I use to be a perfectionist. I would drive myself crazy worrying about every little detail and trying to make everything just right. Not only did I drive myself crazy but I drove everyone around me crazy too. My kids had to have the perfect outfit, birthday and presents. Every time my husband did something to help me out it wasn’t good enough because he did it wrong. I would spend entire weekends cleaning my house so it looked amazing (which is next to impossible with 3 kids). I was getting burnt out trying to make my life look perfect.
So how did I overcome this? Well I do have to say I’m not 100% there yet. I am a work in progress. I don’t feel I go overboard all the time anymore but I do catch myself every now and then. The day I realized I was becoming a monster was the weekend that I told my kids to go play and they told me that they couldn’t because they would make a mess and I would be mad. That statement right there hit me hard. I remember crying in my room that my kids thought I was horrible and they couldn’t be kids because mom would be mad. I vowed to change my ways right then.
One of the first things I changed was our cleaning schedule. The kids wanted to play and do fun things on the weekends and we never did. I started planning one thing to do with them every weekend. We would no longer be inside the house cleaning all weekend. I made a once a month cleaning day that the kids would know about in advance (they still complain but hey it’s better than it was). If their rooms get too messy I close the door. This was very hard for me to do at first and I had to bite my tongue not to say anything.
Another thing I had to learn was that there is no such thing as perfect. What?? I know but really think about it. Perfect is a matter of opinion. If someone says that the cake they are eating is perfect but you thought it tasted terrible who is right then? There is no perfect. What perfect is to one person it isn’t to another. When I started thinking about that I realized I was the only one putting this idea of perfect in my head. I am creating my own stress for standards that someone else would probably think isn’t perfect at all. I needed to scale my idea of perfect back.
I decided that my perfect would be happy kids, a happy husband and a loving home. If there are toys everywhere and dirty dishes in the sink but everyone is happy and having a good time then we can leave them for tomorrow. It really isn’t going to hurt anyone. So now before I throw a fit about something I stop and think and if those 3 things are checked off then it’s nothing to get upset about. If they are not checked off then I need to work on fixing that situation first.