The other morning was really rough. My kids didn’t want to get out of bed and I was getting really impatient. I may have blown my top once or twice and barked some commands. Of course I always feel like a jerk after. In my defense motivating my one daughter out of bed in the morning can take up most of our morning routine. When she wakes up in a grumpy mood it makes the morning even harder.
What made this particular morning so rough was during our heated exchange she shouted back at me, “you just want everything to be perfect!” It literally caught me off guard. My kids can tell me they hate me and it rolls right off my back, but this hurt. I think it hurt because I work really hard to let go of expecting things to be perfect or pushing things to be perfect. I mean I only write a blog about letting go of perfection, so I MUST be an expert already right?
But she is right. Old habits die hard. I can’t escape how I am hard wired to be any more than she can escape her hatred of mornings. We have several home projects that need to be finished before winter; I have a house to manage and a few blogs to write each week, plus all that pesky meal planning and laundry to do. I try to stick to segmenting my time for each thing I need to manage. As a result I can seem a bit like a drill sergeant because I EXPECT this will get done in the exact amount of time I have allotted for it. That would be a symptom of perfection by the way.
If only life were that neat and tidy.
Last night I decided to loosen the reins a bit with our evening routine. I am also exhausted from the constant running around and finishing things, so I called it a make your own sandwich night for dinner, which seemed to make everyone happy. I know I was happy to not spend my time cooking something no one would eat! Then we put on some tunes and chatted through dinner.
After dinner my husband agreed to make the lunches while I sat down to play a board game with the kids. I am always rushing to make lunches and getting two kids showered – usually at the same time. So getting to take a break from that was simply amazing. My girls and I spent 30 minutes rolling in laughter because we just caught a case of the sillies. And it was exactly what we needed. You can’t script those moments and when my kids look back on their childhood they will remember it wasn’t perfect, but it did have perfect moments like this.
The night time routine was a little easier, no one kept fighting for more attention and both kids drifted off to sleep easier. Best of all there was zero yelling in the morning before school. It seems unplugging from the race to keep everything in order and on time was exactly what I needed to do. I can’t say I won’t get caught up in it again, because I am hard wired with a drive for perfection. But maybe now I can recognize it sooner and let go of it much quicker. That’s always my goal anyway.
It’s funny how when I think I’ve got this perfection thing licked, or under control, my kid will make sure to remind me that I’ve gone off the rails. Thanks for keeping me on track kid, and thanks for helping mommy grow!
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents.
The moment I learned to embrace the everyday moments in life is the day my life changed for the better. Sure, my house is a mess and sometimes we eat McDonald’s for dinner, but I wouldn;t want it any other way.
Life just feels more sane when we relax a bit more!
I love how much my child helps me grow along side her. I don’t know if I ever feel like everything is perfect but I’m not disappointed. Great reminder.
I never feel disappointed, but as a perfectionist I feel so much pressure to do things the most perfect way possible.
I struggle with perfection in my life and those in our home all the time. It’s a curse, and it makes me miserable. I am trying to be better, but it’s so hard.
I struggle with not having enough structure and routine in our life. Sometimes it is great because I leave a lot of room for grace and flexibility. It also leaves room for chaos.
I have a routine BUT I have allowed myself to know that sometimes the vision in my head will not be the reality and I have just let it go. There are things that need to happen; get your chores, housework, homework done but other things…I’ve let it go.
Also…I’m a twin too!
I think twin moms learn quicker that nothing is going to go according to plan! LOL
Learning to let go of the idea of perfection has been hard for me too. I try, but sometimes I just want things to work out, even though they rarely go as planned.
Perfection has never come across my mind. As a mom with lots of kids it’s important to never think about perfection – letting go of that idea a long time ago makes life so much smoother.
I think it’s really important that we keep in mind that no ones perfect but we should also make sure that we have room for improvement. It’s part of life to want to be perfect especially when it comes to parenting. We must learn to let go and just breathe.
I love how you were able to move through this and with your husband’s help, able to rescue the day! Woo hoo!
It’s true, we try to be perfect in everything we do, and this can’t always be achieved! Sometimes its nice just to let go a little and have fun together. We just have to let go every now and again!
Oh I love this post. I need to re-read this daily. I think it is common for moms to put so much pressure on themselves and strive for perfection but it is so true that perfection is not real and we all need to give ourselves a break.
My daughter works a lot with animals and she always reminds us that a butterflies wings are not exactly the same. Don’t strive for perfect, just the most best and beautiful you can be.
I have never strived for so called perfection. I just want to live and to try to improve myself a little bit everyday.
This is so true! Even though I don’t have kids yet, I bet how hard it can get. Achieving perfection is something we all want, but we just have to remember is that as long we are trying our best we are doing good.
I was definitely a perfectionist long before I had children.
I was a total perfectionist and control freak before I became a parent. Then it all went out the window real fast. One of the things that has help ed me the most, esp. with mornings, is to turn over responsibility to the girls. The routine is written down as a contract, and they have signed it. Not my problem if they choose not to eat breakfast and are hungry before the bus drops them at school. Harsh, but it seems to be working!
Natural consequences are my jam!
I definitely struggle with perfection. It’s hard to do something and not get it absolutely perfect, but I’ve had to accept that you can’t always achieve perfection
I used to struggle with this a lot and found myself becoming just an angry person. When I realized I didn’t NEED to have the house spotless.
I need to stop the obsession with perfection. All it does is make me freeze up and not get anything done!
The moment you really start to let go of the idea of perfection—especially as a parent—changes EVERYTHING. Being able to soak up more of those wonderful little moments, like you did with your little ones, is worth it every single time.
I remember reading something like this before and it was eye opening. we work so hard to be perfect but can make lives miserable at the same time. thanks for the tips and reminder
I still struggle with this, but hope that I am getting better at it. My son and I are both control freaks, so we butt heads a lot.
Perfections slows me down sometimes… I try to remind myself to DO and not fret…
Great advice… “there is no try, only do.” 😉 And then letting go of the worry it’s not good enough. 😉 😉
Honing that perfectionism is something you constantly have to… perfect. I am the same way! I get so edgy and grumpy when I’m in that mode for too long. I know I need to lower my expectations and plan some fun or relaxing time. This was a great post!
Thanks for the great advice! You’re right reining in that perfectionist in me takes some work. 🙂
It’s absolutely necessary to allow for downtime moments and to understand that life happens sometimes in order to be flexible. Great reminders.
I agree! Thanks for your perspective!
Ah, the trials and tribulations of parenting. Love the recount. Glad you were able to spend quality time with your girls.