Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The Policy of Small Wins 

I never manage to get anything done when I’m at home with Klara. She’s a very active, curious baby-almost-toddler and needs constant engagement. It’s not my fault that I never manage to do anything but I’ve still been feeling like a loser. It’s a daunting feeling of inadequacy that always leaves me annoyed with myself. My self-image is based to a large degree on being somebody who gets things done fast, so when it takes me 4 hours to wash 3 plates because I’m constantly interrupted, that doesn’t contribute to fostering that image. 

So I adopted the policy of small wins. I now congratulate myself internally for every tiny achievement and stroke of luck. Managed to press a button on the washer while rocking the pram? That’s effective! My favorite parking spot in front of the bookstore is free? Luck is on my side! Managed to entertain Klara by reading aloud the article I need to review? That’s brilliant!

It’s working. I already feel much more content with myself. I also play a game called “We are chic ladies” with Klara. We dress up and I do my hair and makeup and we go to a cafe where I have some very fancy coffee drink while telling Klara how chic and elegant we are. Nothing is easier than feeling dowdy and unimportant next to a baby, and that needs to be combatted.


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One thought on “The Policy of Small Wins 

  1. Fie Upon This Quiet Life on said:

    I wrote my entire dissertation after my Eldest was born. I read him Shakespeare articles aloud at every opportunity and talked to him about my ideas. He’s not quite as captive an audience anymore, alas.

    Your strategy is terrific, though. It’s so easy to slip into feeling helpless and anxious when you must get things done, but also don’t want to ignore your child.


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