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I was at work when I looked down and realised that I had been walking around with my daughter’s breakfast all over my pants

I had just come back from maternity leave. I was doing my best and now it turned out that getting dressed was hard.

A colleague saw my face. “What’s up?” she asked. I hesitated a moment. Then I blurted “My pants are covered in yoghurt” pointing to the greyish smears on my legs. “So they are” she said.

Then this wonderful lady gleefully lifted one of her own legs high up over her desk. “I’m wearing no socks” she said “MY little boy locked us out of the laundry this morning”.

I looked at her naked ankle waving in the air. And I laughed. It was the best thing anyone could have done for me.

Here’s what I learned from my colleague: When you can’t be perfect, you might as well laugh. It’s a great shortcut to self-acceptance.

Now, when I wonder if I can balance being mum/leader/human, I laugh, and remember that today is a triumph because I am wearing socks. I’m grateful to my colleague for teaching me this lesson.

I’m also glad that I opened up to her in the first place instead of pretending that nothing was wrong. I think it’s much easier for people to help you when you actually let them know what’s bothering you. Yes, even at work