Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

One thing I always struggled with accepting in FlyLady’s program was that she preached and preached how we are all perfectionists. Please. Anyone who has been inside my house (without an hour’s prior notice) can tell I’m no perfectionist. My house is currently a disaster and even when it’s picked up I don’t bother to remove the tiny hand prints from the walls, or scrub the carpets, or dust anything. I’m not a perfectionist, and my husband would agree.

This morning, as I was lying in bed after my husband left (at 4:30 a.m., I typically roll over without a second thought), I felt overwhelmed by the condition of my house. I was complaining to my mother yesterday that I wasn’t going to get to heaven because my house is far from being “in order.” She tried to persuade me to believe that the scripture was indeed talking about spiritual houses, not our actual homes, but it did little to soothe the guilt. When I found myself unable to sleep today, I started attempting to talk myself into cleaning.
{Note: talking myself into doing anything before 8:00 a.m. is a pretty big accomplishment.}

I was thinking about how hard it is to get it all done. I have a tendency to not start what I can’t finish, or what I’m overwhelmed by. This in turn exacerbates the problem and days later, what I was originally overwhelmed by, I am now paralyzed with the thought of attempting the task.

The truth is: mothers–women–are ingrained with a certain level of perfection. It appears easy for others to care for their homes and their children and put dinner on the table. For me, it’s one mental fight after the next. Rather than shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Yeah, I’m just not a homemaker,” my spirit desperately wants to achieve perfection in this area. Because I know the laundry I just washed will ultimately end on the floor to be trampled because I was too lazy to fold it, I don’t do it. Because I don’t even know where to start in the disaster of a kitchen, I don’t start. Because every room in the house is a mess and by the time I clean one and move onto the next, the first is messy again, I continue to neglect them all.

I don’t do it because I can’t do it like “they” do it.
{Whoever they are–a question frequently asked but rarely answered.} 

The answer, it seems to me, is just start.

Isn’t it better to have a small load of clean laundry done, even if it perhaps doesn’t get put away? Even if there is a mountain more to do? Isn’t it better to load just the “easy” dishes–not the grimy ones–so you have something to eat off of in the morning? Isn’t it better to pick up just one room, even if the rest you can barely move through, so you have a place to relax and feed your spirit? {And perhaps your family?}

Why does it seems so hard just to do a little? I can’t do it all, so rather than doing nothing, what if I just tried to do what *very little* I am capable of doing? My husband says I sell myself short. Maybe when it feels like I’m barely capable of cleaning anything, if I just do what I can, I’ll find that it’s more than I realized all along?

I wish I could tell you that I tried this and two weeks later, my house is totally clean and I’m now up to perfect standards.
These are just the musings of a slightly sleep-deprived mom, knee deep in laundry and too scared to start.
Let me know if this helps you.
I’ll let you know if it helps me.

P.S. – I’d be remiss in posting this if I didn’t say Happy Birthday to my own perfectly imperfect Mom! Give her a shout out in the comments, will ya, for raising such an awesome kid?! Happy Birthday Mom, and thanks for everything. I love you!

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9 Responses to Perfectly Imperfect

  1. Sara Jurgens says:

    I found that you are so right. If I don’t just start and do some then it never get done. And you are right if you just do what you can then you are doing it. You can’t measure your self against what others do, then you will measure up!

    And Happy Birthday to your mom!

  2. Laura says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to your Mom!

    I also agree, and you don’t even want to see my bathrooms! Those alone freak me out, and I am going to clean them this weekend for sure…or have my hubby do it! ;)

  3. Jen B. says:

    Wow, your house sounds a lot like my house! Don’t start what you can’t finish? I SO know that feeling. But I totally agree that doing one thing is better than doing nothing (and I bet you do sell yourself short!) Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration. And happy birthday, Slacker Mom’s Mom! :)

    • My mom always says she isn’t ADD because she can finish all her projects. But her projects are all short, one-day projects that she can get done in record time. We all gotta do what we gotta do, right? (Love ya mom!) Thank YOU for the kind words!!

  4. Tiff says:

    OMgoodness! Reading this sounds just like ME! [you’ve never heard that before, i bet] but seriously, thanks for sharing your own weaknesses, because i’m exactly the same way.

  5. Tina says:

    thank you so much for posting this…..I am the same way my house is a mess & I feel like a big loser because my house is not clean like “theirs”…..I dont really feel lazy…I feel so overwhelmed….I have 3 little boys & 1 big boy (husband…lol)& i feel like its me against them & I cant win…being the only person in the house who cleans I feel that I have lost the battle & theres no going back. Sorry to unload…thank you again

    Happy Birthday to your mom

  6. Lyndi says:

    I find that if I tell myself I only need to spend 5 minutes in a room and usually I don’t stop until it is really clean. However, I usually only get a few rooms done a day if any at all. Too overwhelming.

  7. Kate says:

    Wow, I just found your blog through pinterest, while I was trying to get some FHE ideas. I was just diagnosed with ADD and will just try my second med tomorrow morning. How refreshing it is to find a fellow mom who goes through the same things I go through!

    I found out today, what you just said about your meds not working if you don’t have 8hrs sleep. Well, I found out after I took a short nap with my two year old, life got so amazingly better when I woke up, the meds seemed to just ‘kick in’. I wasn’t stressed and the crazy thing, my kids were happy too! Funny how those things go hand in hand :0).

    You are amazing to home school your kids, I have not attempted it yet, because have I been so distracted all the time. Maybe I could do it now medicated, since I have discovered an amazing part of my brain I didn’t know I had, that actually helps me get things done. Can’t wait to get to know you better through your blog!

  8. Kassandra says:

    Thank you! I go crazy trying to “catch up”. I’m a sleep deprived mother of three adorable munchkins from 7 months to 3 years and things just don’t get done. It’s nice to know i’m not alone in this.

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