Confessions of a recovering Mommy Perfectionist

May 10, 2019


Happy Mother’s Day this coming Sunday to all you wonderful mothers out there! I hope you get pampered and get to relax this weekend. But honestly, you probably won’t. Because you’re a mama. And even if we get pampered, we still can’t relax.

I thought I’d lighten it up a little bit and admit some things on here. These things will make some of you laugh, and it might horrify others. So, consider yourself warned.

Sometimes, my kids only bathe twice a week. Saturday and Wednesday nights. Because church…. Thankfully, during the summer we have a pool.

Ok, that one I feel like is probably one of the worst ones so let’s continue.

Sometimes I make my kids fix their own food. And mine. But mine first.

Sometimes I only change sheets once a month.

Sometimes the closest thing to being mopped that my kids’ bathroom ever sees is when they get out of the shower wet and drip everywhere. And by drip I mean there’s so much water in there, you could go swimming.

Sometimes, my mama buys sweets for the kids. And I hide them on the top shelf and eat them when the kids aren’t watching.

Sometimes, we go for months living out of the laundry baskets. Most of the time, they’re clean though.

Sometimes I sit and watch time lapse cleaning videos and mourn the time I used to have to clean. But then I laugh and try to cheer myself up because my house is very lived in. And by lived in I mean there’s usually enough dirt at my doorstep to fill all the potholes in the state of Georgia. And somehow it gets tracked everywhere.

Sometimes I think I should probably wipe that mud off the wall, but I walk on by instead. Wait, was that dried barbecue sauce?!

Sometimes there’s so much dust on the top of my fans that it burns the fan motors up. (Just the ones that are way up high on our vaulted ceiling. Ok, not really. It’s all of them. Yes I know they make a swiffer just for that.)

Sometimes, I buy cookies from the bakery and put them on a platter to make them look more home made.

Sometimes I have good intentions and buy a solar system set to paint with my wonderfully home-schooled children and then hide the box because I’m tired of them asking when we are going to do it. I mean, it’s only been 10 months since we got it.

Have I made any of you moms out there feel better? Good. Let’s high five each other right here, ok?

When I was growing up, I had a friend. Her mom stayed at home and all her children went to public school. (And I’ll add she had 3 girls and they were several years apart. That for sure makes a difference, because in my experience, boys are just messy and gross. LOL. There, I admitted something else I sometimes think…) Anywho, her house was immensely, always, perfectly sparkling clean. It always smelled good, there was NEVER any dust, and everything was always picked up and neatly in place. I don’t think I’ve ever told my mama this, because I never wanted to hurt her feelings. But our house wasn’t ever that clean. Now it was clean, but not that clean. We cleaned every Saturday morning- laundry, clean sheets (what happened there, I was taught better??), we had to clean our rooms, we swept, mopped, dusted, vacuumed. We deep cleaned in the spring. But my mama worked a full time job. And then came home and cooked supper every night. And then did our homework with us. And her priority was not a sparkling clean house. We were her priority. And I’m not saying my friend’s mother didn’t have the right priorities. She just had 6 hours with no children at home and no job.

You know how much that less-than-perfectly-clean-house means to me now? Absolutely nothing. My mama could have came straight home and started working to clean up. It would have taken all night, but she could’ve done that. But she didn’t. I’ll also add, that when we got old enough to clean on our own, it was our responsibility. Which is another reason it wasn’t always perfectly clean. Also, as I’m thinking about it, she made sure we always had clean clothes and they were folded and put in our drawers. I have stooped very low.

I look at that now as a mama and think, I’m not even doing half as good as she did. I didn’t know then, but I know now how TIRED she was. How STRESSED she was. How bad of a mom she must have thought she was being. All I see now is a mama who did her best, and her best was the best for me. She spent time with us. She made us home cooked meals. We cleaned for a little each week and then we spent the rest of the time together. She killed her last brain cells to help us with algebra. She saved all her paid time off to go on vacation and take field trips with us. I don’t think she knew what “me time” was. And here I am counting down the minutes until it’s not TOO EARLY for my kids to go to bed.

