Blaise and I went to a one-year-old's birthday party this weekend. It was spectacular. With a rocket and astronaut theme, the mom is uber-talented and had thought of everything. From the handmade and hand painted solar system that hung from the ceiling to the refueling station (drinks), pop rock candy, and takeaway CD filled with the birthday boy's favorite space songs, the partygoers couldn't want for anything. (I just got sidetracked, because I'm in awe of her creative geniusness at work.)

While we are there, Blaise is having so much fun. He plays with other kids and toys or just finds a complete stranger, makes himself at home, and climbs on her lap as though he had known her his whole life (yes, 9 months of it). I sit on the floor to play with and better watch him. He keeps eyeing everyone's food, as though he wants to devour it. Since I just started introducing baby food, that isn't a possibility.

On my plate I hold mid air to keep it out of his reach, I have a little bit of my hamburger, chips, and guacamole. He is about seven feet away in front of me playing with a couple of toys, when another young kid knocks something over to my left, and I glance that way. When I turn around to my front, my arm had dropped the plate to ground level, and Blaise is helping himself to the guacamole. I let out a small shriek -like sound, "EEEHHHHH," as I grab his right hand and wipe it with my rocket paper napkin.

I sit him in my lap, and the juggling act continues, as my left hand holds my plate higher. He reaches for my plate, and I move it farther to my left. Then he is too quick for me. As he reaches for it another time, he grabs the edge of it. It teeters back and forth in my hand, as I lean toward it to balance it as though I'm walking a gymnast's beam. I fall on my elbow but manage to keep from dropping it.

Leaning on my left elbow for just a couple of minutes, I mumble, "Woooahhh, that was close." I need to raise my upper body to sit straight again. I lift my elbow off the ground and somehow lose my balance, and spill the plate... all on my own. After all the struggle and balancing act, it doesn't take my baby to spill the plate... just me. I have no idea how I seemed to be in the clear, and then all of a sudden, one wrong move, one gesture too quick, and I drop it all over the ground. I stare at it in disbelief (and let's be honest, a little--no, actually more than a little--disappointed in myself) before I realize I better pick it up before my child decides to eat it as I still here in a daze from my disappointment.

Later in the party, I look down and discover mustard on my shirt and in Blaise's hair. How the heck did that happen? Oh yeah, probably when I tried so hard to catch the almost-spilled-plate just to spill it anyways.

Life is like that sometimes. No matter how hard you try, something gets in the way. You do this wonderful, almost magical, balancing act and just when you think you've mastered it... BOOOM... JUST KIDDING!! An obstacle, hurdle, or challenge comes up... or just a little misstep occurs. Don't wait for all the missteps to fall in line. Even when you do, you may glance away and something else may arise (like a hand in your guacamole).

Life will never be perfect. Your job will never be perfect. Your business, relationships, kids, or travel will never be perfect. That's the beauty of life. It's not meant to be perfect.

It's meant to have hurdles, obstacles, and some mustard on your newly ironed shirt. Those are the moments you cherish and savor. You can look back and say, "Oh I was doing a fabulous job of balancing everything. I had it mastered, until _____________ (I had kids, I met someone who changed my life, I received an award, etc.) Because those things (kids, other people, awards, etc) are the things that really catapult your life. When you are doing a perfect job at balancing your life, then you aren't really living (because there is no such thing as the perfect job at balancing your life).

So live it up... live dangerously, be rebellious, step out of your comfort zone, fall down, get back up, fail, succeed... Get some mustard in your hair, stick your hand in guacamole, and laugh the whole time... JUST LIVE IT UP!

Author's Bio: 

As a single mom and founder of The Single Mom Movement, Jessica Rector knows how you are stressed but know there is more for you. With targeted private coaching, programs, and a school, single moms use her proven strategies to discover their empowered self. Do you feel like no one really understands how you feel? You're not alone. Join the club at Get FREE videos to Breathe Happiness. Be Fulfilled. Live Empowered! Sign up at