Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Perfectionism
I know this is a monster that many moms face. The battle between having a happy home filled with laughing, smiling, messy children and the spotless house, smelling of roses with crumbless floors. The dream would be to meld those two together. But, the reality is 2 am navigating a minefield of legos as you stagger bleary-eyed to dig a bottle out of a mountain of dishes to feed a screaming baby who you hope hasn’t woken the rest of the house.
I don’t know about you, but I dream of a quiet house. A house that isn’t littered with shopkins. A house with beautiful, white furniture and spotless carpets (I’ll be honest- I don’t even know where the pink stain in my bedroom came from- sigh).
The struggle really lies in the idea of perfectionism. I want everything to have a place and be in the place. I want to have the time to do it all and do it all perfectly. Is there a smudge on the wall? I want it gone. A few Thomas trains in the corner- why can’t they just live in their box. The gall of my children to actually play with the toys I’ve bought them. The cables strewn about the house by my IT working and loving husband, why can’t they just sit in a drawer- who needs their electronics charged anyway?
Some of my perfectionism lays in the dream of minimalism. But, let’s be honest. I love stuff. I love pretty stuff hung on my walls and on shelves. Antique furniture litters the house in the dream that some day I might really find a use for that old teacart or the 10th vintage suitcase that’s sitting in my basement (I’m not allowed to buy them anymore but they’re oh so pretty- I compulsively check tags when I’m antiquing and whistfully leave them sitting in their booth). If I had fewer things, maybe the perfectionism would be more achievable. But, there’s a certain thrill of finding 5 beautiful tea carts in the $100-200 range and coming home with one for $40 (talked down from $60 of course).
Here I sit, mulling over the dilemma on my comfy couch with it’s 10,000 pillows (that the Wild Thing loves to fling on the floor) with my coffee sitting on a juice splattered tray, cringing a little as I listen to gleeful little shrieks of happy children playing in the recently transformed toy basement. Would I be happier with no tiny voices and therefore no tiny toys to constantly be tripping over? Would I be happier with a perfect home, not covered in finger painted drawings? Does perfectionism bring happiness?
The only conclusion I have ever reached over this ponderance, is no. I may not love every messy, noisy, overwhelming minute of it, but I love motherhood. I was called to motherhood. My house may not be spotless, and some days the best I can do is an oversized t-shirt and a messy bun, but it is full. Full of tiny giggles. Full of bear hugs and snuggles. Full of hyper balls of energy ricocheting from one piece of furniture to the next. Full of tears and the despair that only a five year old can feel over the grave injustice of running out of her favorite type of pony toothpaste. But, most importantly our house is full of love. And, I suppose if there’s a dirty diaper on the changing table or I step on yet another squinky, it’s worth the sacrifice. Perfectionism for love- I’ll take it.
Couch: Joss and Main
I’ll leave you with a little perfection that is undeniable: this baby, in that outfit, playing with that toy <3
Outfit: Burt’s Bees
Turtle teething toy: Apple Park Kids