed my distraction. Without as much supervision, they were left on their own more than they should have been, resulting in arguments and tears. This lead to frustration on my part which caused more upset with my daughter. A little cycle that took on a life of its own. 

The thought of getting ready, trying to look cute, and feel sexy was overwhelming at this point. 

How am I supposed to go from tired and frustrated mom to happy and upbeat wife when I barely snuck in a quick shower? I guess I was overconfident, and I thought I could leave the task of showering for the day of and have time to get ready while she napped. 

And don’t get me wrong. I love an excuse to sit down and rock or cuddle my baby to sleep. I’d much rather do that than go through the task of showering, drying, and styling my hair, putting make-up on, finding a clean and somewhat presentable outfit that isn’t wrinkly from the hamper all while balancing my two older boys. 

I just as equally want to feel like my old self, our old selves again. The days when getting ready didn’t take all day. When my husband and I could go anywhere on a whim, and it was just the two of us, no planning or strategic scheduling with a babysitter involved. 

I thought, “I could go on our date like this, no makeup and hair pulled back wet.” My husband would understand. He knew it was a hard day.

But then I’d feel guiltylike I’m not trying. But I am. I really am. 

I was once given this little nugget of advice: stop trying to do all the things during the day with your kids, so you have more energy at night for your husband. It was meant to be helpful in adjusting my own expectations of our days home during the summer.

Well, I tried. I didn’t schedule anything today. I tried to have a laid-back day, and I didn’t add any additional pressure on myself. You know, like getting a workout or quick run in, or taking the kids to an activity outside of the house, or even just sitting out in our inflatable pool. Even that small task takes perfect timing with a 4-month-old some days. But, it just didn’t work out that way. 

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So, I’ll sit here and continue to rock my baby with my wet hair and naked face, stained nursing bra, and nails I didn’t have time to do. 

Because I married a good man. A man who understands that the woman I just described is sexy. Even when she doesn’t feel like it. The woman he married a decade ago is still in there, her plate is just a bit fuller these days. 

And one day, not too far from now, I’ll have all of the time in the world to get ready. It’s just not today. And that is OK. 

Jordan Pederson

A wife and mama embracing her imperfect happiness.