Perfection v. Presence

By Shannon Gallatin /

I’ve decided that perfection is overrated. It has to be. I don’t have time for it, nor do I want to chase an elusive and unattainable goal. As a wife, Mama, blogger (My Life in the Blink) and full-time teacher, my plate is more than full. I know that this is the case for most people these days, whether you are a parent or not. Now more than ever, it is so easy to find ourselves trying to do it all, to be it all. Between smartphones, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and many other social media platforms, there is always someone who seems to be doing more and doing it better or faster.

As a parent, I have quickly learned that there is no sense in comparing. Every parent is different, as is every child. For these reasons and much more, I am the last to judge. We do our best and trust and pray that our best is enough. However, with one tap or swipe, we are granted a glimpse into the lives of family, friends and even strangers. We focus on what we want rather than what we already have. What is to come rather than what is happening.

We live in a life of highlight reels and perfectly crafted stories. It is easy to feel that we are not enough.

I am just as guilty as the next person, sometimes more so. I am constantly feeling the need to capture every memory, record every moment. But lately I have been reflecting on the words of Tony Reinke who says that social media is “your present moment in exchange for an endless series of someone else’s past moments.”

Am I truly in the moment, or am I focused on sharing the moment that I’m not actually fully appreciating as it happens?

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media (probably a bit too much at times) and it has its place. That being said, as a parent, I want my daughter to remember me as being PRESENT, giving her my full attention when we are together. She won’t remember every mistake that I make, but she will remember whether or not I look into her sweet brown eyes as she tells me a story or whether I am scrolling through my phone trying to multitask.

I want her to learn how to spend quality time with people, how to interact, how to be kind, how to laugh and how to love well.

These things will not be taught through an app or a device, they will be taught face to face, eye to eye. Let’s be a generation of parents that are present. Let’s get back to the basics: living, laughing and loving well. This is enough. As parents, WE are enough, right where we are!