I used to think I knew what it meant to “give 100%”.

Whether it was running as hard as I could to score the winning run, or staying up all night to finish a project, I thought I knew where that line was. The line that says “OK, you’ve given everything you have; you can back off now”.

Then you have kids. You quickly learn that you had no idea what it meant to give everything. Where that line is. Because an upset baby in the middle of the night doesn’t care how tired you are or what else you have to do in the morning. He doesn’t care that your wife is in the same shape as you are, except she just layed him down after rocking him for the last 2 hours. There are no bargains to make or other choices. You HAVE to get up.

So you slowly slide one foot out of the covers, then a leg, and finally you stumble out of bed. Your eyes won’t open for another 10 minutes, but you can manage. As your baby’s cries are soothed, though, you know you did the right thing. That you had more strength in you than you previously thought, and that you could give a little more the next time. Because there WILL be a next time.

The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is that I have no idea what my “limit” is. There’s always an extra pocket of energy somewhere, enough to get that foot out of the bed and start the chain reaction of getting you moving. Focus on that one small task, then move onto the next.

I laugh when I think back to what I used to think my limits were, or hear my kids claim they’re too tired to move. They don’t know yet. But they will, someday.

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John Higley

John Higley

I'm a software developer, working remotely from Richland, WA, working on solving the many issues of managing financial services products on the web. I'm fascinated by the user experience of web sites and applications and read way more than I should. Working on effectively sharing knowledge and ideas has become a recent, but burning, passion.

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  • Kriste Colley

    SO true!!! I think of all the things I am able to do for my kids that I just don’t know if I would have the strength to do without them counting on me…moving cross country by myself comes to mind. Although, I am NOT the most patient person in the middle of the night!! Thanks for the post!