Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yesterday morning I helped Robs get ready for school. After breakfast and packing her lunch- we discussed a costume. (It was Halloween and there was a parade in her future.) The costume she's worn for all our events so far has a huge tutu- and she wasn't really sure she wanted to wear it around all day. "So," she decided "I'll be something different." She paired a normal shirt, with a smaller swooshy-tutu-skirt, normal pink leggings, normal pink socks, and shiny silver shoes. We braided her hair and she looked adorable. But a nagging piece of pride squeezed itself in. "Robs," I said "There's going to be a lot of fancy costumes at school- is this one fancy enough for you?" 
The chickie didn't even bat an eye before stating right back, "I LOVE THIS ONE! And then she swooshed her skirt. (It was settled.) 

After dropping Robs off at school- I had a serious talk with myself. "Self" I said, "Why do you do this?"  I folded some clothes and put them back in the basket. I checked on the pirates playing happily in a mess of toys. I thought about exercising and cleaned up some dishes. And then I came up with an answer.

I believe I have dug myself into a hole of longed-for, dreamt-of, and never achieved... perfectionism. 
It goes something like this: I want a clean house all the time. I want to eat healthy all the time. I want to teach Robs piano, Erikboy to read, and Squish to knit... all while running seven miles a day before noon. I want to afford endless types of extracurricular activities from the hard earned money I make from the online-shop I don't have. ...Fancy, fancy, fancy.

But it gets me nowhere. If anything- that prideful "am I fancy enough?" freezes me in place. Questions like that never lead to anywhere decent. They stop fun in it's tracks, and squash confidence before it even has a chance to start. And although questions like that seem to thrive in this community, it's not something I want to have thriving in my home. I finished my conversation: "Self" I said, "No. More."

There were a lot of fancy costumes at the parade- but the glee on Robs' face? As she paraded around with the rest of her first grade class... was indescribable. I was excited to see her so excited- and she was excited just to be a part of the event! Just the experience was enough! I know as I've gotten older life has seemed to get more complicated... but does it have to? Or is that something I've chosen? Do I have to have everything perfect? Or can loving the whole the experience be enough? 

Do I have to be fancy enough? Or can I just be normal-fancy? ...As myself with a house that is sometimes messy and impromptu trips to Wendy's because I don't feel like cooking. 

I've settled on an answer. And I expect it might take a while to really fix all this perfectionism... but yesterday was a really good start. 

...that little Robs is inspiring. 


  1. This is why I love to see your blog pop up in my reader :) This is just what I feel like at our house lately, but I couldn't have said it so eloquently! You are so wise!

  2. If you ever decide to start a focus group for perfectionists anonymous, thank you for sharing this. I needed to read it. Nine months pregnant and I'm still trying to be perfect - not at everything - but at all the things I love, which is a lot. And I certainly don't want to hand that on to the next generation :)

  3. I feel the exact same way. I always wonder to myself: what am I not doing as perfectly as other mothers? why does my peanut not walk yet, why? why is he not as "perfect" as other toddlers. When really, he is just as perfect if not more.

    1. He is perfect!! ...and none of mine walked until AT LEAST 15 or 16 months. Mae waited even longer. (He's letting you know he's JUST FINE with you carrying him. He'll learn sometime before he turns 18... promise.) :)