The hardest thing for this type A, perfectionist to say is “I am not perfect.” Growing up in a chaotic childhood, including my parents’ divorce when I was 6-7 years old, only pushed that drive within to find a way to be perfect. I have always felt the need to strive for perfection, whether it be academically or in extracurricular activities. I had to be perfect. Now many years (many, many years) later, I am finally taking a stand and choosing not to be perfect.
Bless her heart.
Being from the South does not help with that tendency to want to be viewed as having the perfect life with the perfect family. That famous phrase “Aww, bless her heart!’ is one that you want to say, not one being directed towards you. Big smiles must accompany those big bows on top of little girls’ heads. I am not saying this need for perfection is only in the South either. We know that society as a whole has made us, especially women, to strive for this idea of perfection.
When you mix kids into a world that you feel must be continuously perfect, things get real messy. This isn’t just because of the dirty diapers and food splattered across the walls and floor. This messy includes that infamous guilt. I have written a lot about guilt lately, obviously because it has made its way into my life and tries to dominate every aspect of it. Why? Well, when you are trying to meet that idea of perfection, guess what follows? Guilt.
Guilt is there when your kids fight in public. Guilt is there when you can’t maintain a home that you believe should be spotless, even though your home is inhabited by those lovely children who are going to make messes. Guilt is there because you didn’t get that walk or workout session in. Guilt, guilt, and more guilt. Striving for perfection only brings downfall. It is okay to want to do well in all aspects of life, but the idea of being perfect? Yea, not happening.
Choose to be happy, not perfect.
So after much soul searching and visits with my therapist (yes, I believe every woman should see one!), I am choosing TODAY to not be perfect. I am choosing to be content and happy with every little imperfection or thing that doesn’t go my way. Fast food for dinner, that is okay. My family is being fed and no one is starving.
I am writing this for anyone who may be struggling with trying to be that perfect mom, friend, or daughter. It is a real struggle, and I am here to tell you that you don’t have to battle with it. Choose to be happy and keep that guilt from trying to dominate your life. Find that person to talk to when guilt begins to settle in because things are not perfect. I promise you, life will continue and everyone will survive with the spilled milk.