We feel so much pressure as mamas. Every where we look, there will always be someone outdoing us on the school projects, the sports mom who never misses a game and brings the best snacks, the mom who buys all the monogrammed stuff and frilly clothes, the mom who buys the name brand shoes and expensive clothing, the mom who bakes and does cool science projects and summer time crafts and seems to always, always have everything together. I could go on and on.

For some people, their best will be better than my best. And that’s ok. Because God sees that I’m doing my best. And it may be chicken nuggets thrown in the oven for supper or clothes dug out of a laundry basket or choosing to play cards before bed instead of cleaning the kitchen up. My children are different than yours, they have different needs and wants, so why should we expect motherhood to look the same for us? It doesn’t. It won’t ever. But you know, if we look closely enough, we are going to realize that we are all just doing our best. That’s what being a mama is. Doing our best to love the little people God has chosen to give us. I’m always going to want to do a good job. But it’s not going to be perfect. And that’s ok. I’m ok with that. Most of the time. Ha. Ok, maybe I’m not over it. Maybe I have relapsed. There will always be days when I long for it all – a clean house, a good meal, well behaved kids and a nice quiet evening. Those rarely ever happen all at once. Ok, never. But we can dream, right? If our brains would ever slow down long enough, and if it’d just get quiet for a minute, yeah no, we can’t dream….

Thankfully, my kids don’t seem to care about a clean house or a quick thrown together meal. And they would wear the same clothes all week if I’d let them. And I’m not saying I haven’t ever not let them. Did that sentence confuse you? Good, I’m not sure if I want you to know that I let them wear dirty clothes.

I want my children to be healthy and clean and well-mannered and I LOVE a clean house. But more than all of that, I want them to know that I love them with all my heart and I did my very best to show them. I want them to love God with all their hearts and do everything they can to show Him.

If those two things happen, then I could care less about my messy house life. I’d rather have laughter and silliness and fun and chaos and loudness and most of all God’s presence and joy, knowing I let go of trying to be the “perfect” mom.

And instead, I was there. Maybe not able to do everything I want or how I want, but there. There to listen, to nurture, to instruct and encourage. To share in their dreams and their tears. To make sure they know that Mama has their back. To always, always point them to Jesus.

I fail in this area every day. But I don’t give up. They are too precious for me to do that.

And I’m sure that’s something we can all agree on. (Yes, agree that my children are precious.)

Proverbs 31:30
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Oh and let’s not even get started on how we look now. High heels, new clothes, hair cuts and makeup, size 6 clothing…Let’s just say my makeup lasts for years now because I wear it at most twice a week, because again, church. And I’m proud of myself if I make it out of my granny gown by supper time. But by then what’s the use? And messy buns (homeless messy, not cute messy) are the best things since, well, insert whatever word you want here because my brain has used up it’s allotted time to work today.

PS. I wasn’t going to put a disclaimer, but I feel like I’m gonna be judged. I know all about being a “keeper at home” and I don’t think we should be lazy moms. But sometimes, life happens, bad health happens, and all kind of other things that you might not know anything about, happens. So give a tired, stressed mom a break and help her. Pray for her. Know that tomorrow it may be you instead.

  • tammyssnyder
    May 10, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Ha, I loved this post! Great job!! I grew up with a perfectionist mother…everything had to be done just so (although I know she would deny that with a stern look of how dare you share that! lol) but it’s true. 🙂 And I followed in her footsteps…until I didn’t. I got burned out and realized it really wasn’t that important to have a magazine clean house. I’ll see a perfect house in Heaven, until then I’ll just relax a bit. 😉
    Love your humor!

  • Faith
    May 10, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I love that perspective!! “I’ll have a clean house in Heaven.”. How wonderfully true. ?

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